[UPDATE] Take-Two reverts BioShock studio 2K Boston back to its original name; new community-oriented Web site launches.
The Irrational Games name became a synonym for quality in the late 1990s and into the 2000s, thanks to a string of highly regarded releases such as System Shock 2, Freedom Force, and SWAT 4. However, that reputation seemed to be squandered in 2007, when Take-Two Interactive changed the moniker of the studio and its Down Under extension to 2K Boston and 2K Australia, following its acquisition.
More than two years and the highly acclaimed BioShock later, Take-Two is reverting 2K Boston back to its original branding. GameStop-owned magazine Game Informer reports that the studio has returned to its Irrational Games name. According to the magazine, the move came about due to the frequent phrasing of the company's name as "2K Boston (formerly Irrational Games)," which the studio felt was indicative of strong brand recognition.
Along with the name change, GI reports that Irrational will soon redouble its community outreach efforts, courtesy of a newly renovated Web site. At present a countdown timer set to expire tomorrow, January 12, at 8 a.m. PST, the site will reportedly soon play home to an array of community features, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at game development and the studio's previous projects such as System Shock 2, Freedom Force, and BioShock.
[UPDATE] As expected, Irrational's new Web site launched this morning. As reported, the site plays home to a range of community-outreach features, ranging from blog posts from the developers to forums to the new Irrational Behavior podcast. It also contains information expected from a developer's Web site, including job openings, projects, and other details about the studio.
Headed by Ken Levine, Irrational Games is currently at work on an as-yet-unannounced shooter. Speculation is rife as to what the shooter project could be, with online rumors pointing to a new entry in the X-COM series or a follow-up to SWAT 4. The studio was also said to be working on a revival of Take-Two's Spec Ops franchise, but that project was recently announced to be in development at the German studio Yager.
@ TheAustrian I was aware of that. But EA does own the rights to System Shock. And initially when first previews of dead space were revealed, it was rumored that it was to be an "unofficial" sequel of System Shock. Many still think that Dead Space was developed as System Shock 3 but later changed into a totally new IP. Alas such rumors were not proved by EA. Personally I see Dead Space as closer to System Shock survival horror experience than Bioshock ( and Bioshock 2 is starting to look even more distant from that experience :( ). I'm excited that Dead Space 2 is said to take place on a giant space station. If only they could get some form of insane rogue AI in there and I'll be more than happy. PS: Is that from Chrono Cross? :)
@freema Irrational didn't create Dead Space. EA Redwood Shores (now Visceral Games) did. Dead Space and System Shock 2 are of no relation. Even so, a new System Shock would really great.
It better not be X-COM FPS or I'm going to lose whatever little respect I still have for these guys :(. Isn't Bioshock 2 multiplayer team deathmatch enough punishment for us old Irrational fans? Please make a real spiritual successor for System Shock series for PC. I'm sorry but as good as Dead Space was, it just wasn't System Shock 2.
Changing the name doesn't mean a thing to me. How devious :) They want to trick the old fans back. Well the main difference being that back when they came up with System Shock 1 and 2, well-designed smart gameplay actually counted. As to now ... possible FPS multiplayer sequal to X-COM? System Shock deathmatches? I'm sorry but this article doesn't make me orgasm in my pants with geek glee as Take-Two, Ken Levine, and Gamespot obviously intended. Shame on you Ken for ... (I'm not gonna say it :P)
I too would like to see System Shock 3. Also, Irrational should make a biopunk game. They're done Cyberpunk with Deus Ex and Steampunk with Bioshock, making a game out of the last category could be really sweet :).
makes total sense to me .. Irrational Games is a much much cooler name than 2K Boston .. for christ sake you can't even tell what kind of a company is 2K Boston! its more of law firm's name than a video game developer. and yeah .. is there no chance at all that we'll see Freedom Fighters 2? I mean EVER?!
For some reason any 2K company I don't take seriously since all I can think is they make sports games, and I don't like how they make a company then add the city name after each branch, I will remember that 2K made Bioshock, but even after reading the article i don't remember the exact branch.
System Shock 3 would be the best thing ever, but EA has the rights... So ATM I'm hoping for a new X-COM game that is good... Still it's meant to be on the Unreal 3 engine and is a shooter... SWAT 5 maybe?
A new X-Com game would be good,played the first one loved it but the turn based game styled turned me off i only like it in the civ games and the UFO game i like the RTS style but the games lost their way after aftershock
System Shock 2 is still installed on my PC.. And as good as Bioshock was it is no where near the game SS2 is. SS2 is one of the best games of all time. I would be so very much behind a decent X-Com Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense sequel but in no way dumbed down. Keep the Geo-scape and base management system, trying to modernize the Isometric view and time unit allocation system would more than likely take away from what was brilliant about UFO Defence and Terror from the Deep. The so called improvements to the X-Com games become more apparent as major flaws in the later UFO games Afterlight, Aftermath, Extraterrestrials etc
Bioshock was great... System Shock 2 was better, much better. Another "proper" System Shock would be fantastic. X-COM FPS? Not interested! Give me Enemy Unknown PART 2 rather!
@parrot_of_adun Yeah, its true. I was REALLY disappointed at BioShock. Only because I was expecting more of an SS2 clone, in terms of gameplay. But in reality, it was a direct ripoff of the story from SS2. Its pathetic. Everything is exactly the same, but don't get me wrong, BioShock was a good game. But, System Shock is much better.
SWAT 4 was the only game they made that I've played. Being a long fan of the SWAT series, I hope this means there is hope for a new SWAT game. SWAT 4 was for the most part pretty good but it just didn't translate everything SWAT 3 had to offer.
I wouldn't say they 'revived' anything. All that has happened is that 2K Boston has switched back to their old company name. It is not like anything has changed internally, just whatever game they have been working on will have a slightly different logo on it come release date. It is pretty far fetched to say that they are going back to old school titles just because they reverted back to their old name. Agreed with parrot_of_adun, I would care if they 'revived' one of their old titles, but not their company name.
Nice, but I'd rather they revived some other things... Like System Shock (well, if they got the rights back). Oh, and to those that thumbed down Skyblue69, It obvious you guys have only ever played Bioshcok, which on it's own is a good game, but only because it's a direct copy of SS2 with a some small differences (all of which are worse in BS). Go play SS2, moddb.com has an WinXP fix I believe.
if it sells more games, good move. Names can definitely make a difference if long-lost players recognize it.
I dont want a sequel, i want a new IP, we all like sequels but we need new IPs to keep things fresh in the industry. I dont want any sequel or spiritual successor i want something new, id say i want a quality take on a license but those are rarely executed properly.
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