Mr. Bubbles returns!
As many of you know, the BioShock franchise is one of my favorites so to hear that it is officially returning really put a smile on my face. Especially since I was hoping it’d be back in time for the next gen systems. Yes, it’s been rumored for quite a while at this point, but to get the official word from Take Two made it all the better.
So, while they confirmed the game, they unfortunately didn’t give us much else. The press release mentioned that a brand new studio called Cloud Chamber was formed out in California, along with a sister studio in Montreal. Interestingly enough, the release also mentioned that work had just begun on the fourth entry in the series and wouldn’t be out for a few years.
I call this interesting because a new BioShock has been rumored to be in development for at least a couple years at this point. Surely, they’re a lot further than the publisher was letting on?
Well, leave it once again to Kotaku to shed some light on the situation. As it turns out, Take Two contracted Certain Affinity to handle a new game in the franchise back in 2015. Work progressed, though something happened by the end of 2016 that forced Take Two to remove the project from the studio completely. The game was brought back in house and rebooted by a small team while the publisher continued to bring in new developers to help.
Fast forward to this week when the project was officially acknowledged, though it very well might be further along than they’d have us believe.
As excited as I am for the return of this franchise, it doesn’t come without a few concerns. This is a series that takes a major toll on studios, all the way back to the original BioShock. Irrational Games rebooted the first game multiple times, as well as BioShock Infinite before it released. The studio experienced periods of crunch just to get it out the door on time.
Not only that, the franchise has directly influenced two studio closures as well. 2K Marin, who worked on BioShock 2 made it through another tough development, but fell apart and was closed following its next major game release. The previously mentioned Irrational Games was restructured and ultimately closed, giving way to Ken Levine’s much smaller studio, Ghost Story Games.
I’m also kind of curious to see where this new game takes place. BioShock Infinite really seemed like a standalone experience and they’ve already mined a lot out of Rapture. Would they go back to either location? What kind of BioShock game are we getting without Ken Levine being involved?
There’s a lot to be excited about as well as a lot to consider. Needless to say, details and a trailer would go a long way to helping this game succeed. Who knows when either will happen at this point.