Levine's smaller studio to be focused on narrative-driven games with great replayability.
By Tim Colwill on February 19, 2014 at 8:22 am
In a move that basically everyone in the industry would describe as “completely unprecedented”, Ken Levine has announced that he will be winding down Irrational Games and moving on to create a new studio.
“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,” said Levine in a statement on the company’s website.
“In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience.”
Levine explained that his new goal was to create “narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable”, with an exclusive focus on digitally delivered content.
“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,” continued Levine. “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.”
“Thanks to Irrational and 2K’s passion in developing the games, and the fans who believe in it, BioShock has generated retail revenues of over a half billion dollars and secured an iconic place in gaming. I’m handing the reins of our creation, the BioShock universe, to 2K so our new venture can focus entirely on replayable narrative. If we’re lucky, we’ll build something half as memorable as BioShock.”