2K Marin Creative Director Jordan Thomas has left the company to create his own independent gaming studio with an unnamed partner. His works with the company include consulting for BioShock, directing BioShock 2 and helping flesh out Irrational Games’ BioShock Infinite.
Thomas says it was his work with BioShock Infinite and seeing Ken Levine’s legacy flesh out which led him to believe he could make the jump into the indie world.
“I’ve expanded that legacy here and there, but I could never have created it from scratch. I need to build something that is, to me, what BioShock is to Ken. No matter how long it takes, I have to start now.”
2K Marin is currently primed and ready to release The Bureau: XCOM Declassified on Aug. 20th this year, but Thomas claims that he left the project in 2012 after it underwent some major gameplay changes. His departure will have little effect on the game.
Turning from immersive experiences like Thief and BioShock, Thomas hopes to create a relatively small project he and his partner can complete without expanding too far into AAA territory.
“But we’d love to keep it as lean as possible for now, in the hopes that we’re not writing checks our asses can’t cash. Indie ambition is its greatest strength and its greatest weakness.”
For what it’s worth, BioShock 2 is a horribly underrated game. While most of the cynical gaming world sees it as nothing more than a pointless cash grab sequel, there are a lot of wonderful combat ideas and immersion which were able to expand enough on BioShock‘s premise.
It used to be that indie gaming paved the way for developers to go AAA, but doesn’t it seem like the other way around now? Under appreciated and over-worked developers on huge projects have been fleeing in mass exodus to start their own personal projects, and I can’t help but congratulate them in their risks to support a the indie model for the future.
The triple AAA tower is crumbling under its own weight, and indie is where the world is at now. Hopefully more talented people follow in the footsteps of Jordon Thomas before they get lost amongst the rubble.