Ken Levine announced today on the official site for Irrational Games that the studio is closing down. Specifically, he offered that he’s “winding down Irrational Games as you know it.”
Irrational will ship the last bit of BioShock Infinite DLC, and then the studio will be shuttered. The bad news continues in that, as the studio will be down, the staff at Irrational will need to be let go. Levine ends his letter to readers with a suggestion.
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Levine wants to move on to new projects. He figured the best way to do this would be to leave the studio he co-founded over 17 years ago, and start a new, small team with a clear and narrow focus. He thought he’d have to leave the halls of Take-Two, the company behind Irrational, in order to do it; however, Take-Two will still be his home.
When I first contemplated what I wanted to do, it became very clear to me that we were going to need a long period of design. Initially, I thought the only way to build this venture was with a classical startup model, a risk I was prepared to take. But when I talked to Take-Two about the idea, they convinced me that there was no better place to pursue this new chapter than within their walls. After all, they’re the ones who believed in and supported BioShock in the first place.
Irrational will soon be no more. Levine will not, at least any time soon, work on another BioShock. Unless Take-Two hands the franchise to another studio, this may very well be the end of the BioShock brand.
The good news, though, is that Levine is still making games. Take-Two has always shown strong support for massive projects like BioShock Infinite and the Grand Theft Auto series, so there really isn’t a better big publisher for Levine and his new studio to call home.
We wish everyone at Irrational the best. These talented developers will hopefully be scooped up soon.