This week saw the shocking news of Irrational Games “winding down” its operations and BioShock creator Ken Levine moving on to pursue other dreams within the halls of Take-Two. Many wondered if his departure would mean the end of the beloved FPS franchises after only three games.
2K Games has spoken out on the issue, reaffirming its dedication to the BioShock series through GameInformer and stating that more games would be on the way.
“BioShock is one of our most beloved and critically acclaimed franchises, and we are indebted to Ken and the talented team at Irrational Games for their contributions to the series with BioShock and BioShock Infinite; the latter being one of the most decorated games of 2013. The BioShock universe remains a rich creative canvas for many untold stories, and we look forward to exploring the next BioShock experience.”
What will BioShock be without its captain at the helm, though? In all fairness, BioShock 2 is a wonderful game that takes a little too much flack for essentially being a needless sequel to a timeless masterpiece. 2K Marin pulled out all the stops to make a game from the pieces the first game left in its wake, and it might not be the “best,” but it could be the “most fun” of the three.
A bigger question is “Should 2K Games be pushing forward with BioShock?” We’ve seen it time and time again this last console cycle. God of War, Gears of War, Halo, Batman, Mass Effect, Uncharted, Dead Space. These series made in the west simply don’t have the lasting power the Japanese franchises do to hit the double-digits because they can’t evolve enough beyond their original ideas.
Releases are too quick. Developers are shuffled. Creativity is peaking with the second entry or sometimes the third. Along comes someone else to handle the franchise and it barely registers a blip on the radar in the grand scheme of the series’ legacy. God of War: Ascension, Halo 4, Gears of War: Judgement, Batman: Arkham Origins. Anybody seeing a pattern here?
Now is the perfect time to step back and realize that we had three great games with the BioShock label. Do we really need anymore?
It’s okay to walk away, because only damage can be done to BioShock at this point. Of course, I would love for 2K Games to prove me wrong.