Shocking is really the only way to describe today’s big story. Irrational Games is closing down as Kevin Levine has decided to shut down the studio and transition to a smaller team as part of Take-Two.
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.
I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two. That is going to mean parting ways with all but about fifteen members of the Irrational team. There’s no great way to lay people off, and our first concern is to make sure that the people who are leaving have as much support as we can give them during this transition.
Most gamers know Irrational Games as the creators of the popular Bioshock series, System Shock 2, Swat 4, Tribes Vengeance, and the cult classic Freedom Force vs the 3rd Reich. In recent years Irrational Games won over critics and fans alike with Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite. In an almost fitting goodbye to the studio Bioshock Infinite will release one last DLC for fans to enjoy before Irrational Games is gone forever. Is this is end of Bioshock or will 2k Games push the series to another developer? Only time will tell.
You can read the entire announcement from Kevin Levine at the Irrational Games website.