Was BioShock: Infinite Delayed To Add Multiplayer?
Yesterday we brought you the news that Irrational Games had abruptly postponed the third BioShock game to February 26, 2013. Their reasons for doing so weren’t exactly obfuscated, but they did contain a high degree of suggested, rather than stated information. “We’ve come to realize that some specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary,” said Irrational’s Ken Levine.
I’m all for making sure that the final game is the best possible experience, but in addition to the decision to add 4 months to the game’s development, they’re also taking what they have out of E3. That alone suggests huge changes are being made to the game. Remember, BioShock: Infinite was announced on August 12, 2010. After nearly 2 years of development, it’s a bit weird to push the game back after the release date was finally announced. I started to have flashbacks to what would eventually become the Mass Effect 3 debacle, meaning the nerfing of the final game to make room for unnecessary multiplayer (yeah, I said it). But no, I thought, more likely they’re making several tweaks to game play while at the same time, making room for Grand Theft Auto V’s rumored October 23rd debut (Rockstar, like Irrational, is also owned by 2K).
Yeah, about that. On Twitter, the always astute Superannuation has brought our attention to a job posting on Linkedin that proves that even the BioShock series isn’t immune to the plague of shoving multiplayer into everything, regardless of whether it even makes sense:
The BioShock Infinite team bets big on everything we do — we strive to be careful about the problems we tackle, innovative in our approach, solid in our implementation, and we polish the heck out of everything we do. Networking is no exception. Right now we’re looking for an talented and experienced individual to help us with the networking aspects of BioShock Infinite. This position will require a combination of initiative, leadership, design, coding, and daily problem solving on multiple target platforms.
If you have the skills and passion for world-class network-connected experiences like BioShock then why not come join a team that has the track record, the autonomy, and the time to do it right?
Work with the team who created BioShock network code
Advising engineers on how to properly architect their systems for optimal networking
Extending and enhancing Unreal Engine 3 with proprietary networking tech to address gameplay, performance, platform, production, tools, and QA needs
Interfacing with Microsoft, Sony, and other providers about platform-specific services
Working with the Technical Director, Lead Programmers, and IT Director to plan and execute major changes to client-side technology and back-end services
Responsible for delivering a robust, scalable, and responsive client-side networking support on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 platforms
Well, there goes about 50% of my enthusiasm for the game. BioShock: Infinite is probably getting multiplayer.
Now, I know I’m in the minority here, but this sounds kind of stupid. Sometimes, games are just better as a single player experience. It’s probably safe to speculate that this also pours water on hopes that we’re getting GTA V this year; adding multiplayer to the game would be reason enough to push it forward several months. Fingers crossed that BioShock: Infinite isn’t ruined in the process of making room for 12 year olds to call each other homophobic names on XBLA, but preparing myself, emotionally, for the possibility.