If you're Ken Levine, you don't just make games. You make experiences. And experiences are not cheap, especially the "mysterious and awesome" one he and 2K Boston are working on right now.
Normally when a developer says something like "I don't make games, I make experiences," the immediate reaction is to scoff and brush them off as pretentious twats. But when Ken Levine says it, you're willing to let him get away with it. I mean, the guy helped make BioShock and System Shock 2.
You're also, if you're a publisher, apparently willing to give him a whole boatload of money to make that "experience." Engaging in a spot of nostalgia during a Q&A session at the MIT Business in Gaming conference, Levine recounted that, of his previous projects, Freedom Force cost $2 million, while System Shock 2 cost $600,000. His new game, though? "It's more than System Shock 2," he said.
At 2K Boston Levine aims to create games that deliver experiences you can't get anywhere else, and "generally those experiences cost a fair amount of money to make." The game, he says, "won't be the cheapest product ever made."
What is it, then, exactly? Levine was hesitant to say. Directly asked what he was working on, Levine responded: "Uh. Uh uh. Something. Awesome. Something mysterious and awesome. But that's about all I can say."
Okay, so here's what we know, based on this and based on previous info hoarding. The new 2K Boston game will: cost more than $600K to make, may or may not feature multiplayer, could or could not be X-COM, is "mysterious and awesome" and is "something." Well, something's better than nothing.