Irrational Games, once known as 2K Games, Boston, the makers of the popular Bioshock franchise of games have decided to wind down operations of the studio. This studio has been responsible for the development and maintenance of the Bioshock Franchise which 2K games has so happily cherished over the years. As they prepare to release the final DLC for Bioshock Infinite, their latest game, they have announced that they will be shuttering the studio altogether.
In the game industry, it isn’t uncommon for a studio to close after they’ve completed the last DLC, however, these shutdowns are usually due to the studio running out of money or having managerial issues. For Irrational Games, this isn’t the case because they have been a cash cow for their publisher, 2K games, and profitability hasn’t really been an issue. For them, it has more to do with the fact that the founder of their studio wants to move on to making different games. Games that don’t fit into the Irrational Games existing structure. Their founder, Ken Levine announced that he was happy to have done this for 17 years, but now he wants to work on a smaller game, with a smaller team that has a more direct connection with the gamers.
As such, they are going to be winding down Irrational Games and probably laying all of the staff. However, this planned winding down sounds like a lot of the people are going to have to look for jobs elsewhere, stating that all but 15 people from Irrational are going to have to part ways with the company and the remainder will join the new studio at Take-Two in his letter posted on their site’s homepage. The claim that, "Besides financial support, the staff will have access to the studio for a period of time to say their goodbyes and put together their portfolios. 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 3rd party studios and publishers a chance to hold interviews with departing Irrational staff."
While I’m not entirely sure I agree with the way that Ken has handled the situation, winding down the studio and all, it is admirable that they are trying a lot to help them out. I personally don’t see the need to wind down an entire studio and then create an entirely new one because you got bored of what you were doing/making. I mean, I am sure there are plenty of people that worked together very well at Irrational, I mean they had to in order for the game to come out the way it did. And for them to be broken up like that seems like a total waste of time and resources when they could be utilized for other and new projects. I suspect that there may be a bit more to the story here, but either way, Irrational Games as we know it is basically dead. RIP.