Despite BioShock Infinite’s appearance on many ‘Best of 2013’ lists (including our own), the studio behind the game is ‘winding down’ early this year. There has been some debate about what exactly winding down means, but we know for sure that everyone except co-founder Ken Levine and 15 others have been laid off. As is always the case when a major studio shuts down – or close to it – a whole lot of employees will be left without of a job.
When the winding down announcement came out a few weeks ago, Levine acknowledged that many great employees would soon be on the job market and that other studios shouldn’t waste any time trying to headhunt and recruit the talent. During the last week of February, the folks at Irrational Games did their best to help out the 75 former employees that are back on the job market by facilitating some mass interviews.
Levine’s initial statement explained that Irrational officials would “make sure that the people who are leaving have as much support as we can give them during this transition.” Those efforts included both financial support and a recruiting day that took place on February 26. An Irrational representative told Polygon that 57 different game studios showed up at the job fair.
The 57 studios in attendance included other subsidiaries of Take-Two Interactive in addition to external companies. The attendees were given the opportunity to meet and interview the former Irrational employees. The group of laid off workers includes 70 permanent employees and five contractors.
As Levine’s new team splits off to begin work on smaller, digitally delivered games for Take-Two; everyone will be sending well-wishes to the talent left behind trying to land on their feet. Hosting the career fair was definitely a classy gesture, but at the end of the day many of the workers will be forced to pick up their lives and relocate to whichever studio will take them in. This is definitely part of the nature of having such a specialized career path, but that doesn’t make it any easier for them.
Meanwhile, gamers will likely have to wait a few more years before 2K Games publishes the next chapter in the BioShock saga. 2K confirmed that the company believes there are still many stories left to in the BioShock universe, but there has been no word about which developer will step into Irrational’s shoes to bring the game to life.
What developer do you think would be the best fit for the BioShock franchise? Sound off in the comments.
Follow Denny on Twitter@The_DFC.