Several recent job-listings from developer and publisher 2K Games, and it sure sounds a lot like they’re making a new BioShock.
The first listing is for a lead campaign designer who will be working on a first-person shooter, with the job located in Novato, California, for what looks like a new studio under the current moniker 2K Publishing. And, according to the listing, The ideal candidate should “love sitting at the nexus of story and design. You have a passion for games that create a symbiosis between the two, and you’re motivated by the idea of creating resonant, emotional experiences through gameplay.” Another listing at the same studio for a lead technical artist describes the game as a “stunning narrative and systems driven experience” set in a “new and fantastical world,” with yet another listing for a lead AI engineer tasked with “tying AI and storytelling together.”
Let’s unpack this a little bit. 2K only has a couple of first-person shooter franchises in its library, namely Borderlands and BioShock. But developer Gearbox Software seems to be handling the hiring for the as-of-yet unannounced Borderlands 3 on its own. On top of that, 2K’s job-listing further describes its mysterious title as an “unannounced AAA first-person action game,” which makes it sound much more like BioShock than Borderlands.
The job location is also an interesting clue. Novato, California, is formerly the location of 2K Marin, the studio that led development on BioShock 2 and was previously known to be developing future BioShock titles. However, 2K Marin was hit with layoffs back in 2013, and the studio is not listed as part of the “2K family” of studios on the publisher’s website, so it seems like it’s completely shutdown at this point.
That being said, 2K Games is, according to the job listing, setting up a new studio on its main Novato headquarter campus. One designer, Jim Ingrahm, who formerly worked on BioShock 2 at 2K Marin, joined an unnamed 2K studio in June 2017 to work on an “unannounced AAA title.” While it’s not a sure sign that BioShock is moving from the defunct 2K Marin to its new home at this 2K studio, it’s definitely interesting.
Finally, the description of the game above—that it sits “at the nexus of story and design” and “create[s] a symbiosis between the two” in a “fantastical world”—pretty much describes BioShock to a T.
We’ll probably be waiting quite a while to see what this new AAA first-person shooter that could very easily be the next BioShock actually is. The fact that 2K Games is just now hiring its lead designers, artists, and engineers probably means that the game is several years from seeing a release.
While we’re betting a new post-Irrational Games BioShock is in the works, we also wouldn’t mind seeing 2K Games return to that XCOM first-person shooter concept that eventually became The Bureau.