If you’ve been following the video game industry closely then you might know of Jason Schreier. He’s a big name in the industry as a journalist that’s been able to connect with several developers to bring out notable scoops of what’s going on behind closed doors. Jason has a new book that just came out with Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry which goes over the behind-the-scenes in the video game industry. From studios that were shut down to individuals that worked at some of these companies leading towards the end.
Since this book just came out there are bound to be plenty of interesting reads, but one story, in particular, has already emerged online. Jason has released an excerpt from his book on Polygon. In this section of the book, we get a look at Irrational Games as they attempted to get BioShock Infinite out into the marketplace and the number of obstacles that the developers were forced to go through under Ken Levine.
Ken Levine was one of the founders and creative geniuses for BioShock Infinite. However, the process of getting BioShock Infinite out the door was incredibly difficult. There was plenty of money that got wasted, outsourcing, and a growing studio that left the game in a pretty difficult process to get the project in working order. According to the excerpt, this project was in such rough shape that two big individuals were brought on to get this game out.
One of the key individuals was Don Roy who was a game producer that was known for closing out games. When Roy joined in March of 2012, he was stunned to see how bad of shape the studio was and he was able to provide a workflow to allow the studio to avoid wasting money and time. The other big individual that helped out was Rod Fergusson who much like Don Roy was someone that could help close a game out. Rod was also noted for having the ability to help tune in the creative ideas that Ken Levine was looking to convey with the staff.
While BioShock Infinite was able to ship, Irrational Games wasn’t able to thrive. Instead, the company was rebranded as Ghost Story Games which is again being headed by Ken Levine. Meanwhile, the BioShock IP was able to live on with a new installment which is being developed currently by Cloud Chamber, another studio under 2K.