As creative director of 2K Boston, previously known as Irrational Games, Levine wowed enthusiast and mainstream critics alike with underwater art-deco dystopian shooter “BioShock,” which also pleased his bosses by selling 2.2 million units, garnering dozens of awards and getting optioned by Universal.

“It gives me so much pleasure that everybody underestimated our audience,” he says of the game’s success.

It wasn’t long ago that Irrational, which initially developed the game without a publisher, couldn’t give “BioShock” away, Levine recalls. Now he’s using his skyrocketing status (Levine is one of fewer than a dozen developers fans know by name) to negotiate a potentially major new deal with parent company Take-Two while keeping an eye on “BioShock 2” and working with his team on a new property.

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