Skip to main content

BioShock - post-mortem interview

GamesRadar: Speaking of Xbox Live, there have been rumors about possible downloadable content for BioShock... for new plasmids, possibly. Is that something you can confirm or deny?

KL: I can neither confirm nor deny, my friend.

GamesRadar: What about sequels? An official from BioShock's publisher recently presented the impression that this would become more than a one-time event, that perhaps it could become a full-fledged series. Is that something you are okay with, or something that you want to be involved with?

KL: Well, I can't comment on future products - that's up to my boss' boss, and I don't want to step on his toes in any way, shape or form. But I will say that it would be very hard for me to see someone else do it. It's such a personal product. It wasn't an easy pitch, it wasn't an easy sell and it wasn't an easy game to develop because it's so different. I'm very much attached to the franchise.

GamesRadar: Wrapping up, what has been most satisfying about the response to BioShock?

KL: What's gratifying is how it is paying off in ways that we're even surprised by. We're having so much coverage from the mainstream press. We were in the New York Times twice this weekend. We were in the Washington Post. I'm interviewing with all the local papers. Not about, like, "Whizz Bang: Videogames Make Big Splash!" but actually talking about the themes of the game. I'm thrilled about that, because our medium is as worthy as anything else. I mean, movies get covered and music gets covered, why aren't games covered in the same way? Why are games not treated seriously? I hope that BioShock has a little tiny bit to do with making games get taken more seriously by the mainstream media. Not because I need their approval, but because I want to reach the people they talk to, and have those people as part of the gaming community.

GamesRadar: What element of the game are you most proud of, now that you have the finished product in stores and in people's hands?

KL: I'm surprised that people got as much as they did. I had all these ideas about the conceit of this city, this failed utopia and all these characters. I had no idea that people would appreciate it to the level that they do. People are getting a lot of the things we were trying to do - the story of Rapture and the tone and the themes of it. That's not what people traditionally play videogames for.

I love that people get it as a shooter - I absolutely adore that. But as a story nerd, I love that we were still successful in telling a story, one that was on the gamer's terms and not on our terms, and have them still appreciate it. The last thing I wanted to do was make people sit through unskippable cut scenes so they understand my story. I like that we are able to trust the gamer enough; we trusted that the audience was ready for something a little beyond space Marines. And they repaid that trust with how they responded to the game.