Bioshock Infinite: While We Wait.
Should fans be worried or feel comfort in the hands of Ken Levine?
Bioshock Infinite - the successor to the incredibly popular Bioshock - has been the darling of the gaming community since its initial announcement back in 2010. When Irrational showed us the world of Infinite, we were absolutely blown away and prepared to stuff our money down Ken Levine's thong. Unfortunately, the game has seen quite a lot of set-backs, and has been absent since its spectacular E3 2011 debut. In an indepth discussion with Kotaku, Ken Levine discussed some of the hurdles the Infinite team has faced and tries to put us at ease.
With a mass staff exodus occuring, a great number of the original Infinite team are no longer working at Irrational Games. Ken Levine spoke with Kotaku and addressed the concerns. "In a company of 200 people you're going to have turnover," Levine said. "We never like to see a guy like Nate [Wells] leave because he's been here for a long time but it's been 13 years and I think sometimes people want to spread their wings. I'm not going to stop people. We love Nate and I think we all remain friends. After 13 years he sort of finished his work on BioShock Infinite, as you will be able to tell when you see the game again… I think Nate's moving on to something else."
Although much of the original Bioshock team is still intact, the future of Infinite is still a mystery to fans of the series. Levin went on to discuss the currently assembled team. "As far as the team itself, the lead artist, the art director, the creative director, the lead effects artist, the senior sound guy, the lead programer and the lead AI programmer from BioShock 1 are all on BioShock Infinite. I don't think there's a single senior BioShock team member that isn't here, which I think is amazing and a testament to their commitment to the studio. And there are a ton of amazing people who weren't on BioShock 1 that are on BioShock Infinite."
Multiplayer was one of the rumored cuts made to the game, but time spent on that aspect of gameplay is also potentially at fault for the delays Infinite is experiencing. Although there is no guarantee that multiplayer mode has been completely canceled, two of the versions have been cut, with months of hard work dedicated to each of the endeavors.
After blowing the roof off of E3 2011, the community expected something equally fantastic at the 2012 convention, but were met with nothing. Irrational had been absent from many of the trade shows since that initial wow-ing in 2011. Levine explained that the overall breadth of the project was contributing heavily to the release date push back.
In an interesting turn of events, Rod Fergusson, Gears of War producer, has been brought into Irrational to push Infinite out the door. Although Levine declined to comment on this initial rumor and Epic never replied, Fergusson himself confirmed the move through Twitter, saying "Yes it's true, I'm leaving my family at Epic to join my new family at Irrational in Boston starting tomorrow."
Even though other rumors are spreading like wildfire, Levine insisted that Infinite is still on track for a February 2013 release. If there's one thing I really need in the gaming industry, it's a developer I can believe in - and I feel like Ken Levine is that developer.
"When you are trying to innovate," Levine said, "the path is not always clear and these things take time. But I guarantee this: The next time we show you guys the game the judge will be you, not me."