Irrational's Ken Levine squashes BioShock Infinite budget rumors and talks about Oreos

Omri Petitte

BioShock Infinite

Just how much did Columbia cost? The studio is predictably keeping quiet on the shooter's overall budget, but a New York Times article mentions some analyst estimates put it around $200 million. Creative Director Ken Levine responds to the figure on Twitter with a denial and a healthy swig of a sarcasm power potion.

Elsewhere, GameSpot spoke with Levine on the slightly-twitching-horse subject of Infinite's box art. He compares the need to market the game to non-enthusiasts with the packaging of Oreo cookies.

"What is the package of an Oreo cookie? It is a representation of something that is trying to catch your eye and appeal to you," Levine says. "Does it taste like an Oreo cookie? No. Does it feel like an Oreo cookie? Can you eat it? No. Does it have any nutritional value? No."

He continues: "I understand why people are bothered by this, because for some reason BioShock in particular is something they put this particular value on. But I have a responsibility to the company I work for, to the people I employ, to give them the best shot of having their work recognized and rewarded. And you know what, if I'm going to get criticized because I chose a [controversial] box cover, those people don't have the same responsibilities that I do."

Although Levine does have a responsibility to both show off Irrational's work as best as possible and impart a strong hunger for Oreos (gee, thanks for that), he's also shown flexibility. Back in December, he held a poll to choose an alternative cover on the reverse side of Booker DeWitt's pose of zeppelin-sized machismo.

BioShock Infinite will be here on March 26. Keep your eyes to the sky for our review next week.

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