AAG’s Developer Profile #9: Irrational Games

12th July 2010 - In our 9th developer profile, we look at the Bioshock series developer Irrational Games.


Developer Name: Irrational Games

Subsidiary Of: 2K Games

Founded: 1997

About: No doubt you have heard of 2K Games. So how about 2K Australia and 2K Boston? You know, the developers behind the phenomenal Bioshock? Well what you may not have known is that these Aussie/American developers actually used to go by the name Irrational Games until just before Bioshocks worldwide release. The name change lasted until very recently, when the old studios then under the 2K name decided to change back to Irrational Games. With the name change came the reopening of Irrationals worldwide community website which had, and still has a devoted following and is a definite check-out for those of you who like to know your developers a little more.

But now onto their games! Irrational broke into the industry with System Shock 2 (which I must mention is widely considered to be the spiritual predecessor to Bioshock), a great FPS RPG with unparalleled atmosphere and depth and gathered many Game of the Year awards (see the similarities here?). After a few releases which never seen the light of day, things looked bad for Irrational. Then came the release of Freedom Force, a superhero based RPG which while only gathering mediocre critical reception was released to a rather large fan base and got Irrational back in the spotlight. Next big thing on Irrational Games’ plate was SWAT 4, which is hailed as the best thing in the long-standing series and this is what really threw Irrational into the worldwide looking glass.

Everyone knew from this point on these guys were the masters of unique First Person Shooters, and the world wanted more! Unfortunately there were no more SWAT games, but what came next is arguably greater; Bioshock. No one could have guessed what this game was going to achieve, but with the sales figures and the amount of Game of the Year awards given to it, a sequel was inevitable. Unfortunately given the 2K parent, the two companies of Irrational Games (now named 2K Boston/2K Australia) were barely included. But fear not, as these masterminds are again going at it to bring you another great game! What it is, and what its about are completely under wraps at the moment, but while 2K Marin are working hard on XCOM and 2K are about to release Mafia 2, this thing is going to have to huge to meet these standards.

Past Games:
- System Shock 2 (PC, 1999)
- Deep Cover (PC, Unreleased)
- The Lost (Xbox/PS2, Cancelled)
- Freedom Force (PC/Mac, 2002)
- Tribes: Vengeance (PC, 2004)
- Freedom Force vs. The 3rd Reich (PC, 2005)
- SWAT 4 (PC, 2005)
- SWAT 4: The Stetchkov Syndicate (PC, 2006)
- Bioshock (Xbox 360, 2007)
- Bioshock 2 [ART] (Xbox 360/PS3/PC, 2010)

Upcoming Games:
- Unannounced Project (TBA)


Article By John Elliott