Update: According to 343 Industries designer David Ellis, the company is actively hiring for a number of positions and has requested that members of the Irrational team reach out to them.
@DavidEllis I need your number.
— ShawnElliott (@ShawnElliott) February 18, 2014
Original Story: Ken Levine is “winding down” Irrational Games in order to start a new, smaller studio at Take-Two, the creator of BioShock announced today in a post on the company’s official website.
“Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one,” Levine wrote. “And working with the incredible team at Irrational Games is indeed the best job I’ve ever had. 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. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience.”
According to Levine, while there’s “no great way to lay people off,” his first priority is to make sure those at Irrational who aren’t joining him on his next endeavor are provided for. This means financial support, but also hosting a “recruiting day” during which third-party studios and publishers can interview potential candidates.
As for the fate of the BioShock series, Levine is “handing the reins” to its universe over to 2K, meaning even after the second episode of Burial at Sea, the BioShock brand will live on in some capacity. Levine and his new outfit—comprised of about 15 other members of the Irrational team—will “focus entirely on replayable narrative” in games designed for “the core gaming audience.”
“If we’re lucky, we’ll build something half as memorable as BioShock,” Levine wrote.
We at EGM wish everyone at Irrational the very best of luck.