Would you kindly layoff a good portion of your company and leave it to start a smaller venture? That’s apparently what Ken Levine is doing now that he’s finished the Burial at Sea Part 2 DLC for BioShock Infinite. In a statement posted on the front page of the Irrational Games website, veteran producer Levine explains that he is refocusing on a smaller “entrepreneurial endeavor” at Take-Two and will be winding down Irrational after seventeen years at the helm. Although the company created such critically lauded games as System Shock, BioShock, and BioShock Infinite, Levine says he wants to create replayable narrative-driven games with a more direct relationship to the fans. Rather than go full indie, Ken Levine will stay at Take-Two to take advantage of the infrastructure.
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. 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.
Former members of the Irrational Games team will have access to the studio to beef up portfolios and resumes. Take-Two will work with the team to on opportunities within the company as well as outside interviews.