This will come as surprising news to fans of the series but according to a recent announcement, the third instalment to the highly successful Bioshock series, Bioshock Infinite will not be releasing this year but will instead be delayed to a release sometime in 2013.
Bioshock developer, Irrational Games made the announcement today, saying that it was not ready to release the title, slated for October, just as yet as the game required more development and Irrational Games itself, more money. Writing to the Bioshock website, game developer Ken Levine commented about the delay saying, "We had a similar experience with the original Bioshock which was delayed several months,” while adding that, Irrational Games is one of those rare developers lucky enough to ask the people who sign the cheques: 'Hey, can we have a few more."
The Bioshock series has been both critically hailed and commercially successful but according to publisher Take-Two, the second instalment of the series performed weaker than expected, slowing “down sooner than we expected". Perhaps this is why the new instalment, Bioshock Infinite will be presenting gamers with an entirely new Bioshock experience, changing the setting of the game from the original underwater city, to a city that floats in the air, suspended by air balloons. The game will be set in the year 1912 and will deal with a conflict between two warring factions, Levine adding that, "Bioshock Infinite is a very big game, and we're doing things no-one has ever done in a first-person shooter."
To say that this third instalment of Bioshock was highly anticipated would be an understatement as last year; a sneak preview was given at the E3 gaming conference to resounding as the game bagged the Best of Show award along with three other critic’s awards. But following the announcement to delay the release, Irrational Games has said that it will not be attending this year’s E3 conference, instead wishing to focus on getting Bioshock Infinite ready for its February 26, 2013 release.
Of course while it may actually be a case of needing more time and money, the Bioshock Infinite delay can also be seen as a way to avoid the competition that will be thrown up when in November Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Halo 4 will be hitting the market in near back to back releases. But according to head of games at IHS Screen Digest, Piers Harding-Rolls, Irrational may have painted itself into a corner, “From Take Two's point of view this is one of their major properties so they wanted it to hit market at the most opportune time, and from the point of view of big-budget titles that's often the fourth-quarter slot when footfall is heavy. However, delays like this aren't that unusual - we've seen that some of the most successful titles have been released months and in some cases even years after the original target date. Developers can go on forever tweaking content, but it sounds like in this case there was still significant work to do and they felt it wasn't worth shipping it in an unready state."