Close
Report Comment to a Moderator Our Moderators review all comments for abusive and offensive language, and ensure comments are from Verified Users only.
Please report a comment only if you feel it requires our urgent attention.
I understand, report it. Cancel

Zelnick: 2K Marin now "responsible for" Bioshock franchise

Zelnick: 2K Marin now "responsible for" Bioshock franchise

Fri 30 May 2014 8:35am GMT / 4:35am EDT / 1:35am PDT
Development

And Take-Two CEO calls Red Dead Redemption a "permanent franchise"

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick made some revealing comments about the company's best-loved franchises yesterday,suggesting a new Red Dead Redemption is on the way, and that Bioshock has not been forgotten.

The future of the BioShock franchise has been unclear since its home studio Irrational closed in February, but Zelnick made clear that it was still a priority for the company.

"We haven't given any colour 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," he told the Cowen and Company analyst conference, as reported by GameSpot.

The mention of 2K Marin has surprised many, given the reports last October that staff cuts had taken the employee count to zero and effectively closed the studio.

Former 2K Games UI artist Pat Guarino addressed the issue on Twitter. "Hell there are probably about five people left there that had any contribution to Bioshock 2 at all," he told followers.

"I think there's a lot of upside in that franchise," continued Zelnick on the subject of BioShock.

"It hasn't necessarily been realised 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."

He explained that Take-Two had taken a "selective" approach to titles since 2007, but admitted mistakes had been made. One of those mistakes, he said, was Duke Nukem, which he called a "misguided decision on my part."

"I pretty much know the [franchises] that I can assure you are permanent. It's obvious that GTA is a permanent franchise as long as we keep delivering this incredible quality; it seems quite obvious that Red Dead is a permanent franchise, again with the same caveat, or Borderlands, for example, and NBA and others," he added.

"But not everything is going to be a permanent franchise. We can do very well even if it's not. I would like to see us grow with a couple more great franchises in the next couple years and we're launching Evolve; we have very high hopes for that."

16 Comments

Does it mean they are resurrection 2K Marin?

Posted:4 months ago

#1

Richard Browne EVP Gaming and Interactive, Evergreen Studios

103 117 1.1
Bioshock isn't a profitable franchise, much as I loved the first. I really doubt T2 are daft enough to build another one.

Posted:4 months ago

#2

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

358 215 0.6
5ish million copies of Bioshock Infinite isn't profitable?

Posted:4 months ago

#3

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Well, it's not super profitable when they spend 5+ years developing and redeveloping the game. Reading about how they iterated Infinite I could easily see it going over budget. If they stay focused though and just produced a fun game based on similar themes and visuals, I bet they could be quite profitable. People like their games, just not enough to spend a fortune making them.

Short of making another AAA Bioshock game like Irrational would, I totally wouldn't mind playing more games that take place in Rapture, Columbia, or some variation on the theme, maybe without the adventurous bells and whistles like developing a naturalistic AI sidekick.

Posted:4 months ago

#4
Might be interesting to between rapture and Columbia

Posted:4 months ago

#5

Richard Browne EVP Gaming and Interactive, Evergreen Studios

103 117 1.1
Jeff - given the time it took and the marketing budget I highly doubt it. They'd have been far better off putting the money in the bank.

Posted:4 months ago

#6

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Dr. Wong, if you haven't played Burial at Sea Part 2, you should. It's one of my favorite Bioshocks.

Posted:4 months ago

#7

Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments

302 383 1.3
@Tim : there's obviously some market for "expansion pack" content in both settings, but bioshock 1 and infinite got a lot of their critical acclaim via their creative settings, and especially the player discovering them. Coming up with a 3rd setting that lives up to that is no small task, so I can see why a publisher would be reluctant to fund that without an expectation of good returns on it.

Posted:4 months ago

#8
Bit what about a dev team. Last we all heard, 2K marinstaffing had been significantly reduced to zero

Posted:4 months ago

#9

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Hmmm. I'd rather see the series go to Telltale or at least get done as cheaper episodic chapters that get a digital release first before some sort of disc-based compilation down the road. Granted, as a "AAA" franchise, it seems that money must be spent to impress someone (I'm not sure who). But I think taking chances on changing up the formula may make a big difference with this particular franchise before it's out of gas...

Posted:4 months ago

#10

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
I'm saying they don't need to get so creative if they don't want to. I mean, clearly it needs to be new stuff, but it can be based on the Columbia or Rapture settings, new stories without having to start entirely from scratch. Maybe tell a story about the building of Columbia and some early struggles they faced while everything was still fresh and half-completed, or someone returning to Rapture decades after the fall when it's barely functional and half the play is under water. Or a war between the US army and Columbia decades after the game. There's plenty of room to use those settings without reinventing the wheel. Would it be as artistic as what Levine was doing with the IP? Maybe not, but it could still result in some very fun games that fans would pay $60 for and play for dozens of hours each.

Personally, I'd like to see them recreate Columbia in an engine that's actually suited to it, one that can contain massive open world environments, where you can see dozens of blocks and travel from island to island seamlessly.

I don't think they should go wild with it, making "Space Rapture" or "Ice Rapture "or "Subterra Rapture" or whatever, until they have a team with an extreme vision and the budget to run with it, but I see no reason why they can't just pump out truly fun games that use the core settings and mechanics of the previous games, telling interesting stories.

Posted:4 months ago

#11

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,183 973 0.8
5ish million copies of Bioshock Infinite isn't profitable?
We asked the same question about Tomb Raider, apparently its not quite enough. Some of these games cost a fortune to make over a long period of time.

Posted:4 months ago

#12

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
@Adam: And it's funny that a game that takes so long to make isn't given even a quarter of that time to recoup its costs. I believe some titles DO this over time if they become games that people buy years after they're released, but the IT HAS TO MAKE IT ALL BACK IN A WEEK! mentality plus an over-reliance on Metacritic scores and a few other issues has pretty much made nearly any AAA game all about numbers first...

Posted:4 months ago

#13

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Well, the fact remains that with console games, at least, the vast bulk of their profits ARE made in the first week, because after hat people sell their copies back to Gamestop and Gamestop refuses to ever sell a fresh copy again. Games with a good PC version can have a slightly longer tail than that, but then you start getting into aggressive Steam Sales. The week 1 profits aren't the only profit the game will ever see, but in most cases it's a very good indication of what those long term profits will eventually cap out at.

Posted:4 months ago

#14

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
On the other hand, it seems as if Nintendo tends to deal in "evergreen" console and handheld games that sell well over their lifespan (sometimes at a premium) because that family market is willing to spend on what they consider to be quality (and they also don't trade their games in as frequently because stuff gets passed down to younger kids as they grow)...

Posted:4 months ago

#15

Tim Ogul Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Yeah, and that's one way to go but personally I'd prefer to play Bioshock Infinites to All-New Advanced Super Mario Brothers 2.

Posted:4 months ago

#16

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now