BioShock Vita Still in “the Paper Design Stage”

With the PlayStation Vita doing “everything but make me an omelet” according to Irrational Games head Ken Levine, we’ve been eagerly awaiting any news of Levine’s “pet project” – a BioShock game made specifically for the Vita. Unfortunately, it may be a while before anything concrete is released, as Irrational haven’t even begun developing the game.

Originally announced at E3, we hoped that a big reveal in front of thousands of gamers meant that at least a few developers had begun work on it. Sadly, Levine has explained to Joystiq that they’re “still sort of in the paper design stage.”

BioShock Vita isn’t simply a portable version of Infinite, or of BioShock 1 or 2, with Levine revealing “that’s not the current goal for what we’re doing,” but he admitted that “things can change.” Levine believes that a port would make the Vita version feel like a lesser game, something he doesn’t want to do:

I think for us, the idea we have is a really good expression on a platform like that [Vita]. It’s a different goal. And it has to sort of have its own voice in the franchise. If it just feels like a quieter voice in the franchise, I don’t think that works. For us.

But Levine does understand why developers make ports:

I think there’s room for every kind of game and every kind of approach. But just for what we do. That’s not to say I won’t play a lot of those games. I’d love to have that kind of game on a handheld.


I’d rather do something that’s an experiment and that’s a little different. And is unique for the franchise.

With Irrational “always stretched,” “there are never enough resources to do anything, you know?” Levine joked, but explained that he had already spoken with some “extraordinary people” about possibly outsourcing the game. Levine did admit he had some reservations about outsourcing the project, saying:

We have a Metacritic average of something like 88 or 89 percent [87.7 percent]. And the way you do that is you’re very careful with your bets … we made that bet and now we’re very carefully proceeding to make sure that it’s a game that stands tall within the franchise.

To keep quality level … I wish I could say it was easy … it just tends to be more time consuming… it’s just hard to find the right partners or the right people to hire.

It’ll probably be a while before we find out whether another developer picks up the project, or if Irrational develop in-house, but at least it’s good to hear that it won’t be a simple port.

Stay tuned to PlayStation LifeStyle for more news on the PlayStation Vita as it nears its 2012 launch.