According to unconfirmed reports from employees of developer Irrational Games, the company has been acquired by U.S. publisher Take-Two Interactive. The two companies have already been working in close conjunction, with Take-Two registering the trademark for and agreeing to publish Irrational’s forthcoming game BioShock
has been variously described as the spiritual successor to System Shock 2
(the trademark for which, perhaps coincidentally, Electronic Arts was yesterday reported to have renewed), which was the developer’s first game in 1999. Subsequent titles have included Freedom Force
, Tribes: Vengeance
and SWAT 4
– produced from the company’s Boston and Braddon, Australia studios.
The staff e-mail allegedly describes the release date of BioShock
as being 2007 for the PC and next generation consoles, which suggests significant confidence in the game’s quality on the part of Take-Two – with the developer not known to be working on any other titles.
Despite disappointing financial results
in 2005, this new acquisition is another example of Take-Two’s attempts to expand its portfolio beyond the Rockstar and 2K Games brand. As was the case with the purchase of Civilization developer Firaxis Games
last November, Irrational Games are best known for their PC titles suggesting that Take-Two stills attaches considerable importance to the format.
[UPDATE: 2.41pm PST
A press release has confirmed the legitimacy of the above story, including the proposed 2007 release date for BioShock
"We are excited to be aligned with a publishing label like 2K Games that shares similar development goals and vision," said Ken Levine, co-founder and President of Irrational Games. "Fans will be blown away when they see the next-generation titles we are working on."
Thus far, only BioShock
has been officially announced for publication, though the press release does claim that the studio is developing "multiple titles" at both its American and Australian studios.]