BioShock: Infinite Postponed To February, 2013
Fans of projecting American air-naval power via giant floating cities should make note: BioShock: Infinite will not be making its scheduled October 16 release date after all. 2K and Irrational games have announced today that the third installment in the BioShock series has been pushed back to February 26, 2013.
That’s a rather abrupt change of pace. The initial announcement of BioShock Infinite’s October launch only happened in late March. Why the sudden switch? “When we announced the release date of BioShock Infinite in March,” said Irrational’s Ken Levine in a statement, “we felt pretty good about the timing. Since then, we’ve come to realize that some specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary. Therefore, to give our talented team the time they need, we’ve decided to move the game’s release to February 26, 2013. We wanted to let our loyal (and very patient!) fans know this as soon as possible.”
So what’s taking up all their time? “I won’t kid you: BioShock Infinite is a very big game,” Levine continued. “And we’re doing things that no one has ever done in a first-person shooter. We had a similar experience with the original BioShock, which was delayed several months [from] our original ship date drew near. Why? Because the Big Daddies weren’t the Big Daddies you’ve since come to know and love. Because Andrew Ryan’s golf club didn’t have exactly the right swing. Because Rapture needed one more coat of grimy Art Deco. The same principle now applies to BioShock Infinite.”
The statement continued:
What does this mean for you? It means a bit more waiting, but more importantly, it means an even better BioShock Infinite. The great can be made greater, and we owe it to both ourselves and to you, our fans, to take this opportunity. Irrational Games is one of those rare developers lucky enough to ask the people who sign the checks: ‘Hey, can we have a few more of those checks?’
Alas, this also means we’re going to have a to wait just a bit longer to see anything substantial. “We are also going to hold off on showing BioShock Infinite at the big events of the summer, like E3 and Gamescom.,” Levine said. “That way, the next time you see our game, it will be essentially the product we intend to put in the box. Preparing for these events takes time away from development, time we’re going to use instead to get the best version of Infinite into your hands in February.”
That’s… weird. The decision to pull the game out of E3 less than a month before suggests a serious shift in development, possibly meaning significant changes to what would have been the final game. Then again, it’s definitely for the best that 2K isn’t insisting the game be released on a set schedule regardless of whether or not it’s ready. Arbitrary release dates might be good for maximizing critical sales periods, but they can also result in an inferior product. Hopefully, we can relax, and look forward to a game that isn’t ruined by a terrible, clearly half-assed ending.
Of course, this also makes us conspiratorially-minded people wonder if Irrational Games knows something the rest of us don’t. The original release window already had BioShock Infinite competing against Assassin’s Creed 3, due out at the end of October. Then Call of Duty: Black ops 2 was announced for early November. That’s already a huge amount of competition in a short window of time. But the elephant in the room is the rumored October 23 release of Grand Theft Auto V, still neither confirmed nor denied by Rockstar. Rockstar, by the way, is ALSO owned by 2K games. It would make a hell of a lot of sense for 2K to clear their schedule to make way for their biggest cash cow while simultaneously ensuring the best possible version of BioShock: Infinite.
Assuming Rockstar finally stops jerking everyone around and just says something – and analysts are increasingly of the opinion they’re about to do just that – we’ll soon know for sure. MY guess: Yes, we’re getting GTA V this fall. And BioShock: Infinite fell on its sword to make it happen.