Ken Levine Winding Down Irrational Games Following Final BioShock Infinite DLC
Written Tuesday, February 18, 2014 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Irrational Games as you know it will soon be no more, as co-founder Ken Levine is set to wind down the studio in favour of a smaller, more focused endeavour that has "a more direct relationship with gamers." Levine revealed the news in an open letter on the Irrational Games website.
"When Jon Chey, Rob Fermier and I founded Irrational Games seventeen years ago, our mission was to make visually unique worlds and populate them with singular characters," Levine begins in the letter. "Now Irrational Games is about to roll out the last DLC for BioShock Infinite and people are understandably asking: What’s next?"
Levine goes on to say that his time at Irrational Games has been "the best job" he's ever had, before adding that "my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before." The answer is to form a smaller team.
"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," Levine continues. "I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavour 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."
Levine is set to announce his next project in due course, with his new endeavour to involve making "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."
As Levine mentions, he and his fifteen or so staff will stay on with Take-Two, concluding in his open letter with thanks to Irrational and 2K, handing over the BioShock franchise to 2K in the process. "Thanks to Irrational and 2K’s passion in developing the games, and the fans who believe in it, BioShock has generated retail revenues of over a half billion dollars and secured an iconic place in gaming," Levine writes.
"I’m handing the reins of our creation, the BioShock universe, to 2K so our new venture can focus entirely on replayable narrative. If we’re lucky, we’ll build something half as memorable as BioShock."
We'll have more news on Ken Levine's latest venture as soon as he gets around to announcing something. In the meantime, BioShock Infinite's final DLC, Burial at Sea Episode Two, is out on March 25th.
[Via Irrational Games]