With Irrational 20,000 leagues under and Ken Levine off doing his own, significantly smaller thing at 2K, you might think BioShock dead in the water. You would, however, be wrong. Following on from Levine's original comment that he was leaving the series in 2K's hands, Take-Two Big Daddy Strauss Zelnick has confirmed at a recent analyst conference that the oft-divisive series will carry on and once-thought-dead BioShock 2 developer 2K Marin will do the honors.
As reported by GameSpot, Zelnick said this to a roving herd of information-hungry analysts. They slavered for knowledge, and he vomited the following into their mouths like a loving mother bird:
"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."
Mmmmm, that is one fiiiiiiiine piece of business. But I digress.
So BioShock is sticking around, and to be quite frank BioShock 2 was my favorite entry in the series anyway, so having Marin at the helm isn't the worst thing. That said, even though 2K Marin is (surprisingly) still around, it's not the 2K Marin of yesteryear, or even yesteryearbeforethat. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified's development cycle was marked by many high-profile departures, culminating in huge layoffs after it came out. Those who weren't laid off were allegedly offered positions at 2K's new Bay Area studio, headed up by former Gears of War/BioShock Infinite producer Rod Fergusson.
It's tough to say, then, what sort of state 2K Marin is even in. Maybe Zelnick was actually referring to the Bay Area studio, and he just had a slip of tongue? This is all rather confusing. I will poke at 2K and also Some Other People to see if I can find out what's up.