2K Games announced the start of the development of a new BioShock game back in December 2019. But, besides the news of founding a development studio to work on it, Cloud Chamber, players remained in the dark. The release date, not even a rough estimate, is unknown. Also, 2K Games didn’t even specify whether the new iteration in the franchise will be named BioShock 4. Luckily, gamers with an eye for detail brought new details to light in mid-April 2021. They concluded that the next BioShock will be an open-world game. Let’s get into why they assumed that confidently.
Didn’t a Zhykionn game leak suggest otherwise?
There has been a game leak about a new BioShock game by a person named Zhykionn in August 2020. Even though they seemed to have insider information, most of them conflict with what we’ll tell you below. So, either his information was false, or Cloud Chamber changed their mind, which isn’t unusual. The only leak that’ll most likely pan out is platform compatibility. BioShock will be developed for last-gen consoles, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. There was no mention of PC, but judging by previous releases, the PC release is almost guaranteed.
How did news about a new BioShock game come about?
As mentioned, in April 2021, people who were looking for employment in the gaming industry, read job postings by Cloud Chamber. What they saw was confusing. 2K Games stated in the past that the new studio will work on a “powerful narrative and iconic, first-person shooter gameplay”. But, the job descriptions told a different story, since the development team sought to fill multiple positions. The one for a senior writer caught the most attention. Cloud Chamber stated that such a person must be able to “weave impactful, character-driven stories in an open world setting.” That’s not all. They also require skills of “creation and execution of the core story including the writing of dialogue and other narrative elements as director”.
Another tidbit came from the AI programmer role. The development studio listed “the systemic tribal ecology of a sometimes hostile AI”, and the development of an “urban crowd system”. A listing for the senior AI engineer also mentions the design goal is a “strongly narrative and systemic game”. These facts point toward the existence of in-game factions. Furthermore, previous job postings hinted toward plans for a “systems-driven experience” suggesting some sort of simulation.
Another example is the game development studio’s previous job opening for a “lead environment modeler”. This description mentioned a need for someone who will provide “leading efforts to help us breathe life into a new and fantastical world.” As if that wasn’t proof enough, gamers also caught another detail in a “systems designer” position. It revealed that this person must help create an “emergent sandbox world”. This suggests large world players can explore and interact with.
Will the next BioShock introduce a new genre?
Not likely. Judging by the descriptions for a senior voice designer, the next BioShock will still have lots of dialogue. Additionally, the opening for a senior technical audio designer described the game as a “AAA narratively-driven FPS project full of character and personality”. The job listing for a lead combat/AI designer also mentions “an FPS combat paradigm that allows for a high degree of player expression and experimentation within a highly reactive world”. Cloud Chamber asks of their game designers to “think beyond direct conflict and accommodate various play-styles and design encounters that can be resolved through player ingenuity.”
Will the next BioShock be a sequel?
From the information above, it seems like the new BioShock is moving on from a confined world of Rapture, and an expanded, yet still too small, world of Columbia. Game journalists and gamers alike suspect that the new BioShock will take place in the multi-verse. After all, BioShock Infinite did exactly that. The end of the game brought players back to the beginning, essentially creating a time loop. We’ll update you once we have more conclusive information, so stay tuned.