In an open letter on the studio’s website (link below), studio head, Ken Levine, has announced that Irrational Games is set to be wound up in its current form.
As soon as the second part of the Burial at Sea DLC for BioShock Infinite is released, Irrational as a studio will be wrapped up and Ken will take fifteen staff members to form a smaller scale outfit under Take Two.
The focus of the studio will be, “To make narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable. To foster the most direct relationship with our fans possible, we will focus exclusively on content delivered digitally.”
Staff that aren’t lucky enough to make the handful Ken keeps on for the new venture will be given plenty of help to secure their own future, including the use of the studio to put together their portfolios, but in the end, a lot of people are going to lose their jobs, which is always sad to see.
Aside from the BioShock series, Irrational also produced the superb classic, System Shock 2, and many of the staff also worked previously for Looking Glass Studios, which created the Thief series, Ultima Underworld II (and the original Ultima Underworld as Blue Sky) and many more. Now that the studio is going download only, the direction taken by the games created by Levine and Co. will surely be very interesting.
What about BioShock, though? Ken Levine has handed the series over to 2K, so hopefully it will continue. Sadly, the only BioShock not handled by Levine, BioShock 2, wasn’t as good as Irrational’s outings, so we’ll have to see how well the franchise does going forward.
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