BioShock’s creative director Ken Levine has ruled out returning to the series with his next game, but said the unannounced project he’s working on features “some weird shit”.
Asked during a Gamelab Live panel on Wednesday if he was returning to the BioShock universe with his next game, Levine confirmed he was not.
“I think that they’ve announced that there’s going to be [a new game], but I’m working on my own thing,” the writer and designer said on Wednesday. “I think I sort of said what I wanted to say about it, so I wanted to do something a little different.”
Levine closed Irrational Games – the studio behind BioShock and its sequel Infinite – in 2014 to form a smaller studio called Ghost Story Games.
At the time, he said the Take-Two owned company – initially made up of 15 staff – would be dedicated “narrative-driven” digital games that were “highly replayable”.
In the six years since, very little has been revealed about Ghost Story’s debut project, other than that it features “narrative legos” which Levine has said will combine to create a player-driven, highly-replayable game.
In January 2015, Levine suggested in a tweet that his next project would be a “first-person sci-fi” game, and at EGX Rezzed in 2017 he revealed that the game would use a system inspired by Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor‘s Nemesis System.
Commenting on the project during the Gamelab stream, Levine suggested the project would feature some outlandish elements.
“I can’t really talk about the new game but there’s some weird shit in it,” he said. “I think if you don’t have people saying, ‘that sounds a little insane’, you haven’t gone close enough to the edge.
“Because the great stuff exists on the edge of ‘over the top’ and ‘just OK’ [and] sometimes you’ve got to push past the point and make something outrageous and ridiculous, then pull it back.”
He added: “But if you don’t go to the outrageous and ridiculous, you never know where that boundary is… that means you’ve got to go into the office sometimes, tell people things, and they’re going to look at your like you’re insane, and then you sort of bring it back to something that you can actually accomplish.”
Jordon Thomas – who worked across all three BioShock games as a writer, designer and creative director – has said he hopes the fourth game in the series takes an original approach and is “unbound” by the past.