2K Australia closes its doors

The last major AAA studio operating out of Australia is closing down.

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Michelle Starr
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2K Games

2K Australia -- the game development studio that brought us the BioShock series, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified and, most recently, Borderlands: The Pre Sequel -- has officially confirmed that it will be permanently closing the doors of its Canberra, Australia office.

2K was the last major game developer studio operating in Australia. The move follows several years of major studio closures in the country in the wake of the global financial crisis, including EA's Pandemic Studios in November 2009; THQ Australia, THQ's Blue Tongue, and LA Noire developer Team Bondi in August 2011; and EA's Visceral Games in September 2011. In November 2011, 2K Australia made cuts of 15 staff.

California's 2K Marin laid off a large percentage of its staff in October 2013, but the Canberra, Australia branch was unaffected.

It wasn't enough. In a prepared statement, a 2K representative told CNET:

We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process for 2K Australia in order to better manage ongoing development costs while improving the working proximity of our creative teams. We are very grateful for the team's valuable contributions to numerous 2K projects, and are working with affected staff to explore reassignment opportunities where possible.

2K Australia got its start in life as BioShock creator Ken Levine's studio, Irrational Games, in 1997, which was purchased by Take-Two in 2006. In 2007, the studio changed its name to 2K Boston and 2K Australia; in 2010, 2K Boston reverted back to the Irrational Games name, while 2K Australia was merged with 2K Marin. Irrational Games closed in February 2014.

The cost of operating in Australia was to blame for the closure, Kotaku reports.