Irrational on Rumored X-COM Revival: 'Don't Believe Everything You Read'

While rumors and at least two separate resumes have suggested that the next project from BioShock veterans Irrational will be an X-COM revival, studio president Ken Levine has touched upon the subject, warning fans to keep their expectations in check.

"Without saying what product we're working on, there's stuff you read about us that has some validity, and stuff that has no validity whatsoever," he states in the February 2010 issue of print magazine Game Informer. "I can't say yes or no to any particular thing, but I can say this: Don't believe everything you read."

Irrational's BioShock (2007) and Mythos Games' X-COM (1993)

He adds: "It's amazing the stuff you read confirmed about yourself nowadays."

Having recently switched the name of its Boston branch back to Irrational--Irrational's offices were rebranded 2K Boston and 2K Australia upon the completion of BioShock--the studio has been working a project, now known to be code named Project Icarus, since 2007, with job listings suggesting a shooter with multiplayer.

But don't read too much into the code name, cautions Levine. "Because then we're setting ourselves up for catastrophic failure," explains art director Nate Wells, referring to the mythological Icarus. "Our reach will exceed our grasp and we will fall to the Earth."

Whatever Icarus turns out to be, it's previously been described as "pretty crazy ambitious, with Levine further teasing Game Informer that "it will come as a complete surprise, and it won't be a surprise at all, in some ways."

As for when Icarus will be revealed, Levine says "we're going to be dark on the project we're working on for a little while longer," noting "we appreciate everyone's patience."

And though Levine didn't say much else on Project Icarus, he did comment on the age-old rumors that internal studio drama, specifically being difficult to work with, caused a number of former staffers to transfer to BioShock 2 developer 2K Marin:

It was a little frustrating for us, because it made it appear that there was some kind of situation that there just wasn't...Take-Two had a business need to build a studio, and they wanted to expand development capacity. BioShock 2 wasn't the project for us, and it wasn't like they weren't going to make BioShock 2--they need to make BioShock 2. So we chose five people...for us, it was important that the people who had been with us for a long time--that we protected that group of people so we could have our core here. They needed a person who could lead that group creatively, and I think Jordan [Thomas] is definitely the guy that can do that...Jordan is a real talent.