Ken Levine's next game is very far behind, doesn't have a name yet

Despite starting development in 2014, Ken Levine's new game is in development hell and the project still doesn't have a name.

Published Mon, Jan 3 2022 3:57 PM CST   |   Updated Wed, Jan 26 2022 3:56 PM CST

BioShock creator Ken Levine's new game is currently in development hell due to his fickle creative process.

Ken Levine's next game is very far behind, doesn't have a name yet 444 |

Ghost Story Games, Ken Levine's ne studio, was established in 2014 following BioShock Infinite's development. The last BioShock burned Levine out--and looking at his vastly complicated, volatile, and vacillating creative style it's no wonder--and he wanted a smaller-scale team to work on something special.

The problem is Levine's ambitions far outweigh the abilities of a small team. For the last 7 years, Ghost Story Games has quietly been working on a new project that's continually morphed and changed throughout the years. At one point the team was working on a mysterious Twilight Zone experience that was, predictably, cancelled.

According to a new illuminating report from Bloomberg, the project is in the purgatorial stasis known as "development hell". The game is so deeply mired that it doesn't even have a name yet, and may not be ready for at least two years, sources at the studio say.

Levine's current aim is to create something unique that's tailor-made for players. The idea is that each player's experience would be different both in experience and dialog, however the amount of work required for this to happen makes Levine's vision unfeasible.

"Ghost Story Games (formerly known as Irrational Games) is a self-publishing game studio owned by Take-Two Interactive. Our mission is simple: to create immersive, story-driven video games for people who love games that ask something of them," reads the studio's credo.

Ironically, a 2020 job listing for Ghost Story Games said the project was in "later stages of production."

Like with Rockstar, a mega moneymaker, Take-Two Interactive is giving Levine as much time as he needs because the publisher believes in his vision. And for good reason: BioShock is one of the best-selling singleplayer franchises in the company's list of wholly-owned IPs.

BioShock is also moving forward without Levine. A new installment of BioShock is currently in development at Cloud Chamber Games, and job listings hint it will make use of powerful new technologies:

  • Built with Unreal Engine 4 (may switch to UE5)
  • Being made for next-gen consoles, but could also release on current-gen PS4/Xbox One consoles
  • High-reactive, emergent sandbox world
  • FPS combat
  • Focus on experimentation and ingenuity
  • Narrative systems-driven experience
  • Dialog system (possibly multiple choice)
  • "High ambitions for tying AI and storytelling together"
  • "We are making amazing game mechanics and systems, with standard-setting player feel and responsiveness with AAA presentation"
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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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