The development of Ken Levine's new game (Bioshock) is said to be in troubled waters

The development of Ken Levine’s new game (Bioshock) is said to be in troubled waters

The American journalist Jason Schreier (ex-Kotaku) published a long paper covering the behind the scenes of the game of Ghost Story Games, the studio of Ken levine, director of cult titles like Bioshock and System Shock 2. Published on the Bloomberg site, this article depicts a studio suffering from the chaotic working methods of its chief director, and worried about the possible release of this title, which has been expected since 2013.

Wool wedding for Levine

It is not uncommon to see similar stories of chaotic development on the projects of great video game figures. Among other names in the industry like Kojima or Ancel, Levine is no exception. But right now, his new game has the longest development time for a project that’s currently in production. The game from Ghost Story Games thus totals 7 and a half years of development, without any visual, synopsis or even final title unveiled to date.

And at the rate at which its production is going, this status quo should continue for a little while. Schreier paints a vitriolic portrait of Levine, whose moods and management methods raise doubts about a good atmosphere in the studio. Several former employees of Ghost Story Games testify to the many changes of direction that have taken place during the development of the game. Levine would thus have the habit of constantly changing his mind, to the point of throwing in the trash several months or even years of work accomplished by the development team.

A tumultuous reputation

This is not unusual behavior for the American game designer: the tumultuous production of Bioshock and his suite Bioshock Infinite has also been subject to many similar resets… But without any news from Ghost Story Games’ new project, it would be hard to see it as a sign of a healthy development cycle.

The article also features the testimony of Giovanni Pasteris, one of the early members of the game’s development team, who recounts the outsized ambitions of the early stages of production. “There were big ideas and big ambitions, but over time the scale of the game only increased over the team’s ability to complete their development before the fall 2017 deadline. Ken wanted to do a triple-A game with a more intimate playing team. It could never come true.

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