THE FOUNDERS of Irrational Games are closing down the studio 17 years after having launched it and shortly after releasing Bioshock Infinite.
The founders, who include Ken Levine, have posted a sign-off message on the Irrational Games website. Although it is tinged with sadness, the plan is for the studio to come back phoenix-like.
Irrational is no minnow and the Bioshock titles are solid sellers and highly rated by reviewers and gamers. Levine is glad about its achievements, but said that it will come back in a different form.
"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. We created Booker and Elizabeth, the Big Daddy and the Little Sister, Midwives and Manbot," he wrote.
"Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one.... 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."
This new focus will see Irrational Games wound down, a process that has already started, and there will be no more releases following the latest update for Bioshock Infinite.
The new venture will be housed at Take Two and will involve just a few of Irrational's present employees. He added that Take Two, a Bioshock supporter, had encouraged him to set up at its shop, despite lengthy development expectations.
"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," he added.
"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."
From now on Bioshock will be in the hands of 2K Games. µ