BioShock for the Vita stuck in contract limbo
At Sony's E3 2011 press conference Irrational Games' Kevin Levine took the stage and teased BioShock for the PlayStation Vita. Here we are today, about a year and a half later with BioShock Infinite on its way, and yet no closer to seeing a BioShock title on Sony's struggling handheld. What gives?
"That's sort of out of my hands right now," told IGN, which is about the same response he gave them back in December of 2012. "That's with the business guys negotiating that sort of business deal and trying to make that work for both sides. I've got my fingers crossed that that's going to happen because it's something I want to do. But until someone starts signing the checks, there's nothing I can do."
Asked if Irrational have even begun the planning or development process of bringing BioShock to the Vita, Levine cited financials as the main factor preventing them from beginning work.
"I've got people to pay and stuff, so I can't. Like I can go to them 'hey dude, you guys want to work on this and not feed your family?'"
"At the end of the day I work for a company, Take-Two, and if we're going to do a game they need to be able to fund the development," he explained. "They need to make sure they have a deal in place that makes sense for them and makes sense for Sony."
There's no doubt the Vita has struggled since its release in late 2011/early 2012. In January, Sony's Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai admitted that Vita sales are on the "lower end" of company expectations. Much of the blame has been put on the lack of quality titles, something BioShock would undoubtedly address. In February, Kazuo Hirai again acknowledged that Sony must do a better job promoting the Vita, citing games as the biggest incentive in attracting consumers.
Franchises many would expect to be a hit on the Vita, namely Call of Duty: Black Ops and Resistance, proved to be flops thanks to inferior gameplay than their console counterparts. Looking ahead, there are some promising games like Killzone: Mercenary and Tearaway, but the Vita can certainly use more blockbusters franchises. BioShock can definitely be one of those flagship titles -- provided it offers an experience comparable to its console versions. Unfortunately, it looks like we may have to wait quite awhile until we see it... if we ever do.