Irrational Games, the developer of famous FPS series BioShock, is shutting its doors. Co-founder Ken Levine wrote a notice on the Irrational Games website detailing the news.
"Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one," Levine wrote. "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. "
Laid off employees will get the chance to work at other Take-Two Studios. They will also participate in a recruiting day where external studios and publishers can meet and interview them.
Levine and his smaller team will continue to work under the Take-Two umbrella and focus exclusively on digital distribution.
"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," Levine declared. "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."