Ken Levine Confident in BioShock Infinite’s Success
October and November looks to be even bigger than it was last year. Inundated with Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and Halo Anniversary in 2011, this year we’ll be seeing some of the biggest hits yet.
BioShock Infinite is among one of the shining stars, and just a mere two weeks later, Ubisoft’s self-proclaimed most ambitious title Assassin’s Creed III releases as well. Not to be outdone, rumors around the internet have placed 343i’s jaw-dropping Halo 4 in a November release.
Is Ken Levine, the boss of Irrational Games and Infinite‘s creator, a bit concerned? Not in the very slightest. The part-time god says that such tight competition can always be interpreted as an “opportunity” as well.
“We don’t have the problem that, say, a Battlefield had last year — and I don’t think they viewed it as a problem, they viewed it as an opportunity — of going up in a head-to-head,” said Levine in an interview with Eurogamer. “It’s had to categorize BioShock for people in their heads. It has its own vibe. It’s a strange and different game. In the same way Portal didn’t compete direct with anything. So you don’t worry so much about, oh my god, we’re competing directly with this, what are we going to do?
“Obviously, when you go into that time period you have a positive and negative. The negative is there are a lot of games competing for a dollar or pound of the gamer. Or the euro — I want to be inclusive here. But also there are a lot of people going into stores at that point, and a lot of people buying gifts. It’s a yin and yang situation.”
Settling on the October release date meant wrapping things up in a tidy manner. The date fit the studio’s development cycle, and seemed like a no-brainer. Before the public statement, Irrational’s Marketing Chief gave the go-ahead.
“I don’t think there’s a ton of science in our industry about these things at this point,” said Levine. “A lot of it is your gut. You hear, you have to release at Christmas. Others say, you can’t release at Christmas. At the end of the day, the product is pretty unique and will sink or swim on its own merits.
“If it’s a great game I think it will do great. If it’s not a great game, it won’t do great. It’s pretty simple with BioShock.”
Whether BioShock Infinite does well or not depends entirely on the tastes of gamers. Either way we all win with all of the greatest games to come yet. Well, except for our wallets.
BioShock Infinite launches on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 16th in North America and October 19th in Europe.