Dear Ken Levine: "Please Cancel Bioshock 2"

From the editorial:

"First and foremost I loved the game that was Bioshock, it was probably one of my favorite games of 2008; this is not a hate piece towards the Bioshock franchise. It is a deep look at one of the biggest problems in the video game industry right now, sequels and how they kill originality/creativity. I would like to personally thank Ken Levine for creating such an amazing piece of entertainment in Bioshock and I would ask him to continue making such original pieces of work; for that reason I beg you...."Please Cancel Bioshock 2".

I have a two question quiz. First, list some of the most popular games of 2008 for the Xbox 360. Go! Gears of War 2, Fallout 3, Fable II, Prince of Persia, and Call of Duty: World at War. Second question: what do all of these titles have in common? Whether the number is part of the title, or implied; each of these games is a sequel. There isn't an entertainment medium thriving today that isn't plagued with the beating of dead horses. This is not a blanket judgment declaring all sequels are inferior; however, this focus on "franchising" ideas makes for a copy of a copy of a copy industry. It has also trained gamers to be prepared to interact with the same worlds and characters until they have to use their toes to count. This isn't something that we always complain about. The titles listed above are good, even great, games. However, this industry and gamer routine has made tending the IP farm less fruitful. And now, Bioshock promises to get pregnant and have offspring."

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UltimaEnder3641d ago

I agree with the writer that sequels are getting boring, 2008 was FULL of redundant games and I'm ready for something new. On the other hand I freaking LOVED the first Bioshock and would be DEVASTATED if they cancelled the 2nd one.......what a conundrum we are in!

Valkyrie833641d ago

Understood, I think that was the point of this try and argue against all sequels, even if they are good games, it's a tough point to get across...

anh_duong3641d ago (Edited 3641d ago )

almost every game can be considered a sequel unless it is a new genre.

for example, uncharted could be a tombraider sequel but with a bloke instead of a girl.

saints row could be a sequal spinoff to gta. like wise for the godfather. change the name of the mafiosi to nico and you effectively end up with another GTA sequal.

the reason sequels exists is because a good franchise comes with it's own free marketing. people buy a title because the recognise the name.

why should marin bother to create a new fps ip when they can use the existing customer support that exists with the current bioshock franchise??

somekindofmike3641d ago (Edited 3641d ago )

I disagree with your statement because I do not believe almost every game can be consider a sequel "other than the obvious sequels"

Uncharted is not like tomb raider, and Saints Row is not a GTA game. It can be said that these games are inspired from the concepts of the said games, but they are significantly different in there own way.

I see where you are coming from, but I disagree because based on what you said, every game would be a sequel unless it somehow creates a new genre. Is every action film a sequel to every previous action film? Sequels are defined generally by continuing plot,

for example the ONLY ever bond sequel (to my knowledge) is Quantum of Solace which is a sequel to Casino Royal, every other film is a separate story just involving the same characters, and they never mention, refer to events or follow on from events of previous Bond films, Quantum of Solace changed this. (although this process is just as bad as sequels).

SL1M DADDY3641d ago

New IP's fail horribly in sales and it is sales that insure that more new IP's come out. So, to all who did not buy any of the new IP's released in 2008 and yet complain about sequels... STHU.

Note: This post is not directed at anybody in particular but is in reference to those who complain about wanting fresh ideas in their gaming but won't buy the games that try so hard to give them what they want.

Giriath3641d ago

Killzone 2, enough said. There is a generation between the first Killzone, though.

Soseki3641d ago

The old Bond movies had continuity. I'm not a fan of the old Bond films (at all), but I found on Wiki that, like the novels/short stories, they did follow each other in terms of plot.

I see where they're coming from with this article, but I think Bioshock may lend itself well to a sequel. This is coming from my point of view though, where I don't care so much for how gameplay is improved in a great game as the continuation of its plot.

anh_duong3641d ago (Edited 3641d ago )


look at mario games.. there lots and lots of sequels but some of them can be quite different.. 2D/3D. the only thing the same can be the character. super mario on ds, paper mario, mario 64, mario sunshine are all sequels but with different styles altogether.. so basically, if you can call mario 64 and super paper mario sequels then you may as well say every games within a genre as sequels - this is what i mean by all games within a genre as sequels... i don't agree with it but this point is just used to illustrate the error in the author's argument..

look even at resistance 1 and resistance 2. they are set in completely different decades (different weapons, vehicles, setting), have different co-ops and multiplayers - the only thing that stays similar is hale and chimeras.

a sequel can be as different as two different ip's are as similar.

it really depends on what a developer does with a sequel. so when the author says no more sequel he is a bit stupid because a sequel does not mean no originality or imagination. there are countless sequels that have as much originality as a new ip.

somekindofmike3641d ago

There are lots of different games which are set in the Mario universe but it doesn't make them sequels, A prime example of this is Paper Mario to the Mario 64 or Mario Galaxy games, They are completely different games just set in the same universe involving the same characters. But Mario Galaxy on Wii was not a sequel to Paper Mario on Wii, Nor would you consider Mario Kart 64 a sequel to Super Mario 64

For me I call a sequel a continuation in the plot. Resistance 1 to Resistance 2 may have many differences but they continue the story. It could have completely different characters, it could be an RPG or even a platformer, but if it continues the story I would define it as a sequel, or a prequel depending on when it's set.

This is why I disagreed with your comment about almost all games could be argued at being a sequel. I think the definition of sequel is lost somewhat in Video Games, or maybe it's definition differs from other genres such as films. Like I said before, No one would call Goldeneye a sequel because it just is not!

As for Bond films having continuity - that doesn't make it a sequel, they are just stories set about the same character at different stages in his life. In each film there is a beginning a middle and most importantly an end, they leave no unanswered questions, and if they never made another Bond film no one would feel they've missed out on the plot (unlike Shenmue!) never is the same story flowed into a second film. (apart from the newest ones)

Mozilla893641d ago

The things that made the System and Bioshock games so great was its atmosphere fueled by the fact that you were exploring a place where something had gone horrible wrong. You didn't know what though and it kinda had that touch of the unknown. However all the mystique and mystery behind Rapture will be gone if they just do a simple sequel. I can only hope they manage to pull it off right and I really hope it turns out as great as Bioshock.

anh_duong3641d ago (Edited 3641d ago )

but that is my whole point you are missing here..

all the main mario (platform ones) games involve mario rescuing princess peach via a platforming gameplay etc. you can consider them sequels as much as you can consider bioshock 1 & 2 to be sequels.

the point is the author has no idea what bioshock 2 universe will be like so how can he say that they shouldn't make bioshock 2 because it is a sequel. for all we know bioshock 1 could be completely different to bioshock 2. bioshock 2 might have co-op, multiplayer etc etc.

to say don't make bioshock 2 because it is a sequel is just plain dumb.

jtucker783641d ago (Edited 3641d ago )

I think the author of this article lives in a fantasy land.

I would love to live in a world where every major franchise wasn't recycled to cash in on the popular brand.

Where Batman doesn't change his costume halfway through a movie so he has two outfits and you have to buy your kids two batman dolls.

Where there aren't two versions of DVDs / Blu-rays released as a normal version and a "uncut" previously unseen version.

Where Nintendo had brought out a real console instead of releasing a white box full of overclocked gamecube parts and given it a next gen price tag.

Where quaint little coffee shops aren't run out of business because a Starbucks has parked itself next door and the stupid masses actually prefer to pay more money for lower quality milky water than real coffee.

But that ain't going to happen.
Because companies are greedy ... and the general public are stupid.
Franchise cash ins and low quality products with high mark-up FTW!

I should go into business :)

Tempist3641d ago

There were a lot of non-sequel games released in 2008, however, a lot of them were flat out rejected by the hardcores and the press. (Remember Haze, Lair form 2007, Mirror's Edge was a little disappointing)

Some were well recieved like Left4Dead, but over all if it's new, it's hate time.

ape0073641d ago

don't cancle a masterpiece
bioshock is a very unique game in a see of "go from poimt A to B just killing wih only two weapons and automatically charging health"

if you cancled bioshock 2,maybe I'll ....... whatever

AnttiApina3641d ago

They made System Shock 2 after the first SS. And it wasn't bad at all, IT WAS BETTER!

Marquis_de_Sade3641d ago (Edited 3641d ago )

I couldn't disagree more with this, 2008 saw some excellent original IPs, LittleBigPlanet, Left 4 Dead, World of Goo, Mirrors Edge, Dead Space, GRID, No More Heroes, Valkyria Chronicles, Lost Odyssey, Pure and Braid, all of which received respectable ratings. Hardly a small list is it?

+ Show (12) more repliesLast reply 3641d ago
Ashton3641d ago

it's one of my anticipated games of 09 for ps3

The Matrix3641d ago (Edited 3641d ago )

I'm a huge video game player so naturally, I was excited to play bioshock. I played through the whole game and found it to be slightly better than mediocre. Good graphics? It's dark half the time and there aren't any rooms bigger than a basketball gym to showcase any good graphics. Good story? Not as impressive as I thought it was going to be. Fun weapons and plasmids? I played through almost the entire game with my wrench and electro plasmid (because I didn't need anything else). Couple that with fighting the same freakin enemies for 20 hours and you have a mediocre game at best. I really don't understand how I could be game of the year for 2007 much less game of the month.

somekindofmike3641d ago

I haven't completed Bioshock yet (I know I'm a sinner!) but so far I have to agree with you. I've played far better games than Bioshock - Half Life 2 for example I thought was epic.

not that Bioshock was bad, I just think it's either overrated, or just not for me. I still enjoyed it though.

vasilisk3641d ago

Bioshock was a good concept, great atmosphere and design, but a mediocre game. The enemies were the same through the entire game and that was boring as hell. Also the game was one of the easiest I've ever played. You could finish the game on survivor difficulty without even shooting once, and without using your plasmids cause if you boosted your wrench damage and your strength the splicers only needed 1 or 2 hits with it to die. And when you died? Didn't even matter. You respawned in a chamber and the enemies' energy was what was left of them before you died. You didn't even have to use any health pack for the entire game. And I don't even want to start a discussion on how lame the final boss was and how incredibly lame was the ending.
And last one thing that bothered me for the entire game was that your character was around 4 feet tall (or around 1.20 meters). Seriously, if any of you has a copy o bioshock, put it in and go in front of a door and see where the doorknob is according to you, or go besides a table to see how tall you are. Half of the game I thought I was crouching...

GoldenAge3641d ago

To me Bioshock is overrated at least the PS3 version is with all the exclusive content being put in it's review versions.

I mean more than a year to port it to the PS3 and they still needed a patch to make it equal to the 360 version (Big Daddy in PSN Demo) and the fact that besides survivor mode there was nothing else new. Sure you can argue challenge rooms but I believe that should have been on disc especially given the amount of time before getting a chance to play it as a PS3 owner. Hell Alone in the Dark was only months delayed for PS3 but then they suddenly had a revamped control system and a new scene at one chapter, Red Alert 3 will have tons of new videos, a couple of new maps, enhanced visuals, and biography cards for units.

To me a late game is only good when I'm getting a chance to play something worth $60 rather than finding a cheaper alternative.

morganfell3641d ago

^^^^^^^ So what you are saying is good games are only good for a certain amount of time. By your thinking games should have an expiration date on the box.

Pssst. Your anti-PS3 bias is showing.

GarandShooter3641d ago

'By your thinking games should have an expiration date on the box.'

Hahahahaha....wait....Damn you Morganfell! Now I've got to go check the milk carton.

Marquis_de_Sade3641d ago

Deepobsidian, that's nonsense. None of those games you list come close to the quality of Bioshock, those games NEED the extras to make them worthwhile purchases 'X' amount of months later. Bioshock is a great game and only needs to present itself in its' original form to be worth a purchase regardless of when its' released.

GoldenAge3639d ago (Edited 3639d ago )

If it's a year late port make me buy it don't force me to believe that that I can't get it anywhere else. I bought for a friend for his 360 he didn't have it at the time and I payed for less than the PS3 version so what does that show me. You're telling me that the extra survivor mode is worth $30 more dollars (360 version where I'm from $30, PS3 version $60) or does the $30 include a chance to pay $10 to get DLC that I believe should have been on disc.

Games I've mentioned were just there to signify what 2K could have added given the time they had to port it, if these lesser games with lesser publicity had a lot to re-offer me than I'd be more than happy to pay full price, but if this game does not allow me to feel satisfied with paying full price when I can get it for my Gaming PC which I only use for RTS games for significantly less than I'd feel ripped-off.

It's all based on opinion in the end, most of you believe that the game itself is worth full price but with me getting laid off I'd go for the cheaper alternative rather than something that's exactly the same with the exception of an extra difficulty and twice the price.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 3639d ago
predator3641d ago

Ken Levine isn't developing Bioshock 2 they have the wrong guy.

edhe3641d ago

And sequels aren't automatically bad games.

The elitists who want all original ideas hidding 10/10 before they play them can abdicate from the title of gamer, and leave us gamers alone ;)

militant073641d ago

Completed the first didnt like it dont care for 2nd.

Foxgod3641d ago (Edited 3641d ago )

What idiot wants a sequel cancelled that is a follow up to a very succesful new ip.

Imagine what we would have missed if no one would make sequels, no metal gear solid, no final fantasy 6/7, no mario galaxy, no zelda after zelda 1 etch etch.

Dont want/like something ?
Then dont buy it and shut yer trap.

Oh, and when it comes to creativity, if you cant make a good new ip, like borderlands, bioshock or Mass effect, then dont bother making a game at all.

Games dont have to be innovative, Games just need to be fun, innovation doesnt guarentee fun, the Wii is the perfect example of that.

somekindofmike3641d ago


It's not a case of sequels are bad! some sequels such as the one you've mentioned are great.

The problem lies when we get sequels to games we don't want, and they sell because idiots buy them, and then they make another sequel...

Need for Speed anyone?

This year, Bioshock 2 will be awesome, so will Final Fantasy (if it's this year) and Gran Turismo 5 (if it's this year again) along with some other great sequels, and hopefully a few great original IPs will sneek out too that we haven't heard of yet!

I always try to pay close attention to new IPs because I know they generate less hype so you can often find a real Gem.

And games don't need to be innovative, they just need to be a fun game!

I miss games which are real games, compared to most now a days which are just interactive stories / films. I want to compete for a high score again!