Remember when Ken Levine went on stage at E3 in 2011 and held up a PlayStation Vita, championed the hardware, and noted that Bioshock would be coming to it? Well... he just disbanded Irrational Games.
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"I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it," wrote co-founder Ken Levine in a post that comes as an utter shock. "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."
Continuing, he said "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."
Although a "classical startup model" was considered, Levine and what's left of Irrational will stay with publisher Take-Two for this venture. Their 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." The future of BioShockis now in 2K's hands.
"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," explained Levine. "Other Take-Two studios will be on hand to discuss opportunities within the company, and we'll be hosting a recruiting day where we’ll be giving third-party studios and publishers a chance to hold interviews with departing Irrational staff." Bittersweet news of the freakin' month.
2K has just announced that the first major DLC for BioShock Infinite, Burial at Sea: Episode 1, will be available on November 12th for $14.99 (or included with your Season Pass). This date is a worldwide release for the PS3, 360, and PC, so no timed exclusive or staggered release nonsense here -- everyone is getting it at the exact same time.
Burial at Sea features a self described "film-noir" themed story as you explore the original BioShock's Rapture setting, and encounter some "old friends." I have no idea what to expect from it, but rest assured I'll be trying it out at launch with the rest of you. I'm just glad it's happening right before the massive double-console launch.
Ken Levine, one of the most well-known and respected developers in the videogame industry, will be honored at this year's Golden Joystick Awards with a Lifetime Achievement award. Throughout the course of the show's 31-year h...
BioShock Infinite's Burial At Sea Episode 1 is on the way, and you can get a quick look at the first five minutes courtesy of Irrational Games above. Although there are obvious spoilers as to the setup of the DLC, not a whole lot is revealed, as the video is mostly just a walking and talking affair.
I still think it's weird to see the Elizabeth we know and love turned into a cold-hearted smoker (that based on this video, feels a lot more generic and less likeable), but we'll see if Irrational has a method to this madness when the DLC actually drops.
Hey gang! Here's today's Destructoid Show. Because Tuesdays.
The first BioShock Infinite DLC has been released, with later DLC plans revealed, and Caitlin sat down with Ken Levine himself to discuss it. Fez II has been ...
Irrational Games, and Ken Levine in particular, have been known for creating games with innovative narratives and unique gameplay. BioShock Infinite is no different, and we expect the same for the remaining downloadable content we've been promised, including Burial at Sea, announced earlier today.
The team at Irrational started working on the Burial at Sea DLC almost immediately after BioShock Infinite released, but the idea took some time to form. Ken explained, “I was running one day and the idea just started […] You’re Booker, you’re a private detective and this woman walks into your office like this classic sort of film noir [...] and that is Elizabeth dressed like Veronica Lake or something. That image was enough to sort of set everything into motion."
Ken mentioned that he wanted to stay away from telling a story just to tell it -- he knew that people were curious about what it was like before the fall of Rapture, but wanted to do it in a way that wouldn't rehash what they had already built in BioShock.
"We knew it had to start with, like all BioShock games, ‘what’s going on here, why is this happening?’, because otherwise you’re telling people what they already know. Retelling the story of what’s already in the audio logs of BioShock is not very interesting, so this is an opportunity to listen to it from the perspective of these characters and why they are there.”
A remake for Logan's Run is in the works, and it's surprisingly going to be written by BioShock Infinite's master guru, Ken Levine. He isn't leaving Irrational Games or anything like that; he is just writing this as a side pr...
System Shock 2 is one of those games that everyone should get around to playing eventually. It's an eerie and atmospheric first-person shooter with RPG elements that truly was ahead of its time. Some folks like it better...
Almost a month after its release, BioShock Infinite is still on my mind, but not for the reasons you might suspect. If you grow tired of seeing the game plastered on just about every gaming website, magazine, and TV commercial, fear not. This commentary does not exist to reiterate the title's excellence nor is it a rant geared at opposing such praise. Instead, I'd like to shine some light on the world of Columbia before it was a fully realized sky-bound paradise; years ago when the idea of the game was just gaining traction in the imaginations of Ken Levine and creative team at Irrational Games.
After traversing every nook and cranny of the firmament-born dystopia and following the tale of Booker DeWitt and the dimension-tearing Elizabeth not one, not two, but three times, I happily retired BioShock Infinite to its rightful place in my gaming library while tucking away my many admirations into a mental filing cabinet. I'm finally done, or so I told myself before I received an unsuspecting gift shortly after the exhausting completion.
Jennifer Hale and Oliver Vaquer, the voice actors behind the Lutece Twins, sat down with GameTrailers to talk about their roles in BioShock Infinite. The pair touch on how they both had to read each character's scripts, how it was like working together, and where they'd want to go if they could rip open tears.
And then things get weird.
Just this past weekend I finished BioShock Infinite, and as a huge fan of the original BioShock this game did not disappoint. I'm still thinking about the story and making new revelations -- and it's been two days ...
BioShock Infinite reviews finally went live across the board today, and while I'm sure we all expected a positive showing, we maybe were not quite prepared for the veritable outpouring of critical acclaim.
Of course, De...
One of the main things that Irrational Games has really pushed in its marketing for BioShock Infinite is the relationship between the player-controlled character Booker DeWitt and the young woman Elizabeth that he's tasked with retrieving from the floating city Columbia. At Saturday's Irrational Games Panel, actresses Courtnee Draper and Heather Gordon talked about how they helped sculpt Elizabeth's personality with lead writer Ken Levine.
"This process was really great because Troy, who plays Booker DeWitt, and Ken -- we would all work together. We would just sit in a room and have this really great collaborative effort which was unlike any other project I've worked on. I've never had that to this extent, so the inspiration was really just everytime I came out to Boston we would sit and talk about what kind of character we wanted her to be and what relationship we hoped you as the player would experience with her. It was almost on a piecemeal basis and all kind of finding her together."
At the Irrational Games panel at PAX East today, the team behind BioShock Infinite talked about the challenges of player agency in the game specifically when interacting with Elizabeth, the player's constant companion. "The p...
Yesterday, it was suggested BioShock Infinite was among the most expensive videogame projects of all time, costing a rumored $200 million to produce. According to director Ken Levine, such a catastrophic amount certainly wasn...