Rumblings in the towers of Take-Two have gotten me wondering about the status of the BioShock franchise. GameSpot are reporting the publisher's CEO and potential movie villain Strauss Zelnick calling the series "really important" to Take-Two at a recent conference. According to Zelnick, it's so far sold a whopping 25 million units, 11 million of which were BioShock Infinite.
Zelnick has previously referred to this as one of Take-Two's "permanent" franchises, alongside Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Civilization and Borderlands. But things have so far been quiet. No future full-releases have been publicly confirmed for the series - Zelnick notes he has no announcements to make of BioShock's whereabouts. Likewise, Irrational Games are but a memory. Ken Levine is working on something about blocks or something.
But I find the business model is fascinating. Take-Two appear to be building their own personal McBusted, an all-star lineup of proven franchises whose universes will form the basis of every commercially successful video game for centuries to come. It's like game publishing by way of Herbert's Kwisatz Haderach; a breeding program designed to eliminate the genetic defects that games commercial flops. I can only assume the ofice HQ is a fortress inside of a mountain.
This has joined the ranks of the publisher's other permanent franchises, he continues. Although, Evolve's future sounds as if it's going to be less multiplayer-centric, strangely.
"As you know, Evolve is very multiplayer focused, and that’s worked for people - we've had something like 27 million game sessions played. And we've sold-in over 2.5 million units. We're really happy with where it’s going. It isn’t 10 million units... yet. But it is an important franchise for us.
"I think we come out of that experience reminding ourselves we have to have a strong single-player opportunity. But we knew that about Evolve. We think we've developed another permanent IP. But if there were something lacking, I would say it would be that it was probably a bit too multiplayer-focused, which we knew all along."
The company has, however, yet to announce concrete plans for the future. Maybe E3, eh?