In 2018, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier divulged he’d learned of a 2K team in Novato, California; 2K Novato, secretly producing a BioShock game. Such news came on the heels of job listing-related speculation out of the same studio. Since then, not even a peep has been heard about the project. This isn’t too surprising, given that 2K has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors and Take-Two is notoriously tight-lipped and secretive about what’s going on internally. Yet, new details may have just surfaced. If a job listing on 2K’s Career Center page serves as any indication, the next title in the multiverse-spanning BioShock franchise may feature live-service elements.
A job posting on 2K’s website for an “End Game Design Lead” suggests the new BioShock, if that’s indeed what 2K Novato is developing, will require a “post-narrative set of systems.” Wccftech spotted the listing, noting that the position itself seems integral to plans meant to keep players engaged with the mystery game long-term.
The following outlines exactly what the team’s goal is in terms of emphasizing player engagement:
What We Need:
Our formula for success is Fantastic World + Incredible Story = Fanatical Fans.
In the game we’re making, the story itself will come to a conclusion. The world, by contrast, is something we are designing to be alive and engaging past the main narrative arc. To leverage this, we want to build a post-narrative set of systems, quests, and player progression that gives our fanatic fangirls and fanboys more content to experience on an ongoing, live-services basis. We need a senior game designer with strong ideas and communication skills who can own the endgame design for this title. What cool tasks are our players digging into as they keep playing? What short, medium, and long-term goals are they focused on? What kind of player skill progression and loot are keeping people attached to gameplay? We need someone to start answering these questions.
To be fair, the above blurb appears vague enough to fit into multiple 2K titles. Honestly, this could be describing Borderlands if the third mainline entry hadn’t recently hit stores. Still, it does not seem farfetched for a BioShock installment. BioShock 2 featured online multiplayer and stellar post-launch DLC in the form of Minerva’s Den. Additionally, BioShock: Infinite had a two-part story expansion that connected it back to the first two games, as well as a horde mode. Plus, if the colliding worlds of Rapture and Columbia taught us anything, it’s that the possibilities are without limit. And it at least it seems as though this project will place the single-player narrative front and center.
Until 2K announces the news itself, all of the above should be taken with a grain of salt. The End Game Design Lead role may or may be directly connected to the rumored BioShock follow-up. Yet, if it does, consider us enraptured.