BioShock Infinite Is in Trouble, Loses Key Developers

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

BioShock Infinite Is in Trouble, Loses Key Developers

image

Prominent developers at Irrational Games are jumping from the airship of BioShock Infinite.

The first BioShock was by no means an assured success. Ken Levine - head of Irrational Games - said the shooter was not the game we now regard as a classic before the release date was pushed back to 2007. His team needed extra time for polish and refinement, and he said the same thing when 2K Games announced Irrational's follow-up BioShock Infinite would miss its October 2012 release window. The game is still planned for February 2013, but today we learned two top members of the design team have left the studio. Tim Gerritsen, director of product development, and Nate Wells, the art director responsible for the look of the Big Daddies, are no longer employed at Irrational Games, placing the development of BioShock Infinite in danger.

We learned of Wells' and Gerriten's departures through some investigating into their social networks, not through any official announcement. According to Gamasutra, Wells updated his Twitter bio to read "New Job ... Details to follow" earlier today, but has since revised it to be blank. Gerritsen's LinkedIn page notes that his employment at Irrational Games ended in August 2012. Well's LinkedIn page says that his Irrational Games tenure is in the past.

There's been no official word on whether these departures will affect the release date for BioShock Infinite, but it certainly can't be good news.

Source: Gamasutra

Permalink

Oh yeah the game with the lady in a corset with huge tits.
Now I remember

Calling it now...this game will be the new Duke Nukem Forever.

Good luck hiring new people.

Oh yeah, you won't cause anyone who wants to has had to have worked on a game that has a Metascore of 85 or higher.

Eh, not much in the way of news, if the game is scheduled for a Feb 2013 release, it should be in lockdown at this point or close to it. Polish and bug fixing til Nov/Dec, then console certification, and expect a gold announcement end of January. Probably some DLC content creation in this stage too.

Losing those two roles isn't that big an impact, as art direction is already set and done at this point, as is development. Chances are they took the opportunity to leave at this point when the workload has lessened.

I don't know if the 'in trouble' bit isn't sensationalism. I mean for the evidence you have they could have been let go because they aren't needed, or because they were replaced or whatever. Maybe the tweaking was the job of the second lead art director. And surely a product manager isn;t vital?

ThriKreen:
Eh, not much in the way of news, if the game is scheduled for a Feb 2013 release, it should be in lockdown at this point or close to it. Polish and bug fixing til Nov/Dec, then console certification, and expect a gold announcement end of January. Probably some DLC content creation in this stage too.

Losing those two roles isn't that big an impact, as art direction is already set and done at this point, as is development. Chances are they took the opportunity to leave at this point when the workload has lessened.

Exactly what I was thinking. I'm sure this won't affect the overall quality of the game. Sad to see two talented people leave Irrational, but then again, we don't know what the circumstances are.

Wow... You people seriously think a game that's mere months away from going gold needs new art worked into it? Two guys leaving puts the whole game in danger?

Is this a gaming site or Fox News?

I don't know if I would say the game is in trouble. It could be that those people moved on to other pursuits after finishing their portion of the project.

Maybe they even had a falling out, but since the last delay was said to be to put some finishing touches on the game, I doubt it is the end of the world.

So much sensationalism in this article. As others said at this point in time the loss of these two staffs members will have little to no impact on the game. In fact it could be possible that they left because their work at Irrational was done. The gaming industry is notorious for employees not staying with studios for a long period of time, instead they opt to jump to different studios in hopes of advancement.

Well it would seems like they wouldn't really need anymore art direction at this point in development, Gerritson's departure is bad news though. Still no need to make it out to be worse than it is. It's not like the programmers have all been 'Raptured'

This might be overblown, but still, it doesn't look good when top developers are leaving a game before it's finished, especially when one of them is notable for designing the Big Daddies.

DVS BSTrD:
Well it would seems like they wouldn't really need anymore art direction at this point in development, Gerritson's departure is bad news though. Still no need to make it out to be worse than it is. It's not like the programmers have all been 'Raptured'

Ah yes, your obligatory pun of the day. Have a cookie.

As for this whole fiasco, I would like to agree with the others on this. I doubt that we're in any real danger of not getting this game on time. Got my calendar marked for February as well, I'm so pumped.

mindlesspuppet:
So much sensationalism in this article. As others said at this point in time the loss of these two staffs members will have little to no impact on the game. In fact it could be possible that they left because their work at Irrational was done. The gaming industry is notorious for employees not staying with studios for a long period of time, instead they opt to jump to different studios in hopes of advancement.

Everything you are in the games industry, your entire resume, comes from your inclusion in the end credits of games. Studios routinely leave out even the most prominent people if they are not still on the team the day the game ships. So if two of the higher ups. Particularly one of the core art directors, leaves 6 months before the game ships, what is the message to be taken away?

Now granted this may simply be that these individuals have long had other commitments that they delayed departing for when the Bioshock Infinite release date was pushed back.They may have been prominant enough to have contracts that guarantee their inclusion in any credits, and that allowed them to stay a few extra months, and freely leave when their tasks were done.

But still the departure does raise some eyebrows.

As far as that "must have worked on a game with an 85 Metacritic score" job posting. The takeaway there is they are probably filling one of these two positions. They probably already have someone lined up for it, and that job posting was tailored to them specifically in order to satisfy all of the legal niceties.

And not a single shit was given. Call me crazy, but the game's art style seems pretty damn well defined by this point, so the art guy leaving should be no big blow to the development of the game.
The guy for product development... I'm not so sure about, but eh. Fuck it. It's not like it's the end of the world.

ThriKreen:
Eh, not much in the way of news, if the game is scheduled for a Feb 2013 release, it should be in lockdown at this point or close to it. Polish and bug fixing til Nov/Dec, then console certification, and expect a gold announcement end of January. Probably some DLC content creation in this stage too.

Losing those two roles isn't that big an impact, as art direction is already set and done at this point, as is development. Chances are they took the opportunity to leave at this point when the workload has lessened.

A development studio losing key creative/design directors just before release is like the Chief Development Officer of a major company resigning a month before the company launches a new product line.

I.e. they're probably not satisfied with the result and want to distance themselves from it and get a new job before the shit hits the fan and the game (& their reputation) tanks. That, or they don't like their job... which could be indicative of studio-wide employee dissatisfaction.

Mr.Tea:
Wow... You people seriously think a game that's mere months away from going gold needs new art worked into it? Two guys leaving puts the whole game in danger?

Is this a gaming site or Fox News?

I wouldn't say that- even though Bioshock 2 might be safe and sell like crazy, this does put the company at a disadvantage for future games to come. Also note that every game has a script and though the art should be settled in at this point- designs to characters, villains, and basic NPCs still go underway. So yeah Bioshock 2 might be alright but for future games.. the top two people leaving is a dent in their tracks for all I can tell.

I've been a bit worried about bioshock Infinite ever since that gloriously impressive trailer... Where it went to halo style 2-weapon pick up. Uuuurggh. Do. Not. Want.

And there was the overall tone of it seems to be so action focused at the expense of depth in combat it didn't seem like the successor to the bioshock I loved. It didn't really show off the breadth of gameplay options more outlined the limitations to show off the pre-set sequences that seemed far more arranged than emergent.

tmande2nd:
Oh yeah the game with the lady in a corset with huge tits.
Now I remember

And that's a bad thing how?

Caramel Frappe:

Mr.Tea:
Wow... You people seriously think a game that's mere months away from going gold needs new art worked into it? Two guys leaving puts the whole game in danger?

Is this a gaming site or Fox News?

I wouldn't say that- even though Bioshock 2 might be safe and sell like crazy, this does put the company at a disadvantage for future games to come. Also note that every game has a script and though the art should be settled in at this point- designs to characters, villains, and basic NPCs still go underway. So yeah Bioshock 2 might be alright but for future games.. the top two people leaving is a dent in their tracks for all I can tell.

I... uhh... Are you speaking to me from the past? Ohmygod! You have to find my past self and punch him/me in the face and say: "You're about to fuck it up; Don't!" I'll know what it means.

(Bioshock 2 was released 2 1/2 years ago)

Ok, so you're saying "Bioshock: Infinite" is safe, which is what I was saying, and that future projects are at risk, which I didn't mention... Um, great! We agree!
Yes, losing two high-level members really puts a development team in trouble, but all I said was that the game is too far along to really suffer from it. As long as the rest of the development team aren't drooling simpletons, the game can be finished with little impact and if they're really good, no impact at all.

tl;dr
Bioshock: Infinite is in no trouble whatsoever and it makes the article author look like he really doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. Not to mention that his source is "here's what we inferred from reading these two men's social network feeds..."

DjinnFor:

ThriKreen:
Eh, not much in the way of news, if the game is scheduled for a Feb 2013 release, it should be in lockdown at this point or close to it. Polish and bug fixing til Nov/Dec, then console certification, and expect a gold announcement end of January. Probably some DLC content creation in this stage too.

Losing those two roles isn't that big an impact, as art direction is already set and done at this point, as is development. Chances are they took the opportunity to leave at this point when the workload has lessened.

A development studio losing key creative/design directors just before release is like the Chief Development Officer of a major company resigning a month before the company launches a new product line.

I.e. they're probably not satisfied with the result and want to distance themselves from it and get a new job before the shit hits the fan and the game (& their reputation) tanks. That, or they don't like their job... which could be indicative of studio-wide employee dissatisfaction.

That's exactly what's got me worried. I would assume the game is nearly finished now, but if people are quitting...

I loved Bioshock, and was thoroughly looking forward to Infinite, but if the some of the top chaps are dissatisfied with the direction the developer is heading, that's a little disconcerting.

Mountain out of a Mole hill much?

Quite an inflammatory title; given this seems fairly inconsequential to the fate of Infinite.

If anything; this will have an effect on Irrational's next game, but not Infinite.

Mr.Tea:
(Bioshock 2 was released 2 1/2 years ago)

Yeah this would be their third Bioshock, thanks for correcting me on that concept lol.
As for the author, I don't blame him for believing that this will hurt the upcoming game.

I would be scared too if the top developers for Bethesda left when Skyrim was in production. It'd make anyone worry.

woodaba:
Calling it now...this game will be the new Duke Nukem Forever.

It would have to be in development for almost another decade before this can be another Duke Nukem forever, release pushed back by 4 months is hardly enough to go by in order to determine this.

OT: I don't think this will affect the game's final quality a lot unless the article underplays the importance of those two developers. It could lose something with those two or it could gain something. As far as the article states these two will only affect visuals and that isn't enough to make or break a game.

;.; Please don't ruin my game. Bioshock Infinite is the thing I am most looking forward to. Hopefully these guys were problems rather than assets and the game will be better for it?

I'll wait for a "Bioshock Infinite delayed/cancelled" article before I start foamin'.

ThriKreen:
Eh, not much in the way of news, if the game is scheduled for a Feb 2013 release, it should be in lockdown at this point or close to it. Polish and bug fixing til Nov/Dec, then console certification, and expect a gold announcement end of January. Probably some DLC content creation in this stage too.

Losing those two roles isn't that big an impact, as art direction is already set and done at this point, as is development. Chances are they took the opportunity to leave at this point when the workload has lessened.

That was my impression. Also, as pivotal as those roles might be, I doubt they can't be replaced with likeminded, similarly competant people.

I would genuinely like to hope that by this point the game is past where the daily oversight of such high-level positions is necessary. I guess we'll see...

faefrost:
Everything you are in the games industry, your entire resume, comes from your inclusion in the end credits of games. Studios routinely leave out even the most prominent people if they are not still on the team the day the game ships.

Routinely? The only time I ever heard that happen was on L.A. Noire - and that was a huge deal.

Btw: am I the only person wondering what a 'Director of Product Development' actually does?

DjinnFor:
A development studio losing key creative/design directors just before release is like the Chief Development Officer of a major company resigning a month before the company launches a new product line.

You really need to learn how game dev works. At this stage of development, content lockdown, they're essentially in skeleton crew mode - polish and bug fixing. Art direction is set, and chances are any assistant art directors or various team leads can step in for art related decisions, since they have the rest of the game to match up. Compared with the beginning of dev when the art style has not been set yet.

Depending on the studio structure, a director of product development is probably a studio wide position where they oversee things like which projects get the go ahead and funding, or product tie ins with retailer exclusives or distribution licenses on Steam, etc. Or maybe sets code policies and oversees how the studio grows in terms of development for future titles, shuffling people around various projects as they roll off, hiring policies, licensing other products, etc.

But he doesn't have much of an impact on the actual development, and hardly a key figure.

I.e. they're probably not satisfied with the result and want to distance themselves from it and get a new job before the shit hits the fan and the game (& their reputation) tanks. That, or they don't like their job... which could be indicative of studio-wide employee dissatisfaction.

Or like I said before, with things in lockdown and less workload, they saw an opportunity to move on to other positions (An art director on 3 Bioshock titles might get bored after awhile).

And they probably have internal people like assistants who can step in and help fill the hole in the meantime.

DeltasDix:

tmande2nd:
Oh yeah the game with the lady in a corset with huge tits.
Now I remember

And that's a bad thing how?

Some people are just prudes. IIRC they actually ended up reducing her breast size because of the people whining about it. It's just sad really.

Bioshock Infinite is getting pushed back again? *yawn*

Caramel Frappe:

Mr.Tea:
(Bioshock 2 was released 2 1/2 years ago)

Yeah this would be their third Bioshock, thanks for correcting me on that concept lol.
As for the author, I don't blame him for believing that this will hurt the upcoming game.

I would be scared too if the top developers for Bethesda left when Skyrim was in production. It'd make anyone worry.

But it's not "the top developers" it's an art director (crucial in the early stages of production) and the "director of product development", whatever that means (sounds managerial though...).
We don't know how many people are working on what parts of the game and which ones are irreplaceable, but this close to release, I'm 90% sure they're not creating much new content; they're getting their existing content assembled, working and polished.

Forgetting digital distribution for a second, when you get the game disc(s) on launch day, they:
1) Have been sitting in retailers for days, having been actually pressed 1-2 weeks earlier
2) What's on them has likely been gold (release build) for a good month
3) That release build has likely been in QA testing for at least a month.

For example, Windows 8 will launch October 26, yet the final build was completed August 1. So it's complete 87 days before release. If Infinite launches February 26, it's probably already complete around December 1, which is less than 4 months away. They can certainly do without the Art Director and like I said, if the team is halfway competent, they can do without the other guy too.

And most importantly, who said they've even abandoned the project? This "news story" only assumes they've left because their Twitter and LinkedIn profiles respectively, briefly said they found new jobs. That doesn't mean they've slammed the door behind them and won't even help get Infinite out the door...

Darkmantle:

DeltasDix:

tmande2nd:
Oh yeah the game with the lady in a corset with huge tits.
Now I remember

And that's a bad thing how?

Some people are just prudes. IIRC they actually ended up reducing her breast size because of the people whining about it. It's just sad really.

Plus C cup is hardly HUGE.

DeltasDix:

tmande2nd:
Oh yeah the game with the lady in a corset with huge tits.
Now I remember

And that's a bad thing how?

Its not, I think its just a jab at how the artist was annoyed because that's all people used to describe the character.

Darkmantle:

DeltasDix:

tmande2nd:
Oh yeah the game with the lady in a corset with huge tits.
Now I remember

And that's a bad thing how?

Some people are just prudes. IIRC they actually ended up reducing her breast size because of the people whining about it. It's just sad really.

There was a news story on this site I believe, he actually reduced it because he was tired of everyone commenting on her boobs. People weren't complaining, quite the opposite.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here