In a statement issued on the homepage of the company’s official site, BioShock creator Ken Levine says he will be closing down the BioShock Infinite studio soon, with most of its staff being laid off in the process.
“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.”
Levine had said as recently as October that the possibility for Irrational to produce a new Bioshock title still existed. Now, Levine and those folks he’s bringing with him to this Take-Two sponsored startup will look more closely at story and reaplayability in new game projects.
“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.
“When I first contemplated what I wanted to do, it became very clear to me that we were going to need a long period of design. 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.”
Meanwhile, 2K will take over the BioShock property completely moving forward.