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'Bioshock' studio Irrational Games is closing so Ken Levine can start something new

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Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock Infinite

The studio behind the Bioshock series is going away. "I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it," studio head Ken Levine says. According to Levine, this will involving parting ways with "all but about 15 members of the Irrational team" following the completion of the last bit of downloadable content for Bioshock Infinite. But while the 17-year-old company is shutting down, Levine himself isn't parting ways with Irrational's publisher. "I'll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavour at Take-Two," he says. The new venture will focus on replayable narrative-driven games that will only be released digitally.

"If we're lucky, we'll build something half as memorable as Bioshock."

"Initially, I thought the only way to build this venture was with a classical startup model, a risk I was prepared to take," says Levine. "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." As for those losing their jobs, Levine says they will have a lengthy grace period, and that Take-Two will be holding a recruiting day so that the publisher's studios, as well as other third party studios, can hire former Irrational staff.

With Levine focused on new properties, the future of the Bioshock series will be handled by Take-Two. While Irrational developed the original Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite, Bioshock 2 development duties were handled by 2K Marin, one of the company's many internal studios. "If we're lucky, we'll build something half as memorable as Bioshock," says Levine.