Irrational Games, the studio behind Bioshock Infinite, is closing down.
The closure was announced earlier today on the Irrational website by studio head Ken Levine.
“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.”
In quite a lengthy post Levine also detailed what he will be doing next, fortunately it appears he, along with the 15 members who are not getting laid off, will be staying within the video game industry and will continue to make games.
“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.”
“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.”
This is undeniably a sad day for the industry. Irrational has been one of the top tier studios for some time, creating great games that will be remembered fondly. Personally I loved both the original Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite (the less said about Bioshock 2 the better) and it looks like I wasn’t the only one as both games made it into our top 25 games of the last generation. The clip below is almost exactly how I reacted when I saw the news.