Irrational Games has announced that they’re scrapping the 16 October release date for Bioshock Infinite, and instead is pushing back to 26 February, next year.
Why? “[W]e’ve come to realize that some specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary,” says Irrational’s Ken Levine. And it won’t be on display at any shows, or seen at all from here on until it is done.
Why? Well, that’s a good question – that might have a good answer.
Right now, Irrational Games is hiring for a network engineer – the sort of network engineer you want for cross-platform multiplayer. That post went up just before the announcement of the delay. I’m figuring that it isn’t much of a coincidence.
So, I expect the next time we’ll see anything out of Bioshock Infinite will be in January sometime.
Meantime, here’s Levine’s message in full.
A MESSAGE FROM KEN LEVINE
When we announced the release date of BioShock Infinite in March, we felt pretty good about the timing.
Since then, we’ve come to realize that some specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary. Therefore, to give our talented team the time they need, we’ve decided to move the game’s release to February 26, 2013. We wanted to let our loyal (and very patient!) fans know this as soon as possible.
I won’t kid you: BioShock Infinite is a very big game, and we’re doing things that no one has ever done in a first-person shooter. We had a similar experience with the original BioShock, which was delayed several months as our original ship date drew near. Why? Because the Big Daddies weren’t the Big Daddies you’ve since come to know and love. Because Andrew Ryan’s golf club didn’t have exactly the right swing. Because Rapture needed one more coat of grimy Art Deco.
The same principle now applies to BioShock Infinite.
What does this mean for you? It means a bit more waiting, but more importantly, it means an even better BioShock Infinite. The great can be made greater, and we owe it to both ourselves and to you, our fans, to take this opportunity. Irrational Games is one of those rare developers lucky enough to ask the people who sign the checks: “Hey, can we have a few more of those checks?”
We are also going to hold off on showing BioShock Infinite at the big events of the summer, like E3 and Gamescom. That way, the next time you see our game, it will be essentially the product we intend to put in the box. Preparing for these events takes time away from development, time we’re going to use instead to get the best version of Infinite into your hands in February.