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Irrational Games set to close their doors

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Irrational Games, the studio behind Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite, will be closing their doors following the release of the second half of Bioshock Infinite’s “Burial at Sea” downloadable content.

In an open letter via the Irrational Games website, Ken Levine, co-founder and creative director of Irrational Games, officially announced the closure of Irrational Games on February 18. In the letter, Ken addressed his motivations for closing down the studio as well as expressing his gratitude towards those that supported both him and the studio throughout the years.

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."

Continuing in his letter, Ken explains that the closure will allow him and his newly formed team of 15 former Irrational members to create “narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable”.

The news may come as a bit of a shock to many gamers given the success and critical acclaim of the studio’s last title. However, such an unexpected decision is certainly not unheard of in the game industry. Gears of War series creator Cliff Bleszinski in similar fashion left Epic Games back in 2012, though Epic Games was not dissolved after his departure. Regardless, Cliff's announcement was sudden, and after taking a break re-entered the game development industry with more-focused and personal endeavors in mind.

Ken Levine’s new team will remain with Take-Two Interactive while the Bioshock series will be left with 2K Games, the studio behind Bioshock 2.

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 2 releases March 25, 2014.

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