Submitted by MightyNoX 558d ago | news

A Message From Ken Levine: Irrational Games Shutting Down

A Message From Ken Levine (BioShock: Infinite, Industry, Irrational Games)

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Mikefizzled  +   558d ago
Just read this and I cannot believe it. At least they ended on a very very high note. Good luck to everyone for their future endeavours. They deserve it.
Nitrowolf2  +   558d ago
This is so unexpected. Best of luck to all the meployees
guitarded77  +   558d ago
WTF?!?!? Why? I guess they're quitting while they're at the top of their game. They have enough money to go do small passion projects for a while. Maybe they'll come back with a big game after a few years.
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ABizzel1  +   558d ago
That sucks.

I was really looking forward to seeing more from them. Bioshock was one of my favorite IP's from the last generation. Best of luck to all of them, and if I could I would buy a good bunch of you up, and we'd be on our way to making greatness for the current generation of consoles.
Volkama  +   558d ago
Where are irrational based? What other studios are in the area that may take advantage of the talent that just became available?

Studios close, talent (hopefully) moves on and continues to deliver.
Why o why  +   558d ago
Black-Helghast  +   558d ago
Wow.. What a sad day to be a gamer :\ I just recently got into BioShock games and now irrational closes? </3
ABizzel1  +   558d ago

They're in Boston. They said other 2k teams will be picking people up, but outside of 2k Bethesda is the only developer I know close by.

Let me win the Powerball or Mega Millions, and I'll pick them up :D
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badz149  +   558d ago
MY GOD! WTH? This news came out of nowhere! Does this means that the promised Bioshock for Vita is gone too? Sad day indeed but I think they just disband so they can get out of 2k and they are forming their own studio ala Respawn or Bungie! One can hope, right?
PLASTICA-MAN  +   558d ago
What about Bioshock PS Vita ?
blackbeld  +   558d ago

Sad but its real.
Aggesan  +   558d ago
Before you leave, where is that Bioshock for Vita that you promised me?
mewhy32  +   558d ago
Well i hope that they have a great future but I would have liked so see what they could have done with the PS4.
pyramidshead  +   558d ago
it's beyond upsetting :(.

The future of BioShock games won't have Levine at the helm is devastating, that's on the assumption 2K decides to even make a next gen one. 2KMarin did a real good job on BioShock 2 to be fair.

Definitely going to be keeping an eye on what ever he makes.

Just feels like an unnecessary closure and end of an era.

Next gen BioShock games look bleak now, and that's a damn shame, despite showing some franchise fatigue and massive delays it was one of my favourite game franchises just because it was all quirky mostly playing on the FPS taking it out of the long line of military FPS shooters.
Kryptix  +   558d ago
That's very surprising since Irrational Games set a new level of story telling with Bioshock and are in no financial struggle.

According to Kevin Levine, he wants to work with a small team for his next project which in a way, doesn't make sense since he can do that while having the rest of the employees work on something else. There's so much talent at Irrational Games and the fact they have to part ways saddens me but hopefully a lot of them join other studios to share their talent with.

I wish them the best of luck and hope that they're being taken good care of after the layoffs. Enjoyed their work with all Bioshock games so they deserve the best they can possibly get.
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MWong  +   557d ago
This is so random and it sucks. I loved their games, I will miss the studio. I wonder what will happen to BioShock now?
EeJLP-  +   557d ago
@people above

Why would you want a dumbed down Vita BioShock when they can make a PS4 BioShock and you could play it on your Vita with remote play if you really wanted to? What a waste handhelds are in my opinion. (I own a Vita)

Yes, I know, for travel, etc. when you're out of range of remote play. Still, a big waste IMO.
Kidmyst  +   557d ago
Why do I have a strong feeling it has to do with Obamacare since several companies nationwide are "restructuring" to get around the new laws with it. It seem like he could just downsize and still turn over Bioshock to 2K anyways but keep the name and history of the company going. Most don't shut down a successful business, they either sell it and make Millions or continue to grow it.
-Foxtrot  +   558d ago
This is a sad day

I can't believe it, who the hell is going to create the next Bioshock games then. I mean I felt like they added the...

"There's always a lighthouse. There's always a man. There's always a city"

So they had a good reason to expand the Bioshock series into new directions. New themes, new characters, different setting, unique styles etc

So who will continue it now :|
SmielmaN  +   558d ago
Definitely unfortunate for bioshock fans, but he and his 15 man crew heading to Take-Two will be something to keep an eye on.
I_am_Batman  +   558d ago
"Who the hell is going to create the next Bioshock games then?"

I think they should put that series to rest. It's hard to imagine a Bioshock game without Ken Levine working on it. I do however look forward to see what Ken can do with a smaller team. Best wishes to all the talented people that have to go now. I hope they'll find a new job at another studio.
RetrospectRealm  +   557d ago
Irrational had nothing to do with BioShock 2. 2k Marin did it all. BioShock 2 is in no way a bad game, so we're not necessarily doomed.
Volkama  +   558d ago
It's a weird one. Studios closing down because it's a cutt-throat industry is not uncommon, even good studios. But that isn't the case here, there is no indication of any financial difficulties at all.

While I don't know the full story, my initial impression from this statement is that Ken should be taking better care of his employees. It seems a bit of a jerk move to put good people through redundancy just because you feel like doing something else. Social responsibility starts with those around you.

Having said that I don't know the full story, and I don't know what kind of support they're giving to the people being laid off. Hopefully they're doing right be them.

Good luck to those out of work.
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torchic  +   558d ago
"I'm bored, so you're all fired"

a bit from a tweet I just saw on twitter that completely summarises the whole situation.

but I refuse to believe that is the case, far too cruel and unkind. if Ken wanted to go into a new dirrection he could've easily pulled a West & Zampella and started a new studio somewhere else and take a few talents from Irrational with him.

lack of money or Take Two giving orders has to be a part of it.
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Deadpoolio  +   558d ago
Ken Levine is closing the studio, to start a smaller studio...It's not closing because 2k closed it or Infinite didn't do exceptionally well
Flavor  +   558d ago
The games industry is so unstable, with no long term employment guarantees, where the end of a project means having to find a new job and move with your family somewhere far away.

How could they do this to a successful talented team? Just because Ken wants to make casual 'indie' budget games with a higher profit margin than a big budget AAA title?

Yeah, that must be it. The money you get for making 2d low budget pixel garbage that you can play through in an hour is just as green as the cash you get for a AAA title that requires hundreds of talented people - who have to paid.
DaGR8JIBRALTAR  +   558d ago
wow! first the fat boys break up...now this!
WeedyOne  +   558d ago
It is strange...

"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"

I like all of that except for the part that says we will focus on content delivered digitally... That combined with a small team, are they making a phone game?!? I hope not!

It could mean they are going to focus on PSN games or Live arcade games... I mean every AAA type game has had at least the option to buy disks...
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Xsilver  +   558d ago
all the good news today then boom they hit you with this life is real, i loved Bioshock 1 and infinite wish them the best creative minds like ken Levine will without a doubt create another memorable game.
BX81  +   558d ago
wow. this really sux.
Anon1974  +   558d ago
Unexpected news. Bioshock was an absolute classic in my books and I'm just playing Infinite now and loving it. Good luck to their employees in their future endeavors.
starchild  +   558d ago
What the hell? This came out of nowhere. What a sad day...
Heisenburger  +   558d ago
Welp... I give up.

Monolith  +   558d ago
Just finished Bioshock Infinite a few weeks ago. Finished in part of my major back log of games catch up time before all the ps4 games start rolling in, which starts in March in to the future!
TheRatedD  +   558d ago
I liked Infinite more than either of the first 2 games, so I'm seriously bummed. This sucks.
Oh_Yeah  +   558d ago
Hopefully a studio like Bethesda picks the talent up. That'd be wonderful and they'd fit right in with games like dishonored, wolfenstien, and fallout.
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kewlkat007  +   558d ago
I bet you his next project is mobile. .
hkgamer  +   558d ago
probably, its quite crazy how much money these mobile games make. However mobile games are like a lottery its pretty hard to plan something to go viral out of nothing.
Gamer1982  +   558d ago
At first I thought they did this to get out from 2K games but the fact they are staying under 2K makes me wonder whats the point?? Downsizing is the main reason which makes me think they are just wanting to be the next telltale and make small impact games. At least thats the impression I got from the announcement which sucks really. They will pretty much be known as a one hit wonder with bioshock. Because as great as System Shock was it never hit the same heights thanks to it being pulled from shelves..
ssj27  +   558d ago
Play Bioshock 2.. a good game..

Played Bioshock Infinity a very irregular average game.. maybe is my fault I play it after playing KILLZONE SHADOW FALL.. but it's indeed a very over hyper game, same goes with Metro last light, a very average game that is very over hyped.
tjg59  +   558d ago
Bioshock infinite wasn't over hyped its story was way better than killzone shadowfalls story
e-p-ayeaH  +   558d ago
lolwut Metro last Light is a great game.
MysticStrummer  +   558d ago
Loved Bioshock.

Found Bioshock 2 so boring that I never finished it.

Never even tried Infinite. One friend loved it and raved about it, and another felt about it like I did about Bioshock 2 and never finished it.

Just goes to show… something… I forget.

Anyway, RIP Ken.
ssj27  +   558d ago
Well I never played the original bioshock sadly but I do remember people saying it was better than part 2 which confirms that this devs where going from great to good and now bad from my experience and honest point of view.
Bioshock infinity is over hyped, look at meta critics it has a 94 hahha no way that game deserve such a high score, users have a more logical number 84 which I thibk is still way to high for a very average game.. and what history are you talking about? It's very bad and very Masonic stupid paganism stuff.. you got to be a psycho to think that it's a good campaign.
Yahdaree  +   558d ago
Well that sucks.
Pogmathoin  +   558d ago
Good luck to them, and looking forward to their future....
GordonKnight  +   557d ago
Maybe games just cost way too much to make for the new current Gen. Systems.
Hugodastrevas  +   557d ago
Sony should hire all this talent at once. I wish all the best to everyone affected by this huge setback.
Globox2012  +   558d ago
MightyNoX  +   558d ago
I know, right?!?
Visiblemarc  +   558d ago
I found myself wanting to hit the agree button under your comment like 100 times.

This is......what the hell is this?!
torchic  +   558d ago
pretty incredible. if it can happen to them it can happen to pretty much ANYONE
NarooN  +   558d ago
Yep. It's shit like this that makes you realize how crazy and unpredictable real life can be.
sam_job  +   558d ago
WTF.... why but..... seriously can't believe what i am reading....
SkippyPaccino  +   558d ago

I was saying boo-urns
Mikelarry  +   558d ago
The HELLLL??????
Globox2012  +   558d ago
Bioshock series is one of the greatest to come out in the past ten years. Good Luck to everyone. :)
NYC_Gamer  +   558d ago
Ken must be tired of creating high end budget software and now wants to focus on creating smaller but quality titles
u got owned  +   558d ago
NYC_Gamer  +   558d ago
No,he is now going to focus on creating quality software in the digital space and releasing them on platforms like PSN/XBL/Steam.
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Testfire  +   558d ago
Nah, I took it as they want to make smaller Indy-type games on PSN/XBLA and hopefully PC too. Which it's good, we need these types of games, not everything should be AAA.
So it's not a goodbye, but it's unfortunate to see people laid off. At least he's giving the employees a heads up, they are a talented bunch and shouldn't have trouble finding work I hope.
Salooh  +   558d ago
He want to start fresh again. Like bioshock 1 .
Summons75  +   558d ago
Could have done that without shutting down an entire company. Even if he does keep making games people will still pay attention so they'll still end up being big.
Flavor  +   558d ago
All the smart money is moving to low budget 'indieware', sniffing the success of minecraft, dayZ, spelunky, and starbound.

The triple AAA titles cost too much to make, plain and simple.

But most of these indie games are very shallow or gimmicky... ugh not much of an advance...
DC777  +   558d ago
Yeah a shame but the cost of making a so called AAA game is absurd anymore.

Hopefully a fresh break gives him the freedom to come up with some cool new games in the future. Better than being harassed for the next 3 years about the next Bioshock.

Great franchise. Adieu.
hkgamer  +   558d ago
as long as these guys can keep to making indie games and be careful not to make something over their budget.
FogLight  +   558d ago
I just discovered that news on Twitter and I was dumbfounded...

At least I will wait till Ken is going to make his next game but seriously...
NintendoYouth  +   558d ago

Infinite is one of the best gaming experiences I have ever had.
GOTY was between TLOU GTA5 and Infinite...I could have gone with anyone of those games.

You guys created a Masterpiece.
ginsunuva  +   558d ago
They were getting too big of a developer, and they knew that devs only get corrupted by publishers once they become big and popular.
Onehandband1t  +   558d ago
A sad day for the industry, but hopefully they will flourish again later down the line
MasterCornholio  +   558d ago
Oh my.

Niv   558d ago | Trolling | show | Replies(2)
tapmybuttons  +   558d ago
Hard to beleive the developers of perhaps the best game of last gen (From a narrative perspective) is shutting down.
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yewles1  +   558d ago
Wow, what news to wake up to...
izumo_lee  +   558d ago
This is really shocking news! By the sound of things it looks like Ken Levine is kinda burnt out with AAA titles & the stress that goes along with it. Reminds me of David Jaffe & to a lesser extent Cliffy B.

I wish him & the remaining members of the team all the best & is certain they will find work quite easily with their resume.

Still i hope that the Bioshock world will live on in some form or another.
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JEECE  +   558d ago
And we've all seen how productive those two have been since they stopped making AAA console games. I seriously hope Levine doesn't join in the Peter Molyneux/Cliffy B/David Jaffe/Jason Rubin washout crowd of saying AAA console gaming is dead because of whatever is the fad that year (Wii, mobile games, tablet games, free-to-play).
Master-H  +   558d ago
Is he going indie ?
NYC_Gamer  +   558d ago
He's going to create smaller titles but T2 will continue to be his publisher.
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-Foxtrot  +   558d ago
I can't see T2 hanging around long if his next game doesn't reach Bioshock Infinite sales/reception.

I think they would be ticked off with him for closing the studio down after how well his last game did, kind of like "Why ruin things when you were doing so well (something benefiting us)"

I'm scared that the team that made Bioshock 2 will take over....look how that turned out. Watered down story, nothing innovating, bland characters, tacked on multiplayer.
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ipach  +   558d ago
he wanted to, but take-two probably threw him a bag of money and said don't go!

pretty sure everyone will be clamoring to scoop up that talent, so the employees will probably not be worse off for it (some of them may even be looking forward to leaving the cold winters of new england for sunnier pastures). if anything, perhaps we'll see an improvement in quality from a bunch of other studios now.
HumanAfterAll  +   558d ago

I don't… no…..
ZombieGamerMan  +   558d ago
So in a move that no one has thought about doing here I read the article and I' wondering is he shutting down the studio or restructuring it because that's what it sounds like.
a7xgemini  +   558d ago
That's what it sounds like to me. I don't think Irrational Games is going anywhere, I just think he is downsizing the company to refocus. Not as bad as it sounds besides people getting laid off.
adamandkate  +   558d ago
So does this mean bioshock is dead or is it owned by 2k games? i know bioshock 2 wasn't made by irrational?
ajax17  +   558d ago
Please don't make mobile games!
Relientk77  +   558d ago
Omg what :-(
lemoncake  +   558d ago
I loved every one of the bioshock games, very sad news. Bioshock i will miss you.
pwnsause_returns  +   558d ago
:( .... why?
CrossingEden  +   558d ago
I honestly teared up from this...... :( Good luck to all of the fantastic developers at irrational games.
#23 (Edited 558d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
This is something I never wanted to hear. Ken Levine is one of my favorite game developers and there is no else like him. His vision for the worlds he designs are more creative and imaginative than any other I have seen. I wish him the best with his new projects. Its just sad that we won't get another Bioshock game from him. It just won't be the same without him. I will still look forward to his new projects though even though they will be much smaller experiences.
icheerbothconsoles  +   558d ago
Can't wait to see what he's working on next. I'll miss Rapture but not Columbia. Levine is definitely one of gaming's brilliant minds.
HammerKong  +   558d ago
damn,how this can possible they made lot of money with their games ,they have mad one of the best games of last gen ,closing of irrational is like closing of naughty dog,valve,epic,remedy to me ,this is not possible ,what about the future of bisohock ,waht about the future of burial at sea and other old games ,damn this is not possible ,please say it is not true.
SpiralTear  +   558d ago
It's sad, but I'm skeptical at Ken handing the Bioshock franchise off to 2K. Irrational Games really made something special with Bioshock, so I am concerned about giving a franchise with such a unique and distinctive vision off to another company.

Not sure, but we'll see.
icheerbothconsoles  +   558d ago
Maybe EA or Activision is knocking on their door and Levine won't be a part of it? Just a thought.
Bobertt  +   558d ago
I guess they really are irrational..
DJ  +   558d ago
I don't get it. Hugely successful studio shuts down because owner feels like doing something else??
ginsunuva  +   558d ago
hugely successful studio = future corruption by big business publishers.
curtis92  +   558d ago
"In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience."

That line took me from depressed to excited.
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