Bioshock Infinite staff leave, multiplayer cancelled, “team struggle to meet promise”

Bioshock Infinite PS3

According to reports Bioshock Infinite is in big trouble with staff leaving, staff shipped in to help and multiplayer modes canceled. Word is, “the development team has struggled to craft a full game that meets the promise of the early demos”.

Bioshock Infinite’s release date slipped to February 2012 back in May with Ken Levine announcing it would skip both E3 and Gamescom. At the time he said, “The next time you see our game, it will be essentially the product we intend to put in the box”.

At the time a rumoured Bioshock Infinite multiplayer mode was blamed and that does appear to now be the case. Two multiplayer modes were tried and scrapped: one that saw players battling through a co-op tower defense game set in an arcade machine, the other was called ‘Spec Ops’ due to it’s resemblance to the Call Of Duty mode. Apparently both have since been dropped.

There’s also been a huge staff turnover with many of the core team leaving or being replaced. That includes art director Nate Wells who’s been with the company for 13 years. Ken Levine has since tweeted the following:

Bioshock Infinite in trouble

That’s been his only public comment on the game apart from speaking to Kotaku where he said of Well’s departure: ”After 13 years he sort of finished his work on BioShock Infinite, as you will be able to tell when you see the game again… I think Nate’s moving on to something else”. Curiously, as well as not knowing what a staffer of 13 years is leaving to do, he also added, “I think we all remain friends”.

Levine also said that much of the original Bioshock team are still on board including the lead artist, art director, creative director, lead effects artist, “the senior sound guy”, lead programmer and lead AI programmer. That said the design director, producer, principal systems designer, senior level designer and systems designer are among those that have left. Epic games production director Rod Fergusson and 2K Marin’s Jordan Thomas are among those shipped in to help complete the game.

Irrational Games also seem to be on a hiring spree and are currently advertising for a level builder, narrative scripter, design manager, systems designer, interactive marketing manager, programmer, QA manager, senior tester and temporary QA tester.

Kotaku claim that three separate sources told them, “The development team has struggled to craft a full game that meets the promise of the early demos”. Another statement described, “the process at Irrational as lacking needed focus, with teams dedicating months to doomed projects only to have them inevitably get cut. The team was wrestling with the most basic elements of the game, from the story to the level design to the AI programming to how to design the sidekick character of Elizabeth.”

Ack.

Sources: Kotaku, CVG, VG247, Irrational Games.