On February 18, Ken Levine made an announcement on the Irrational Games website: soon, his company was going to wind down and close its doors forever.
Seventeen years ago, Ken Levine, Jon Chey, and Rob Fermier founded Irrational Games, and created such titles as Bioshock, Swat 4, and System Shock 2.
“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,” Levine wrote, “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.”
This type of game, he says, will consist of “narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable,” and this new venture will focus entirely on digitally-distributed content.
All but 15 members of the current Irrational team will be let go in the process, but will be allowed to take time to say their final goodbyes in the office, build up their portfolios, and give third party developers a ‘Recruiting day’ to interview departing staff to allow ease of transition.
Levine and the remaining 15 staff members will then settle into a small space within Take-Two, where they will start fresh to work towards Mr. Levine’s goal.
The Bioshock license will remain the property of 2K Games, and all future Bioshock installments will be under their umbrella.
If you want to see Levine’s message in its entirety, you may do so here.