Ken Levine: Irrational Games ‘Winding Down,’ Layoffs Coming
Irrational Games founder Ken Levine has announced that he’s “winding down” the studio after the newest (and apparently final) Bioshock Infinite DLC is released.
In a statement posted to the developer’s website, Irrational Games co-founder Ken Levine wrote, “I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two.” In the wake of this, Irrational Games will apparently cease to exist.
As part of this massive change, 2K will be laying off all but 15 members of the Irrational team. A check of LinkedIn turns up 109 people who list themselves as part of the company, although that number may not be accurate. The remaining 15, along with Levine, will be the core of the new project. This project’s goal, according to Levine, is, “To make narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable,” and will require, as he writes,
“a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience.”
While there’s nearly no info on what the new project will be, this isn’t a huge surprise, as Levine has been talking about replayable, narrative-driven games since right after Bioshock Infinite released. Still, I don’t think anyone could have predicted that to realize that vision, he’d be starting over with a smaller team and doing away with Irrational entirely.
We’ve reached out to 2K for more information about this situation, including an accurate count of the layoffs, and we’ll update as we hear more. For now, if you’re a part of Irrational Games and are affected by these layoffs, we’d love to talk with you. Drop us a line at tips(AT)gamefront.com.