Fans of Bioshock were left in a shock when Irrational Games founder Ken Levine said he plans on closing his studio to pursue a new venture. However, Levine said he had no choice and explained his move in a blog post on the Irrational Games site.

"I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I'll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two," says Levine. "That is going to mean parting ways with all but about fifteen members of the Irrational team. There's no great way to lay people off, and our first concern is to make sure that the people who are leaving have as much support as we can give them during this transition."

For now, Irrational Games will still be open for business for an unspecified amount of time to give the employees time to put their affairs in order. 

"Besides financial support, the staff will have access to the studio for a period of time to say their goodbyes and put together their portfolios," Levine adds. "Other Take-Two studios will be on hand to discuss opportunities within the company, and we'll be hosting a recruiting day where we'll be giving 3rd party studios and publishers a chance to hold interviews with departing Irrational staff." 

Irrational Games is a video game developer best known for the Bioshock series of games. Levine, Jonathan Chey and Robert Fermier founded the company in 1997. While Irrational Games may be shutting down, Levine plans on taking a small team of "about fifteen members of the Irrational team" for his new venture. Levine has stated that he plans on developing highly replayable narrative driven games. 

"In time we will announce a new endeavor with a new goal: To make narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable," Levine adds. "To foster the most direct relationship with our fans possible, we will focus exclusively on content delivered digitally."

Having spent 17 years at Irrational Games, Levine has admitted that the development of hit games such as Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite has taken its toll on him. Despite the accomplishments of Irrational Games, Levine has expressed his desire to move on to other things. The Irrational Games founder has decided on pursuing a venture with a "classical startup model" and Take-Two Interactive, the studio's publisher, is jumping on the bandwagon with Levine.  

"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."

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