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Irrational Games Dissolved, Ken Levine Begins New Endeavor

The team that brought you the amazing Bioshock games is no more.

The Bioshock series is one of the most respected and acclaimed franchises in video game history. However, developer Irrational Games will soon disappear.

As founder Ken Levine stated on the studio's official website, it's time to move on. After creating some of the finest interactive productions ever, and after seventeen years of achievement, Levine is "winding down Irrational Games as you know it." He's taking only fifteen members of the original team and starting a "smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor" at publisher Take-Two Interactive.

Those who lose their jobs will receive financial support and the studio will host a "recruiting day" where third-party studios can get a crack at interviewing some of the finest talent in the industry. As for what's next:

"In time we will announce a new endeavor with a new goal: 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."

And that's precisely the sort of game we want Levine to make, right?

Happy Trails!

You guys made some great games. The Bioshock series will always stand out for me for a variety of reasons; the biggest highlights were always the unparalleled atmosphere and fantastic narratives. Deep, interweaving storylines blend with stellar gameplay, and that gameplay features an involving mix of role-playing and first-person shooter elements. Just amazing. So, on behalf of gamers everywhere: "Thank you!"

Published Feb. 18th 2014
  • WesleyG
    Columnist
    This is such sad news for me. The Bioshock games were one of the few games I still look forward to when they're announced. It's also disturbing to me when in Ken's letter he states the part about making narrative-driven games with high replayability. Wasn't that what they were making? Did I miss something? My worry is that "high replayability" is code for "We're making games with a heavier focus on multiplayer and/or gimmicks like moral choice."

    Here's hoping that Levine's next project has promise and that everyone who was laid off today finds new jobs in the industry.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Well, Levine has always said he wanted to make narrative-driven games that don't get old. That's nothing new. The only new part is the focus on digital, which I'm skeptical about.

    I don't think Levine is the type to take the multiplayer and gimmick route. At least, I hope not.

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