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Report: BioShock maker Levine's ambitious new game is in trouble

Report: BioShock maker Levine's ambitious new game is in trouble

Video game development vet Ken Levine's new project is reportedly in trouble owing to the BioShock maker himself.

That's according to Bloomberg, which has spoken to 15 former and current employees at developer Ghost Story Games, who say that the title that's been in development since 2014 is not even close to release. Said project is centered around what's described as "narrative Lego," which is to say that every player's experience with the title would be entirely unique.

Making such an ambitious premise a reality, however, has proved to be wildly challenging. This is not least due to the fact that Levine dissolved the studio that made BioShock – Irrational Games – as it had become, in his mind, too big and unwieldy, and instead formed Ghost Story with a smaller team that would allow more of a flexible, indie approach to development.

The project – set to be a sci-fi shooter on a space station – was initially set to launch in autumn 2017, and while there was a playable build of the game in 2016, it would appear that there was little concern for how the small team at Ghost Story would actually finish the title. It's also said that Levine is content to throw away months of work if he's not happy with it, something that has reportedly been his management style for some time now.

A lack of oversight by parent company Take-Two is also somewhat blamed for Ghost Story's predicament; while staff report the resulting freedom as being initially liberating, it's clear that Levine and co need a deadline in order to actually ever ship anything.

At the end of 2020, it was reported that Ghost Story's project was in the "later stages of production" though it's unclear if that's still the case given Bloomberg's expose.

While Irrational was dissolved in 2014, Take-Two's 2K Games label has founded a brand new studio, called Cloud Chamber, to make the next BioShock title.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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