The Point - Goodbye Irrational Games

Danny looks back on Irrational Games' seventeen year history, and wonders why Ken Levine has decided to close the studio.

Discussion

137 comments
dante_gunslinge
dante_gunslinge

What the heck. .what core gamer...we r the core gamers.u should not close your doors on us.

so I don't think, we r gonna see the new bioshock. :(

binderdundat
binderdundat

Game developing is everywhere, they will be fine. They can make android apps, xbla games, etc. there are so many platforms and engines to use. With there credentials, the irrational game folk will be fine. 

hasherr
hasherr

lol at the crying here. those guys made shitloads of money no doubt, they can easly not work for years. Unless they mortgaged their asses buying ferraris and stuff.

sorintitus
sorintitus

This is a very bad time to become unemployed, but the guys who worked with Lavine are talented and should find another job soon. Best of luck to Kevin in his new endeavor. Looking forward to getting my hands on his new creations.  

ninja-legend
ninja-legend

I wonder what the reason was they did not use Double Fine's system where they split the teams to make smaller games.

whynotdairy
whynotdairy

I hope Levine supports the employees that he is abandoning by references or actual job opportunities.

xeno1ith
xeno1ith

This was a very talented studio.  These people should have no problem finding new work.


Valve, Bioware, and Gearbox are great developers that are currently looking for great talent.

KingOfTheNubeis
KingOfTheNubeis

I remember the same thing happened with Looking Glass Games.

Out of that came Irrational Games.

Sometimes change is good...The king is dead, long live the king!

h8ful
h8ful

Excellent video, and always relevant gameplay clips, but you should splice in more video segments of just you talking, simply to keep the 'point' of the video on track! I find myself getting distracted from your narration because there's so much gameplay going on, with no break to reel us back in to what you're actually saying. Not trying to criticize, I just think it was more effective when you used to include more clips of yourself to stagger out the examples from the games being discussed, keep it structured!

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

I wish them luck, hopefully they go in the same direction of the creators of destiny, and not in the direction of mobile indie.

volney81
volney81

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”  - Darwin

To Irrational, thank you, farewell, and good luck.

PhilipO45
PhilipO45

It's personally very sad to see the creators like W. Specter and K. Levine, whom gave us such great story based games like Thief/System Shock/Deus Ex/Bioshock..ect, exit outside the AAA division of the industry.


Add in Yu Suzuki as well with his epic storytelling in Shenmue 1 & 2.


The combination of Specter/Levine was what delivered the deepest storyline in the fps genre, the original Deus Ex.


 There are few remaining developers whom we can count on for such great storylines inside a fps game, mainly Bethesta.


 I'm worried about the more intellectual side of fps gaming and gaming overall.


 Heck it's even been 10 years now since HL2.., and were still waiting on HL3.

 

 btw: Danny, thanks again, as your video's are the only one's that are always dead on.


 

DaRq_MiNoS
DaRq_MiNoS

There's a lot of speculation that Infinite lost a lot of money.  Everyone thinks because a game is good, it's a financial success.  They were working on this game with a huge team for 6 or 7 years, ever since the 1st Bioshock (Bioshock 2 wasn't made by Irrational).  The game sold 5 million copies, and many think that wasn't enough to cover the costs of production.  I think that's why Irrational is shutting down. 

I'm sure 2k would support them for another game, but the reins would be tight, and I don't think Levine can handle the stress of big budget games anymore.

brockelley
brockelley

Game development is a cyclical thing..like seasonal labor.. I don't see how this is in any way crazy, weird, or out of place. 


Do you pay NFL referees when it's the off season? I don't think so.

Samslayer
Samslayer

I think a little shake up here or there is a good thing! I'm really looking forward to the new material.

viris69_
viris69_

Hell yes, I am extremely excited that ken is doing this. I am an extremely huge fan of his work and cant wait to see what masterpieces he's going to create. though the loss of jobs is very sad, he obviously had a very good reason for taking the people he did with him. just make it worth it, though it shouldn't be hard for him and his team.

Jay2528
Jay2528

The saddest thing about this closing (or any closing for that matter) is how the employees losing their jobs will have to make some big changes in their lives. Even if they find new jobs, they may have to move, adapt to a new work environment, and deal with new coworkers and superiors. Things like these are never fun, I wish them all luck.

Johny_47
Johny_47

It's been nice catching up on your videos Danny O'Dwyer but I feel just nothing about Irrational games going down, I just don't. Strange, because they made the first BioShock didn't they? and that's one of my favourite games, soundtrack and all. I don't know, maybe it's because I really didn't like BioShock 2 or the newest one. Just big repetitive generic messes in my opinion.


I like the new direction he's going in though, core games is best. It sounds like how developers used to be before they started trying(and failing incredibly) to appeal to everybody, including people who don't even play games...

wasakawaka
wasakawaka

They were irrational to the end.

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

Loved the FlappyBird reference, definitely what I was joking about after I read the article. xD

mr_nee
mr_nee

I've heard they're working on a FPS version of sudoku for tablets

dahmc
dahmc

Meh. It's the current fad. Cliff Bleszinski said he's done making disc based games as well. A lot of people in the industry want to move away from AAA games. Small indie/mobile games are big right now, so a bunch of big names in the industry see a market and see that they can make the same or more money with less stress.

Just like every fad, it'll get big for awhile, then a bunch of sub-standard games will start coming out. Once the market is flooded with crappier and crappier indie games as everyone jumps on the fad, people will get their belly full and want more big AAA games again.



Swaghard
Swaghard

I love how Danny never jumps to conclusions. He simply wishes Irrational godspeed, and hopes for the same brilliance from Levin's new studio. If only I could be so... rational.

GunEye
GunEye

Looking glass? like the guys behind Thief 1 and Thief 2? what? Irrational Games are made from the guys who made THIEF???? is that true?

hikaruai
hikaruai

hmm this actually sounds like it might be a good thing...he seems like a real gamer's developer...hopefully his new team churns out something innovative and awesome...I'm glad he's not sitting back and just milking in on his success, but rather staying true to his artistic vision

plasticreality
plasticreality

My guess is he's working on narrative experiences in virtual reality, which would require a smaller team.  If he isn't, that would be sad, as it's what he should be doing.

Iranazi
Iranazi

Seems a bit selfish though, the way it was handled, usually when a developer has had enough of the mainstream they leave their company along with maybe a handful, instead of staying with a handful and making the others leave

Shouoken4Peace
Shouoken4Peace

Game development can be a stressful business if developers actually care about what they are putting out there. This isn't the first time a big-time developer has stepped away from the mainstream and it won't be the last. I have fond memories of Freedom Force and I had a ball playing through all 3 Bioshock games. For gamers, the closing of Irrational Games could turn out to be a sad story with a happier ending. Only time will tell.

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

Mr Levine remains me of Adam Levine the singer.

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

Spoilers in video for Bioshock infinite. 

Xx_DemonSoul_xX
Xx_DemonSoul_xX

That was good. Sad to see them go, but thanks for the great gaming memories.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

He isn't out of the gaming industry, so I look forward to what he puts out next.

translucent17
translucent17

damn, sucks to see irrational bite it.  Can't say im really surprised Levine seems like the kind of guy who takes his art very seriously, and I can see how having the pressure of mainstream success can take its toll. 

fadersdream
fadersdream

Agree, too many killings in Infinite.

I love that game, but in one moment you are advised to not attack because it draws attention and the next you have to kill everyone in the room to move on to the next sequence.

Jahhhhva
Jahhhhva

SWAT4 best fps ever!!

I hope to god there will one day be a 5

Born_Lucky
Born_Lucky

Levine is an America hating liberal fruitcake.


That last Bioshock  was so filled with his bigotry and hatred, he forgot to make a good game.


Good riddance .

WillyWynn
WillyWynn

Swat 4 is one of the best tactical shooters I ever played in my life, is not the best one! I played like 1000 hours of the multiplayer! And single player i played over and over again several times because every time you played is never the same!  Is one of the games with a very high re-playable value i ever played also and is quiet sad they never launch swat 5! Irrational games is one of the best studios, i also love bioshock games, they have some of best storys i ever played in games. Make you question political, religious values and so on, remarkable characters, etc and etc. I am old fashion player I love games with good storys, that kind of games make you question a lot, make you play more for discover more, make you remember characters and so on! Many years ago the games mainly focus on storys and gameplay. This last years only focus on multiplayer. They dont care about the rest. Irrational games proved the games is not only about multiplayer! 

madgame23
madgame23

I will not deny that the stories in these games were great, but they came with a lot of sacrifices to the identity of what the company was created for.  I mean didn't it take years for them to create new stuff, yet we had Bioshock 1 and 2 within a short time span then had Infinite come right after and now they moved into chapter expansions that you need to pay for.  I would think that they would get burned out from working on one IP like how the original Infinity Ward was after COD.

binderdundat
binderdundat

@hasherr  wow yeah dude are you crazy? only a small handful of people that kind of scratch in developing a game. Others work 20 hours a day for a flat salary of maybe 80,000-100,00. 

RobDev
RobDev

@hasherr  you obviously have no real idea how games development works.

RetroSEAL
RetroSEAL

@whynotdairy  He tweeted saying him and 2K were doing the best they could to ease people into the next step of their career, whether with his new team or elsewhere. Even created a hash tag #irrationaljobs for developers looking to employ ex-Irrational staff. 

wallacom
wallacom

@dahmc  its a cyclical business, just like fasion. Even AAA Games moved on towards muliplayer focus and ditching the campaign.

mastermetal777
mastermetal777

@GunEye Yeah, pretty. Ken Levine himself was one of the lead designers of Thief: The Dark Project. And Irrational Games' first project was System Shock 2.

mastermetal777
mastermetal777

@Born_Lucky Okay, 1) consider the setting. Racism in America was, unfortunately, very much the norm in 1912. He just made a what-if scenario of an America that never was. If you want to deny that part of American history, where racism ran rampant, then you need to get slapped by reality.


2) If anything, he condemned the racism and bigotry in the game. He made every character who showed even an ounce of hatred for another race turn to a dark, villainous side. Comstock was the obvious one, but even Daisy Fitzroy let her hate of the white man get the better of her to the point where *SPOILERS* she was willing to kill white children to prevent white people from oppressing them further. He shows that racism breeds nothing but hate and misery.


If you want to criticize the gameplay, that's fine. But don't you ever think that Ken Levine is ever a racist when the evidence clearly shows he's against it.

larkin-54
larkin-54

@Born_Lucky  you're an idiot, he mocked bigotry it was fantastic, take your xenophobia elsewhere