BioShock creator discusses System Shock 3, sci-fi themes of his next game

Ken Levine reveals a little more about his next project; offers his thoughts on System Shock 3.

GameSpot staff
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GameSpot staff
2 min read

Ken Levine, creator of BioShock, has talked about the themes of his next game, which has not yet been officially announced or given a name.

In an interview with Game Informer, Levine was asked if he'd like to have some involvement with System Shock 3, which was officially revealed on December 13. Levine served as writer and designer for System Shock 2.

"I'm so deeply involved in the themes of our new thing, our new game is a science-fiction game," he replied. "It involves themes like artificial intelligence and what it means to be programmed, that you are a thing that was created by programming."

He continued: "That's a big theme in the new game. And how much agency you have outside of what you are as a piece of programming instructions. So I'm scratching a lot of those itches in the new game already."

Levine added that the thematic similarities between his new game and System Shock mean that he doesn't "really feel a need to go back to touch those characters again," much like he didn't feel the need to do so with BioShock and its sequel, BioShock Infinite.

Moving on from System Shock is what led to BioShock, he said: "Say we would have gotten the rights to System Shock before we did BioShock, there wouldn't have been an Andrew Ryan, or Big Daddies, or Elizabeth...I do think it's important to move on and make different things in life."

Elsewhere in the interview, Levine reflected on his personal connection to System Shock and the new sequel.

"I wish [the developers] the best," he said. "I have a personal connection to System Shock, [System Shock 2] was the first game I ever shipped...Without that game, there's nothing else for us. Nothing would have happened. So I have a deep connection with it...I'm excited, I hope they can figure it out and make a cool game out of it."

Little is known about Levine's next game, which he started working on after Irrational Games closed in February 2013. Levine and a small number of others stayed with parent company Take-Two to work on a "smaller, more entrepreneurial" project.

The BioShock series is now in the hands of 2K Games in California. As of yet a new entry in the series has not been announced, but its management has said the franchise still has lots of room to grow commercially and creatively.