PlayStation Vita

Ken Levine Wanted To Make A Final Fantasy Tactics Style Bioshock Game For Vita


At E3 2011, Sony brought Bioshock creator Ken Levine out on stage to promote their PlayStation products, namely the PlayStation Move and the PlayStation Vita. At the time, Levine confirmed that Bioshock Infinite would support the Move peripheral, and also teased that he was working on a Bioshock game for the Vita.


As the months went by, Levine, Take-Two and Sony would constantly be questioned about this game, given that no trace of it had emerged since the original tease. In multiple interviews, Levine emphasized that, given the Vita’s state, the decision was in the hands of Sony and Take-Two, and not his.


Levine’s last statement on the matter was in August 2013, when he told Kotaku that he was “trying to make a match between the parties”. Judging by his quote, Sony and Take-Two had been unable to reach a business agreement.


Earlier today, Levine touched upon the Vita game once again, confirming this.


He tweeted: “on the Vita game: 2k and sony couldn’t put a deal together when I last checked. They seemed way more optimistic about this back in 2011.”


In follow-up tweets, Levine  hinted at the kind of project it might have been. He stated: “something that would work well on the vita and not be a compromise in any way. also, as some know, i’m a turn based whore.” Then, in reply to a fan, he revealed: “I was thinking a Final Fantasy Tactics style thing set in pre-fall Rapture.”


While Bioshock never ended up making its way to the PlayStation Vita in any form, Sony did manage to bring a port of Borderlands 2—also originally published by 2K Games, a subsidiary of Take Two—to the platform. The Vita port of Borderlands 2 was funded and published by Sony, and was developed by Iron Galaxy.


Meanwhile, Levine has since announced that Bioshock studio Irrational Games in its previous form no longer exists. Levine has laid off the majority of the studio’s staff and is currently focused on “a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavour at Take-Two”. The reins of Bioshock itself, Levine said, have been handed over entirely to Take-Two.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.