2K Studio Name Madness Continues With New XCOM Game

Thanks to a confusing set of press releases and an even more confusing name change, most people aren't sure who to thank/blame for the development of the new XCOM game. So let's set the record straight.

I spoke with Martin Slater, studio director of the former 2K Australia office in Canberra this morning. The fact I said "former" should tip you off that some changes have been made.

The studio once known as 2K Australia, and before that as Irrational Games (Canberra), is now known as... 2K Marin. The 2K studio in Marin, California is also known as 2K Marin. Despite there being 7500 miles of Pacific Ocean between them. Confusing? You're not alone.

The change was made recently for a number of reasons. Firstly, the development teams in Marin and Canberra have been working together for a number of years, first on BioShock 2, now on XCOM (and will continue to do so for future projects), so a decision was made to bind the two together, bring them under the one name (so "2K Australia" no longer exists). That way, 2K felt it wouldn't need to keep differentiating between them, and could just say "2K Marin" and know it covered both.

But why Marin? Why not call it 2K Australia, or come up with something new altogether? Slater says the publisher went with Marin because that name was already an "established brand", thanks to the success of BioShock 2, something 2K Australia - which hadn't led development on a project since 2004's Tribes Vengeance, when it was known as Irrational - lacked.

The partnership means the two studios will be able to run projects concurrently; BioShock 2 was done primarily by Marin, with Canberra's help, while XCOM is being led by Canberra with assistance from Marin.

So, there you have it. We've learned two things from this. One, XCOM is being developed primarily in Australia, and two, 2K really need to stop changing the names of their studios every 18 months, because it's ridiculous we have to make posts like this just to clear things up!


    I hated it when Irrational Australia was changed to 2K Australia....now the Australian studio isn't even called Australia/Canberra, it is named after an international city. Stop ripping the faces off our companies (or closing them down).

      since when was it our company ever it was merely a subsidiary studio for 2K

      if they dont have there own personal project theres not much point in them having a seperate name other than givin Aus a lil Credit

      Just be nicer if it was something other than a place

    So now the gaming media will have to call them 2K Marin^2 and 2K Marin Australia.

    So does that mean we now have a 4K Marin and a 2K Marin Australia?

    OK OK ... I'll stop it now.

    Just like Universities have multiple campuses. I suspect usually they'll just be referred to as 2K Marin, which hides the amount of Australian involvement.

    Depending on your perspective this is either a good or a bad thing. If people know 2K Marin covers Australia then they might think any games from 2K Marin had significant Australian involvement.

    On the other hand, people probably won't know 2K Marin does cover Australia

    "Slater says the publisher went with Marin because that name was already an “established brand”

    lolwut. You're not Nintendo, 2K. Don't think people will buy games based on your brand name just yet...

    If it changes to "Irrational Marin" at some point, it will sound like some sort of fish.

    The Canberra office could be "Irrational ACT".
    That would be awesome.

    Or, they could name the two studios after the Canberra studio, and call them:
    ACT 1, Take 2.
    ACT 2, Take 2.

    They really should have just kept the "Irrational Games" name for the Australian studio. It made it much easier for me to keep track of what one of my favorite studios was working on (see System Shock 2, Freedom Force, Tribes Vengeance, Bioshock, etc).

    this is very Irrational

    The studios nickname should be "Cheech". Sounds better all round.

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