2K has announced that a new BioShock game is in development at Cloud Chamber, a newly-founded development studio based in San Francisco and Montreal. The game itself has not yet been titled, nor do we have a release date, platforms, or anything else–at this point, we simply know it’s in the works.
Cloud Chamber is described as a “collective of storytellers eager to push the frontlines of interactive entertainment by making unique, entertaining, and thoughtful experiences that engage the world.” According to 2K and Cloud Chamber, the BioShock title will be in “development for the next several years,” so don’t expect it to release anytime soon, or even necessarily for the current generation of consoles.
“As we continue growing our product portfolio, we remain inspired by opportunities to invest further in our valuable IP, great people, and their collective, long-term potential,” said David Ismailer, president of 2K. “BioShock is one of the most beloved, critically praised, and highest-rated franchises of the last console generation. We can’t wait to see where its powerful narrative and iconic, first-person shooter gameplay head in the future with our new studio team at Cloud Chamber leading the charge.”
Both Cloud Chamber studios will be headed up by Kelley Gilmore, who has significant experience in various aspects of game development and publishing. At 2K in particular, Gilmore has worked on the Civilization and XCOM franchises.
“We founded Cloud Chamber to create yet-to-be-discovered worlds–and their stories within–that push the boundaries of what is possible in the video game medium,” said Gilmore. “Our team believes in the beauty and strength of diversity, in both the makeup of the studio and the nature of its thinking. We are a deeply experienced group of game makers, including many responsible for BioShock’s principal creation, advancement, and longstanding notoriety, and [we are] honored to be part of the 2K family as stewards of this iconic franchise.”
Today, 2K announced the founding of Cloud Chamber, its newest development studio. This team of storytellers has begun work on the next iteration of the acclaimed @BioShock franchise, which will be in development for the next several years.— 2K (@2K) December 9, 2019
Learn more: https://t.co/vNkyXcBqwL pic.twitter.com/XIWG36fYA5
While Gilmore will serve as Global Studio Head of Cloud Chamber and be based in San Francisco, the Canadian arm will be overseen by Ken Schachter, previously general manager for Zynga in Toronto and founder of indie developer and publisher Trapdoor.
The last entry in the BioShock franchise was 2013’s BioShock Infinite. However, the BioShock Collection was released for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 in 2016 and delivered remastered versions of the first BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite.
A variety of 2K studios have contributed to the development of the franchise, with Irrational Games–originally founded as 2K Boston–being the principal developer on the first game and Infinite. 2K Marin took point on the development of BioShock 2, while 2K Australia supported development on some of the games.
It was rumored that, following layoffs, 2K Marin had effectively closed. However, CEO Strauss Zelnick indicated this was not the case and, in fact, the Marin team would continue working on BioShock. GameSpot has sought out comment from 2K on whether the new Cloud Chamber team is what was formerly the 2K Marin team.
Following BioShock Infinite, Irrational Games also downsized significantly and was effectively rebranded as Ghost Story Games. This smaller team is headed up by Ken Levine, creator of the BioShock franchise, and is focused on developing narrative-driven gaming experiences. Little is known about what Ghost Story Games is making, but in October a job posting described it as a “creatively ambitious project in the immersive sim genre,” which is something that Levine, and no doubt others on the team, have experience with, having worked on System Shock 2, SWAT 4, and the BioShock series.
Although Cloud Chamber and 2K have not specified a release window or platforms, it’s a safe bet that the new BioShock title will be for next-generation hardware such as PS5, Xbox Scarlett, and PC, given that the project will be in development for several years.