The shocking closure of Irrational Games, the video game developer behind the popular BioShock franchise, back in February 2014 left a number of questions unanswered. Even now, the whole saga’s a bit confusing.
However, the gist of it is that Ken Levine and the developer’s parent companies, 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive, essentially closed Irrational in favor of a much smaller team. So, the studio still exists, and a new job posting hints at what’s next for Levine and crew.
The posting is for a Gameplay Systems Designer and Tuner for what was “formally” [sic] Irrational Games, and it exists on the Irrational Games website — which seems to itself be under heavy load. In addition to the usual stuff one might expect someone with this title to be familiar with, like working to balance several different systems and working as part of a team, there’s a few unusual tidbits.
For example, one line indicates that those hiring are looking for experience in semi-open or open-world games like Borderlands or Shadow of Mordor. Either type of game would make for a significant departure from what the developer had previously been known for, but then again, this is effectively a new developer we’re talking about. So, anything’s possible.
It’s also been known that whatever Levine’s cooking up would be a narrative-heavy game, but the new job posting goes so far as to say that folks should watch Levine’s GDC 2014 talk about narrative LEGO blocks before applying. The basic idea of the talk is that narrative can and should be broken down into the “smallest yet non-abstract elements” possible to then be recombined into replayable experiences that can change — like playing with physical LEGOs.
It’s unclear when and if whatever Levine and crew are working on at current will be revealed, but it certainly seems like they’re coding away at something — something semi-open or open-world, at that.