Take-Two Interactive Software has confirmed reports that it has acquired Irrational Games, the developer behind System Shock 2, SWAT 4 and forthcoming action RPG BioShock.
The rumours began to emerge after an email containing details of the deal was leaked. The email also revealed that BioShock is slated for a 2007 release on PC and next-generation consoles.
Irrational initially refused to comment, but now an official statement has confirmed that the developer has been acquired by Take-Two. The two companies already have a working partnership in place; Take-Two has registered the BioShock trademark and will publish the game under its 2K Games label.
"We saw a rare opportunity with Irrational Games, a development studio that has consistently produced creative and original games," said 2K Games MD Christoph Hartmann.
Irrational co-founder and president Ken Levine added: "We are excited to be aligned with a publishing label like 2K Games that shares similar development goals and vision. Fans will be blown away when they see the next-generation titles we are working on."
So far BioShock is the only game to be officially announced, although "multiple titles" are said to be in development at Irrational's US and Australian studios. BioShock is a follow-up to System Shock 2, which was published by EA in 1999.
Irrational later established a partnership with Vivendi, which published SWAT 4 and Freedom Force vs. the 3rd Reich. However, relations between the companies became strained after Tribes: Vengeance failed to become a blockbuster hit and Vivendi withdrew online support.