Ken Levine talks Bioshock Infinite development rumours & multiplayer: “It was a little frustrating”
Cast your mind back a few months and clouds seemed to be forming over Bioshock Infinite, with rumours of mass team departures and cut multiplayer. According to Ken Levine, “It was a little frustrating for us”. Not because anything was actually wrong but simply because, “We didn’t have any news for so long it allowed time for speculation”.
Bioshock Infinite’s development rumours & multiplayer
First up, online. It was a thing at one point with Bioshock Infinite’s multiplayer once cited as a cause behind the game’s delay and Irrational advertising for programmers experienced with online console networking. Ken Levine says however, “We were very careful never to say there was multiplayer in the game. It was a little frustrating for us to say it has been cut when we never announced it in the first place!”
The reason for the multiplayer’s non-announcement was simple, Irrational demand a high level of quality. “We didn’t want to talk about anything regarding that (multiplayer) because we weren’t sure about it,” says Levine. “In the same way we weren’t sure about a million things – you’ll see the art book when it comes out and you’ll see a million characters that were cut; a million levels that were changed, ideas for weapons were thrown out. It’s just part of the process and we are fortunate as a company that we are able to do that kind of stuff”.
Ultimately, whatever multiplayer existed never made the grade. “We aren’t going to add something on the box we don’t feel is at a quality level of the rest of the game. We never got to that point and it was hard. We all knew going in at Irrational, everything you work on, if the rest of the team don’t feel it’s going to work as part of a package, then it’s not going to make it”.
As for the alleged dev exodus the truth is staggeringly unexciting. “I think because we didn’t have any news for so long we sort of went quiet,” explains Levine, “because we figured we had showed people at E3 what the game was, and now it was just time to let people play it. That led to a lot of time for speculation”.
Levine says the talk of staff leaving Irrational during Bioshock Infinite’s development was a big noise about nothing. “It’s far less dramatic and interesting. Somebody leaving the company or somebody joining the company. I’m sure your business has people leaving, it’s not particularly interesting”. In the long run then, whatever people have said, Levine thinks Infinite will speak for itself. “What can you do at that point; except say ‘the proof is in the pudding: play the game’, that can tell you better than I can ever tell you about the state of the game”.
You can get an taste of the pudding by checking out our Bioshock Infinite preview here or watching the video below.