Irrational Games Interview

Joystiq was able to corner Irrational Games frontman Ken Levine for a Q&A about the company's recent name change from 2K Boston, their plans for the newly launched website, some of the games they've worked on that were never released, and more.
Joystiq: Why does a studio that's well-known for focused single-player experiences need such a robust community site?

Ken Levine: I don't think that single player ... I don't think community is just for multiplayer. People like talking about the games. You go to Cult of Rapture, BioShock was a single player game and there's a lot of people on that site. People want to learn about us, they want to learn about other people playing the game, they want to learn what's happening at the studio. They want to know about the the integration behind stuff we did. Maybe I'm high, I just don't make the connection between multiplayer titles and a web page.

We've known this change has been in the works since last March during GDC, where members of your studio were wearing shirts that hinted toward this name change. What was the impetus for putting so much effort into trying to create a community around Irrational with the site? Why was that so important?

We've had a big community, back in the day when we did Freedom Force. We had a huge website that supported them. It kinda broke our heart a little bit when that went away and we converted to 2K Boston. When we took the name back, Take-Two was kind enough to agree and allow us to build our community. ... I really wanted a website that was about interacting with fans. I don't really care about the marketing stuff, that's handled elsewhere. This is not a site where you get five flash videos selling you a product. This is a site about the audience and about the audience getting a better understanding of what it's like to work here, be here and getting us a better understanding of what they like and don't like about our games.