Irrational Games

Location: Quincy, MA

Founded: 1997

Website: http://irrationalgames.com/

Ken Levine, Jonathan Chey, and Robert Fermier founded Irrational Games in 1997. Purchased by Take Two in 2005, the studio briefly took on the name of 2K Boston in 2007, coinciding with the release of the BAFTA Best Game award-winning BioShock. In 2010, the company reclaimed the name Irrational Games.  


Notable Products

  • BioShock Infinite
  • BioShock
  • SWAT 4
  • Tribes: Vengeance
  • Freedom Force
  • System Shock 2

What to Expect

Best known for the BioShock series—Irrational Games provided art and production assets for BioShock 2 with 2K Marin—the highly anticipated third installment (BioShock Infinite) previewed at E3 in 2011 to rave critical and popular acclaim. The game walked away from the Electronic Entertainment Expo with the Game Critics award for Best of Show, in addition to Best PC Game, Best Original Game, and Best Action/Adventure Game.

Irrational Games is headquartered in Quincy, near Boston, Massachusetts. In early 2011, they employed more than 100 people, with plans to further expand the development staff. Positions within the studio range from art, animation, and programming to marketing and brand management. The studio also employs a staff of full-time quality assurance testers (game testers). A senior QA staff member must be proficient on both console and PC platforms and be credited on at least one shipped title in a leadership capacity. A high school diploma is required, but a bachelor’s degree is preferred. Typical openings require at least two years of professional experience within a game development studio and one shipped title. Programmers interested in employment with Irrational Games should have skills within one or more of the following areas: gameplay, real-time graphics, AI, audio, physics, optimization, multiplayer, networking, or tools. Consideration of applications is based on a resume and portfolio. Hiring managers prefer samples to be submitted via a professional website or DVD/CD.

The best way to score a job is to understand the company you want to work for. To that end, take the time to explore Irrational Games’ website, especially the behind-the-scenes interviews, videos, and podcasts. There is an extensive inventory of information that can answer almost any question that you might have about the studio, its processes, and its people. In fact, if you have a question that has not been answered, just send them an e-mail or hop over to the official forum. Employees regularly invest time in communicating with fans and curious visitors. The featured employee section offers interviews and bios of Irrational staff, giving insight into the vibe of the studio and the type of professional/educational background necessary to land the gig.

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