When Ken Levine made the surprise announcement on Tuesday that Irrational Games was shutting down and only a small group of employees would be retained as he migrated to a new venture, one thing came to mind -- the 2008 contract negotiations between Levine and Take-Two.
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As mainstream video games strived to be more cinematic and as gaming emerged as a major source of entertainment revenues, it was only a matter of time until the talent from the film industry would attempt to get in on the action. Such a thing has indeed happened numerous times. For whatever reason, it typically has not worked out.
In an interview published in the 2012 book Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play, gaming luminary Warren Spector mentioned something of a bombshell that seems to have gone unnoticed, saying that he "did some work for Valve on Half-Life stuff" in the early, pre-Disney days of Junction Point Studios.
On LinkedIn, a Microsoft engineer says that he is working as part of the Video Cognition team "on cool new features for the next Xbox" under NDA -- something that could be more revealing than it appears to be. (He also contributed to video processing efforts for video content with containing DRM, providing an information stream for SmartGlass content.)