Levine forming smaller team focused on highly-replayable narrative-driven games
"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 BioShock is 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.
A Message From Ken Levine [Irrational Games]