• ABACADA6494 - February 18, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    So basically, Levine went "nah this whole AAA big budget stuff isn't what I want to do anymore" fired most of the employees of the company, closed shop and left a lot of people without a job all because he wanted to move on? While also not leaving Take-Two and going "indie"? I honestly just lot of respect for Levine, who I saw as a very down-to-earth, personable, and high-profile developer.
  • Redeater - February 18, 2014 4:08 p.m.

    Yeah this seems to be the general consensus. I still don't like Cliffy B. but at least he took an honorable route. Seems like a shitty thing to do to people who busted their butt for you the last 4-5 years. He could have easily started up his own studio with 15 people instead of terminating almost all of his old team.
  • ABACADA6494 - February 18, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    Exactly. Cliffy B, David Jaffe, and the others listed in the article left the studio they were at. Left the publisher they worked under, and created their own new independent studio. Whereas Levine was a bit of a dick.
  • TheSpazzo - February 18, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    Except Levine's not pulling the rug out from under his people's feet like you seem to think he is. If either of you had bothered to read Levine's post, you'd see that he's doing as much as he can to make sure that everyone who's not those fifteen get to land on their feet, including allowing them access to the studio to assemble their portfolios as well as participating in a recruiting day where lots of third-party developers will get a pass at the people who made BioShock, BioShock. But it's just so much easier to rush into things with preconcieved notions, amitrite?
  • TokenGamesRadarFurry - February 19, 2014 6:20 a.m.

    Because holding an impromptu job fair makes everyone happy! Its doubtful they're all going to get hired, and even for those that do, they'll be at a place they had no intention of being before Levine decided to make such a dick move. Its a lot easy being an apologist though, amirite?
  • TheSpazzo - February 19, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    You betcha. ;)
  • Jib-47 - February 18, 2014 6:07 p.m.

    Let me throw out some names: Rare, Criterion, Epic, id, Infinity Ward. What do all of these have in common? All studios who have had their creative leads leave and have become a shadow of their former selves. Lets face it, if Levine were to leave, Irrational would most likely go down the same road and most of those people may have lost their jobs anyway. This way Irrational is still a name people can trust to make, if not large, unique and high quality games.
  • ABACADA6494 - February 18, 2014 6:13 p.m.

    Rare got bought by Microsoft and have been making crap because of that. They lost the creativeness that Nintendo allowed them. Criterion lost their co-founders earlier this year and haven't put out a game since they left. Cliffy B left Epic (I'm assuming you're talking about Cliffy with Epic) and haven't put out a game without him yet. id lost Carmack last year and haven't put out a game or even announced a game since. Infinity Ward lost a majority of their people and with the help of Sledgehammer were able to produce MW3 and Ghosts two highly successful, critically acclaimed (relatively) games that sold millions of copies. so you know... how have most of those become shadows of their former selves when half of them haven't put out a game yet?
  • TheVoid - February 19, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    This. If Ken Levine decided to "take his ball and go home", that's his right. There would never have been an Irrational Games without him, so why should he bow to public opinion if he'd rather close those doors and leave behind something so many others tend to neglect: Integrity. And it's not like he gave his employees the finger, jumped ship and yelled from afar "you are on your own!". That wasn't the case - I imagine he has and will continue to work very hard to help those that helped him land on their feet. I haven't seen or read anything to the contrary other than a bunch of knee-jerk opinions plastered all over this comments section. If you've ever created something, something that mattered a great deal to you, you'd be hard pressed to hand the keys over to anyone else. Irrational Games was his company to do with as he saw fit - if in the end he felt it best to close the doors and ensure the company's legacy as a quality developer, then so be it. Otherwise, to Jib-47's point above (and ABACADA6494's counter-point-but-really-just-reinforced Jib-47's point below), more than likely layoffs would have occurred anyway over time with the added bonus of Irrational Games' reputation being tarnished. As it stands I imagine having Irrational Games on one's resume will count for something - can the same be said of Epic or Rare at this point? And seriously (and at the expense of the following being a bit heavy-handed) - how many of you have ever created anything that you looked upon fondly - a true child of your own invention, let alone something of "note" - something that has influenced the surrounding landscape in some way? Better to just call him an asshole than take a moment and see it from his perspective? Why bother walking a mile in someone else's shoes when it's so much easier to go knee-jerk with comments, right? I suppose I can relate a bit to Ken Levine in the sense that not only am I in a band, but I'm also chief songwriter for said band. And while I don't have a particularly strong voice, I have appointed myself chief vocalist for the band because I can't imagine someone else singing my lyrics, lyrics that are very reflective of my views and experiences. Dickish, sure, but my band, my rules. And so far the rest of the band hasn't taken much issue with that - I think they'd rather take the back seat and let me do the driving (as it were). They are great musicians but not particularly strong songwriters, which they fully admit. They see me as the leader, and I am happy lead, despite it often being the most difficult of roles. While not the case, let's say hypothetically that over time my band becomes increasingly popular, and over time money, marketing and legal matters enter the fold and begin chipping away at what made the whole experience worthwhile to begin with. And let's say I've grown weary of writing songs to fit this band's image/reputation. So I quit the band and decide to reinvent myself with other musicians, all Bowie-style (worked for him, right?). Do you think I'd be comfortable with my former bandmates carrying on as the former band? No. Do I feel that I owed them that much? No. Call me a dick, but understand this is how many creative people operate. And the worst thing you can do to a creative person is take away the freedom that allows them to be creative in the first place. Forcing them to keep towing the established line, especially if against their will, results in one thing: uninspired work, which in turn leads to disappointment, diminished returns and ultimately, failure. So instead of painting Ken Levine as the gaming industry's dick-of-the-day, why not simply say thank you for a job well done and admit you are looking forward to what he does next.
  • shawksta - February 18, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    Look on the bright side, other companies can pic up the old people who worked on it, and maybe it will bite Levine in the ass when they eventually make a great game without him.
  • g1rldraco7 - February 18, 2014 3:20 p.m.

    I feel bad for all those people that are fired and maybe this is the end of the Bioshock series.
  • winner2 - February 18, 2014 3:18 p.m.

    This makes me sad. Not just the closure itself, but the idea behind this article.

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