The creator of BioShock, Ken Levine, announced in 2014 that he would close Irrational Games, the studio he co-founded in 1997, in order to start a smaller, “more entrepreneurial” at Take Two Interactive “s project. Levine said at the time that he wanted to be “a member of a small team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers…a small team that makes games for the core game audience.”
Although many years have passed since then, the revamped studio-now called Ghost Story-still has not released the game.a new one Bloomberg According to the report, most of the reasons for this are Levin people: Current and former employees who talked to the site said Levin’s management style may be difficult, and if he feels that he has failed somehow, he will give up without hesitation. Short work of weeks or months.
Levine’s reputation as a director is confirmed by a series of impressive development credit lists, including BioShock and BioShock Unlimited, SWAT 4, System Shock 2 and Thief: Project Darkness. According to multiple sources, one of the main challenges is that although Levine wants to work in a smaller studio, he still wants to make complex games like BioShock to push modern technology standards.
“These ideas and ambitions are great,” Giovanni Pasteris, a former Ghost Story AI programmer, told the site. “But the scope is only expanding, without considering the team’s ability to complete the task before the fall 2017 deadline. Ken hopes to make a 3A game on a’budget’ team size. This will never happen.”
Several employees also questioned Levine’s management style. Pastris said Levine “can be very charming and attractive”, which helps attract talent, but “it can also become moody, lashing out, picking out a person, and scolding them in front of colleagues at the same time.”
According to Bloomberg, conflicts with Levine are not uncommon, sometimes leading to the dismissal of employees deemed inappropriate. Former employee Mike Snight (Mike Snight) said that since the establishment of the studio, about half of the original Ghost Story team has left the studio. He and Levine moved from Irrational to Ghost Story at the time of establishment. Left after a year. “When it keeps looping and you are no longer consistent, you are a little tired of being a part of it,” he said. “I’m really not happy anymore.”
Take-Two is obviously happy to continue to fund Levine and Ghost Story, in fact there are no strings attached, in the hope that it will eventually lead to the creation of a major new franchise. According to reports, Levin told employees that for Take-Two, which released game series such as Grand Theft Auto, Civilization and Red Dead Redemption, the maintenance cost of Ghost Stories is basically a ” rounding”.
This report provides some very interesting insights on why a project that is expected to be smaller than the previous version of Levine will take so long — and why we may have to wait a long time to look at it properly. According to reports, Ghost Story’s game still has no title and is in the “post-production stage” in October 2020, but an employee interviewed by Bloomberg said that there are still two years before the actual release today.