After roughly six years of silence, today 2K Games finally unveiled its plans for the future of BioShock. That future, led by the newly formed Cloud Chamber, seems bright. This new California and Québec-based team is apparently just now beginning production on the next BioShock installment. However, there’s supposedly more to the story. In addition to reports suggesting Cloud Chamber has existed in some form since 2018, another claim alleges 2K’s had a BioShock project in the works since at least 2015.
In 2015, according to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, the Texas-based team Certain Affinity began early development on what was to become BioShock 4. Codenamed Parkside, this new project set in the rich world(s) of BioShock would’ve been a boon for Certain Affinity. Prior to this, the studio notably provided development support for the likes of Call of Duty and 2016’s DOOM. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite pan out. Schreier says four sources close to the matter told him 2K pulled the plug on Parkside near 2016’s end. Specifics aren’t known, but 2K ultimately chose not to outsource the series, deciding instead to rely on a team in-house.
By 2017, 2K formed a new studio in Novato, California. This burgeoning squad, which at the time remained unknown to the public, began recruiting developers from Hangar 13, the Mafia III team. Seemingly, Parkside continued to serve as the fourth BioShock’s codename. The project itself, however, “entered early pre-production” and began anew.
Why 2K is just now unveiling Cloud Chamber seems somewhat of a mystery. Apart from the studio’s name and second base of operations in Montréal, Québec, the publisher is merely confirming a nearly two-year-old rumor. This also begs another question: How far along in development is this BioShock project? 2K’s press release says the title will be in production for the “next several years.” Who knows what exactly this means internally, though a public announcement does seem to suggest some amount of confidence in the new studio and the game itself.