Ken Levine, the head of 2K Boston - the studio behind last year's critical smash BioShock - has told GamesIndustry.biz that the team's next project is going to have a goal that is "very, very different" to just updating a franchise by producing a sequel - but that it will focus on "story, gameplay and people's relationship with the game over the long term."
In an interview at last week's Develop conference in Brighton, Levine explained that the team was drained by the hard work putting out the original BioShock title, and why they weren't going to produce BioShock 2.
"I think for us, we come out of our BioShock coma - from shipping that game, and how hard that was - and then making a determination," he said. "What's next for us, and how aggressive are we going to be?
"And we all looked at each other, and these guys have worked together for maybe six or ten years, all the senior creative guys on BioShock, and asked what do we want to do? Do we want to do something a little more straightforward next time, or do we want to swing for the fences again? To paraphrase, we decided to swing for the fences.
"And we went to the company and said that, and they said 'Alright, let's do that.' I think that's why we work together, because we trust each other that we'll be there when we need that support, but also talked down when we're talking crazy. And that's really important when you are swinging for the fences...
"We've had products like Swat 4, which I had very little to do with, that the guys executed exactly what that game should have been as far as I'm concerned. But the goal there was to make a sequel to Swat 3, to update that - a very particular goal, and they knocked that out of the park.
"The goal for our next project is something very, very different, so it's a little scary - because we don't know what it is, exactly. We're getting a much clearer sense every single day in terms of what we're doing, deciding what's in and out of the game. But it's going to be aggressive," he added.
In terms of specifics, Levine wouldn't be drawn into revealing anything concrete, although he did hint at the kinds of things the team were looking at.
"I actually can't talk about it, without talking about the game itself," he said. "There are things related to story, gameplay and...I don't know how to describe it...people's relationship with the game over the long term. That's what we're thinking about, but it's about as clear as I can be."
The full GamesIndustry.bizinterview with Ken Levine is available now.