Buried within a lengthy Kotaku story on the current less-than-ideal state of things at Mafia 3 developer Hangar 13 is an interesting tidbit about another 2K game you may have heard of. The report says that a top-secret studio located "next door" to Hangar 13 is currently in the early stages of work on a brand-new BioShock game.
"Next door, a small group of people were working on a project code-named Parkside, quietly recruiting from across the video game industry for a game so secret, they wouldn’t even tell their colleagues at Hangar 13 about it," the report says. "Word got out, though, that it was in fact a new game in one of the most interesting shooter franchises of the past decade: BioShock."
The project is apparently still quite small. "They're trying to be really smart about figuring out what the core thing is," one person involved with the project said. "They’re careful about not falling into the same problem every studio has, where they have too many people and nothing for them to do."
Kotaku's report on Hangar 13 is interesting and well worth a read in its own right, and kind of sad too: Despite the problems with Mafia 3, it sounds like the studio was ready for bigger, better, and genuinely interesting things, but layoffs and a loss of leadership cost it much of that momentum. But it's the oddly-offhand mention of a new BioShock that's the real eye-opener. Not that it's surprising that 2K would return to one of its most visible and valuable series, of course, and it has been five years since BioShock Infinite came out. I guess I just expected a little more fanfare.
It'll be very interesting to see where BioShock goes next. The report doesn't indicate who's leading the game's development, but Ken Levine, the creative director on BioShock and BioShock Infinite, won't be involved: He pulled the plug on Irrational Games in 2014, and is now heading up a new, smaller studio called Ghost Story Games.