Updated 08:38 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 30, 2020

Irrational Games Founder: Bioshock Moving to New Developer, Company Reformatting

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Irrational Games will be laying off the majority of their staff in order for the company to refocus on the types of games that founder Ken Levine first created at the studio.

Levine, whose studio has been responsible for the critical powerhouse Bioshock series that has produced some of the best games for the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 generation of platforms, will lay off most of the current staff, according to a letter posted on the studio's website.

"I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I'll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two," Levine wrote. "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. "

This is huge news—Irrational Games will effectively cease to exist as it once was and will become an entirely new studio. This means that the company will be giving up the Bioshock franchise to parent company 2K, and starting over while still under the 2K banner, Levine revealed. 

"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," Levine wrote. 

Just why is Levine giving up the widely successful Bioshock series? The developer revealed that he has a new passion for a different sort of video game that he feels can't be made under the current Irrational Games. Instead, Levine and his team will make digital games with a focus on story over action.

"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," Levine said. 

It is a shame to see Irrational Games abandon the Bioshock series, but if this means that the company can continue the excellent run it has had, then perhaps this move will work out for the best.

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