2K Marin Takes Over BioShock Franchise
Just because Irrational Games has effective shut down as it restructures to become the world’s highest-profile indie-sized game developer, that doesn’t mean that their epic BioShock franchise is gone with them.
2K Marin, the studio that helped Irrational with BioShock and developed BioShock 2, has been tapped by Take-Two Interactive, 2K Games’ parent company, to once again take over BioShock and make the next game in the series.
Interestingly, it was reported that 2K Marin was downsized and effectively closed after the utter disaster that was last year’s release of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. After years in development hell, The Bureau was released last summer to aggregated review scores in the 60s. I gave it a 4/10.
2K’s California-based development studio also had a hand in working on the original BioShock and was the lead on BioShock 2 before being tasked with The Bureau. So they’re not incapable of making great games but they have a very short resume for people to look to for confidence.
In an investor conference call, Take-Two Interactive CEO, Strauss Zelnick, said about the future of the BioShock franchise:
“We haven’t given any color on how you should think about it yet except we do believe it’s beloved. We think it’s important [and] certainly something that we’re focused on, something 2K Marin will be responsible for shepherding going forward. I don’t want to say much else except to agree with you. I think there’s a lot of upside in that franchise.
“It hasn’t necessarily been realized yet. And the question for the future, assuming we decide to answer the question, would be ‘How do you stay true to that creatively?’ ‘How do you do something exciting?’ and ‘How do you do expand the market?’ That would be the natural drill. We’re starting from a good point on it. And certainly it’s been a great piece of business for us. It’s been a profitable piece of business.”
So BioShock will live on with a dev that I would suggest makes gameplay more of a priority than story. However, story is also the reason I like BioShock and Infinite more than BioShock 2. Even if the gameplay isn’t as good in the first and third games, a great story will trump great gameplay for me. I worry that BioShock will die for me even if everyone else loves BioShock 4.