Take-Two Still Sees Life In Bioshock

by on 05/28/2015

After Bioshock Infinite and its DLC content were released, Ken Levine voluntarily shut down his production studio Irrational Games and announced he was moving to quieter, more indie pastures. It’s understandable. With less money on the line there’s no pressure to fit in X popular element or Y demographic trend, and the product can’t be watered down by nervous execs who want the safest bet possible. This kind of thinking already hurt the gameplay in Bioshock Infinite, which felt uninspired and a step down from the thinking man’s challenge that made the original so popular.
The company Irrational Games worked for, Take-Two, still owns the Bioshock brand and characters. You might be thinking without Levine and his team, there’s no possible way they can continue the series. (Levine slyly hinted as much in the Bioshock Infinite ending.) Take-Two isn’t thinking this, and they’d like to continue the Bioshock brand in the future, however they plan to accomplish that.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick spoke today at the Technology, Media, & Telecom Conference in New York, and said “It’s a really important intellectual property for the company. And while I don’t have any announcements to make, yes, it’s a really important franchise for us.”
It was around this time one year ago, during a different press conference, that he was a little more specific about what that entailed. “I think there’s a lot of upside in that franchise,” he said. “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.”
Profitable and good are sometimes two different things, and neglecting the latter can cause the former to topple as well.

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