Massive Layoffs Coming for Bioshock Infinite Studio
In a post on the Irrational Games website, studio head Ken Levine announced he is laying off a large portion of the staff responsible for one of last year’s biggest games, Bioshock Infinite.
“Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one. And working with the incredible team at Irrational Games is indeed the best job I’ve ever had. 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.
I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two. 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.
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. 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.”
Levine expressed gratitude and high praise for his staff, but said the vision for his next game isn’t big budget like Bioshock Infinite was. Instead, he wants to focus on “narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable.”
In addition, he stated he originally assumed taking the traditional route to making this type of game would be the way to go, but after contemplation, he realized that moving to a smaller model was the only way to achieve what he envisioned.
Everyone at the Quest Gaming Network would like to express their sympathies for those affected, and we wish all those affected the best of luck.