Irrational Games, the studio behind the BioShock series, has begun shutting down with the majority of staff being laid off.
Studio head Ken Levine announced the closure, saying that after 17 years of Irrational he would be starting a "smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavour at Take-Two".
Take-Two is the parent company of 2K games, which was in turn the parent company of Irrational. Levine has reportedly chosen to hand over the BioShock series to 2K for any further game development that may occur.
In regards to the staff being laid off, Levine said:
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.
According to Levine the focus of his new studio will be "narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable" and will "focus exclusively on content delivered digitally".