Original Irrational Games Logo.


Logo of the division during its renaming after 2007.

Irrational Games (known briefly as 2K Boston, Inc/2K Australia Pty. Ltd.) was founded in 1997 by previous employees of Looking Glass Studios, Ken Levine, Jonathan Chey, and Robert Fermier. Irrational Games is the multi award winning developer of titles such as System Shock 2, Swat 4, and Freedom Force. At its largest point Irrational had two studios, one in Quincy, Massachusetts, USA just outside Boston and the other in Canberra, Australia.


On the 9th of January 2006, Irrational Games became part of 2K Games after being bought out by Take 2 Interactive, and on the 10th of August 2007 their studios were renamed as 2K Boston and 2K Australia. Shortly after BioShock was released, rumors arose that many of the staff who had worked on the game were leaving 2K Boston/Australia. A substantial number did leave, but five members of the 2K Boston team moved to a new 2K Games studio in Novato, California.[1] Soon after, 2K Games announced the formation of 2K Marin in Novato.[2] The Canberra studio ("2K Australia") separated from the Boston studio at some point after 2007, and merged with 2K Marin in 2010.

In January of 2010, 2K Boston returned to its previous widely respected name, Irrational Games, and adopted a new logo.


  • 1997 – Boston studio formed by former Looking Glass Studios employees Ken Levine, Jonathan Chey, and Robert Fermier.
  • 1999System Shock 2 released to critical acclaim.
  • 2000 – Irrational Canberra opens, with Jonathan Chey taking the helm. Deep Cover is canceled.
  • 2002 – Legal issues with publisher Crave Entertainment result in the development of The Lost being halted.
  • 2004 – Irrational designers Ed Orman and Dean Tate awarded "Best Design" in the Australian Game Developer Awards, as well as the studio receiving "Best Game of 2004" and "Best PC Game".
  • 2005 – Irrational's Boston studio moves to larger office space in Quincy, Massachusetts. The studio retains the "Irrational Games Boston" title.
  • 2006 – Irrational is acquired by Take-Two Interactive, under the 2K Games publishing arm.[3]
  • 2007 – Irrational Games is renamed as 2K Boston and 2K Australia.[4] BioShock released August 21 to wide critical acclaim and strong sales.
  • 2010 – 2K Boston announces its return to its original name, "Irrational Games".[5] 2K Australia merges with 2K Marin[6] and announces XCOM on April 14th.[7]
  • 2013BioShock Infinite released on March 26. It received wide critical acclaim.


On the 18th of February 2014, Ken Levine has announced that Irrational Games would be closing, with 15 members of its staff following Levine to a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two, aimed to focus on digitally distributed games with a replayable narrative for the core gamers. 2K Games will hold the rights to the BioShock series.[8] While technically closed, Ghost Story Games headed by Ken Levine, seems to be keeping a strong connection to games put out Irrational (BioShock and BioShock Infinite in particular) as well as maintaining an archived copy of the Irrational Games website. It could be fair to say that Irrational Games went through a major reconstruction rather than being shut down.


External linksEdit


  1. Q&A: Ken Levine talks BioShock, reminisces about X-Com. GameSpot (2009-03-20). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
  2. Take-Two confirms 2K Marin. GameSpot (2007-12-17). Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
  3. [1] [Dead link]
  4. "Irrational Games Renamed 2K Boston and 2K Australia" press release by Take Two Interactive on BusinessWire
  5. "The Return Of Irrational Games" article by Joe Juba on
  6. Plunkett, Luke (2010-04-16). 2K Studio Name Madness Continues With New XCOM Game. Kotaku Australia. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  7. Meer, Alec (2010-04-14). Enemy Known: XCOM's Baaaaaaaaaack. Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  8. Notice on Irrational Games' site (2014-02-18). Retrieved on 2014-02-19.

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