The Irrational Games name became a synonym for quality in the late 1990s and into the 2000s, thanks to a string of highly regarded releases such as System Shock 2, Freedom Force, and SWAT 4. However, that reputation seemed to be squandered in 2007, when Take-Two Interactive changed the moniker of the studio and its Down Under extension to 2K Boston and 2K Australia, following its acquisition.
More than two years and the highly acclaimed BioShock later, Take-Two is reverting 2K Boston back to its original branding. GameStop-owned magazine Game Informer reports that the studio has returned to its Irrational Games name. According to the magazine, the move came about due to the frequent phrasing of the company's name as "2K Boston (formerly Irrational Games)," which the studio felt was indicative of strong brand recognition.
Along with the name change, GI reports that Irrational will soon redouble its community outreach efforts, courtesy of a newly renovated Web site. At present a countdown timer set to expire tomorrow, January 12, at 8 a.m. PST, the site will reportedly soon play home to an array of community features, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at game development and the studio's previous projects such as System Shock 2, Freedom Force, and BioShock.
[UPDATE] As expected, Irrational's new Web site launched this morning. As reported, the site plays home to a range of community-outreach features, ranging from blog posts from the developers to forums to the new Irrational Behavior podcast. It also contains information expected from a developer's Web site, including job openings, projects, and other details about the studio.
Headed by Ken Levine, Irrational Games is currently at work on an as-yet-unannounced shooter. Speculation is rife as to what the shooter project could be, with online rumors pointing to a new entry in the X-COM series or a follow-up to SWAT 4. The studio was also said to be working on a revival of Take-Two's Spec Ops franchise, but that project was recently announced to be in development at the German studio Yager.