Irrational Games, as we know it, is no more.
The powerhouse of creativity and innovation that’s brought us one critically acclaimed and hugely influential video game after the next — including System Shock 2, BioShock, and BioShock Infinite — is undergoing a massive transformation.
This is the team that took us from the failed underwater utopia of Rapture to the floating city of Columbia. They introduced us to SHODAN, the Big Daddy, to Elizabeth Comstock. They made games that pushed the envelope, proving video games can indeed be art. Irrational’s portfolio is proof that this is an industry that can offer powerful, emotional, and unforgettable experiences. It’s a studio that I’ve been honored to report on here at Bloody Disgusting.
In a letter written by studio head Ken Levine, he describes the transformation as a “winding down”. “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.”
Levine isn’t going anywhere. We’ll see more from the intensely talented writer soon, and his plan for the future of the remaining Irrational team sounds much like what the developer offered in the past.
“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.” wrote Levine.
Losing Irrational Games is a monumental blow to the video games industry. I’ve been a fan since their debut title, System Shock 2, and while this news is more than a little painful to write, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what comes next. I dare say the possibilities are infinite.