Irrational Games is Closing Down
This is a helluva head turner, given the Massachusetts-based studio’s recent successes.
The studio responsible for creating the original Bioshock as well as last year’s sensational piece of digital art, Bioshock Infinite, is closing its doors. Ken Levine, the developer’s most prominent figurehead and creative visionary, revealed his reason for shuttering a studio seemingly at the peak of its career:
"Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one. And working with the incredible team at Irrational Games is indeed the best job I’ve ever had. While I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before. To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience."
This new, refocused endeavor will only be taking fifteen Irrational employees aboard — the rest, unfortunately are being let go — and, according to Levine, will exclusively publish content digitally.
Founded in 1997 by three former Looking Glass Studios employees, Levine included, Irrational’s legacy spans titles the likes of System Shock 2, Freedom Force, and SWAT 4. In 2006, Take-Two purchased the studio, publishing their industry celebrated, publicly revered Bioshock series under the 2K Games label. Subsequently, the future of Bioshock franchise, now estimated to have made over a half billion dollars in revenue, is in 2K’s hands.
Irrational’s last effort will be Bioshock Infinite's Burial at Sea: Episode 2; the final expansion to their last game. My best wishes go out to the studio’s team members. Thank you for the many, many hours we’ve spent lost, enthralled, and loving your worlds.