More than three years after the surprising news that Irrational Games was closing down, the studio behind BioShock is back: but with a new name. The studio is now called Ghost Story, and it was formed by a dozen former members of Irrational, including controversial co-founder Ken Levine, who will serve as president and creative director of the new venture.
“Our mission is simple: to create immersive, story-driven games for people who love games that ask something of them,” the studio explains on its site. “While we believe our new games will have strong appeal to fans of BioShock, our new focus allows us to craft experiences where the gameplay is as challenging as the stories.” Ghost Story hasn’t announced yet what it’s first project will be. As with Irrational, the new studio exists under the umbrella of publisher Take-Two Interactive.
When Irrational first closed in 2014, Levine explained that the decision was made so he could focus on something smaller in scope. “I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavour at Take-Two,” he said at the time.
A month later, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Levine discussed his desire to create endlessly replayable, story-driven games. He described the process as “narrative Lego,” and explained that it would include a large focus on involving the community. “I think right now audiences want to be part of [development],” he said. “They want to play alphas. They want to be giving their feedback along the way.”