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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Irrational Games - Now 2K Boston and 2K Australia

Default Irrational Games - Now 2K Boston and 2K Australia

August 11th, 2007, 11:32
Irrational Games has been fully absorbed into the Take Two hive with the announcement that Irrational's two studios have been renamed to the highly creative 2K Boston and 2K Australia:
New York, NY - August 10, 2007 -Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today the name change of industry leading development studio Irrational Games to 2K Boston and 2K Australia. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and with offices in Canberra, Australia, Irrational Games is an internationally renowned developer of story-driven, genre-defining games with award-winning hits like System Shock 2, Freedom Force, Tribes: Vengeance, and SWAT 4. The name changes to 2K Boston and 2K Australia symbolize the studios' further integration into the 2K Games family following their outstanding performance on BioShock™, the upcoming blockbuster available exclusively for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system and Games For Windows on August 21, 2007 in North America and in Europe beginning August 24, 2007.
"Irrational Games is widely recognized as one of the most innovative development studios in the world," said Christoph Hartmann, President of 2K. "Following their incredible efforts in bringing BioShock to life, we are proud to make the newly renamed Irrational Games studios a cornerstone of our game development family."
Recognizing the exceptional talent and creative vision that have made Irrational Games one of the industry's premier developers, 2K Games has fostered the studio's growth by substantially investing in its people, allowing Irrational Games to almost double in size since the studio's acquisition by 2K in 2005. With the upcoming release of BioShock - one of the year's most hotly anticipated titles - 2K Boston and 2K Australia, with the backing of 2K Games, are raising the bar for forward-thinking game design.
"We're proud to be part of the 2K Games family and enjoy the new opportunities and artistic freedoms this strengthened relationship provides," said Ken Levine, President and Creative Director of 2K Boston. "The name change signifies our growing position as a central part of 2K Games, and we plan to ensure our future titles continue to set new standards of quality and innovation for the industry."
For more information, visit the 2K Boston and 2K Australia websites www.2kboston.com and www.2kaustralia.com.
More information.
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August 11th, 2007, 11:32
Irrational Games is an internationally renowned developer of story-driven, genre-defining games with award-winning hits

Therefore, we've urgently got to rename them, so that instead of conveying that renown with their brand, we instead convey our brand (2K Games) which is internationally renowned for dodgy accounting practices, missed profit targets, publishing games that suddenly blow up with stupid ratings controvesies, oh and being a bunch of complete clowns for pulling dumb moves like this one.

*rolls eyes*
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August 11th, 2007, 12:35
Couldn't have put it better myself!! Stupidity, like sh…er manure, always rises to the top!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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August 11th, 2007, 17:11
So…. A city and a country?
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August 12th, 2007, 00:59
Well put SKapusniak.
Irrational has such a great name. It just doesn't make any sense to trash it and change it to 2K.
Corporate stupidity wins again.

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August 13th, 2007, 15:46
"Stupidity" is accurate. The last thing these people need is for the name Irrational to lose its identity.
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August 13th, 2007, 15:50
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
"Stupidity" is accurate. The last thing these people need is for the name Irrational to lose its identity.
But "2k Games" is a much larger name and Irrational is known only to niche folk like us. So they really aren't losing anything name-wise. I always worry more of the corporate culture effect …

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August 13th, 2007, 15:53
You're right, but studios aren't known to most people anyways. They can still put "2K" on the box regardless of who developes a game. But I'm less likely to buy a game developed by "2K Boston" than by Irrational, especially if Ken Levine leaves, which he probably will soon. And I think as people have pointed out, 2K isn't a strong brand name.
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August 13th, 2007, 16:26
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
And I think as people have pointed out, 2K isn't a strong brand name.
Sure it doesn't inspire confidence like Bioware or Blizzard or hate like Atari or dissent like Bethesda, but look at what they have:
- Bioshock
- Call of Cthulhu
- Civilization IV and expansions
- Dungeon Siege II and expansions
- Jade Empire SE
- Serious Sam II
- Sid Meier's RailRoads
- NBA 2K series and other sports games

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August 13th, 2007, 19:17
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
- NBA 2K series and other sports games
Let me guess … This was made by 2K as well, wasn't it ?
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August 13th, 2007, 19:25
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Let me guess … This was made by 2K as well, wasn't it ?
Hehe … yeah, little obvious tie-in there. But they have it for baseball and basketball and hockey across all different platforms. My point is that they are already diverse and selling loads of games even if they aren't a household name like some others.

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August 13th, 2007, 22:38
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Sure it doesn't inspire confidence like Bioware or Blizzard or hate like Atari or dissent like Bethesda, but look at what they have:
- Bioshock
- Call of Cthulhu
- Civilization IV and expansions
- Dungeon Siege II and expansions
- Jade Empire SE
- Serious Sam II
- Sid Meier's RailRoads
- NBA 2K series and other sports games
Sure, they have published some games, but they haven't developed any of those (except maybe the latest 2k sports titles, a series that they originally inherited from M$, if memory serves. These other games still had a 2k sticker on it even if their developer was Firaxis, GPG or Bioware. So, why should your average gamer be more inclined to buy another 2k product just because Bioshock now lacks an Irrational sticker/acknowledgement?
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August 14th, 2007, 04:38
They want to play in the same league with the big guys. That's why they renamed Irrational. For example, EA has its own studios, UbiSoft has its own studios and now Take 2/2K Games has its own studios (also by name - they already owned Irrational anyway) as well.

It's all about strengthening, shaping and sharpening the corporate identity/profile and keeping up with the competition. And the people who are making these decisions think long term. Irrational doesn't have much of a rep among the general gaming population to begin with and in five years at the very latest barely anyone (except for people like us) is even going to remember that they ever existed.
Your average gamer Joe could probably hardly care less whether a game comes from a studio called 2K Boston or Irrational or Westwood or EA Pacific (which is what EA renamed the original Westwood to) as long as the company is or keeps selling the type of game he's looking for.
And the kids/teenies of today who are tomorrow's hardcore gamers give even less of a **** . People grow into and out of gaming constantly. It's a very dynamic market. We old farts who refuse to grow the hell up are the exception, not the rule. If you tell a 19 year old hardcore gamer of today about Westwood and the supposedly good old times he'll probably think to himself "yeah whatever dude" and that old people suck when they get all sentimental.

Anyway, I'm going to remain optimistic until 2K Boston and 2K Australia begin to churn out crap games. There'll still be enough time to bitch about 2K if and when things start to sound weird. All that we know so far is that they renamed the two Irrational studios after they owned them for 1.5 years already and that they have doubled the staff ever since the acquisition of Irrational in early 2006. If it turns out that the sole purpose of the acquisition and of the huge financial support for Irrational was to get Bioshock out of the way and to produce a Sims killer next then that would indeed be quite unfortunate but I'd say let's wait and see until they announce their future plans.
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August 14th, 2007, 04:54
This umbrella branding thing is not without controversy. Is EA.com really as strong as EA Sports? GTA is worth billions of dollars, but who cares about Rockstar Games - all their other games over the last few years were flops?
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August 14th, 2007, 05:55
Yeah, let's bring back Origin and Make some Worlds!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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August 14th, 2007, 13:44
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
all their other games over the last few years were flops?
I thought that Bully and Table Tennis did acceptably well based on their being niche games?

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August 14th, 2007, 16:03
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
This umbrella branding thing is not without controversy. Is EA.com really as strong as EA Sports?
Well, I believe the sole purpose of this branding is to just hammer "EA" or "2K" respectively into people's heads… developed by 2K, sponsored by 2K, 2K this, 2K that… blahblahblah… ad infinitum… until you have 2K coming out your ears .
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August 14th, 2007, 16:39
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Well, I believe the sole purpose of this branding is to just hammer "EA" or "2K" respectively into people's heads… developed by 2K, sponsored by 2K, 2K this, 2K that… blahblahblah… ad infinitum… until you have 2K coming out your ears .
Everyone wants to be Apple / Sony / Nintendo / Microsoft. Pushing for that basic brand recognition is critical.

Look at it this way - 2K Games published both Jade Empire for the PC and Bioshock. There is no getting around Jade Empire as a Bioware game, but as much as possible 2K wants you to think of Bioshock as *theirs*.

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August 14th, 2007, 19:35
Hasn't EA recently had losses ?

I'm just waiting for the day the markets are saturated.
Then the bubble will burst.
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August 14th, 2007, 20:00
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Hasn't EA recently had losses ?
Yes, they did but the first quarter is traditionally not very strong so this was more or less an expected loss. Another reason is that the PS3 is lagging behind the Wii and EA doesn't have a lot to offer for the Wii yet as they didn't expect it to become such a big thing.
The third and fourth quarter will probably yield some nice profits for EA since sales are much stronger then (their new sports games will be released then and also some potential blockbusters such as MoH Aiborne, Crysis et al.). And as soon as they get their Wii act together or if/when the PS3 starts to actually sell (after a price cut) business should be back to normal for them.
It's always a bit cyclical depending on the life cycle and popularity of consoles. It's still a growing market though while the PC is pretty much stagnant.
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