Ken Levine is renegotiating his contract with Take-Two Interactive, seeking a bigger slice of the very lucrative BioShock pie.
The Cut Scene blog at Variety.com is carrying a report saying the renegotiations have been ongoing for the past couple of months and show no sign of ending soon. Levine apparently feels that as one of the few widely-recognized and respected "faces" of the videogame industry, he is entitled to greater levels of both creative freedom and financial compensation for his efforts.
ake-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick and CEO Ben Feder have both been directly involved with the negotiations, while Levine is represented by the Creative Artists Agency, a high-profile agency whose client list includes Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, Hugh Laurie and Sidney Crosby.
The ongoing negotiations are reported to be the reason for Levine's relative absence from discussions about both BioShock 2 as well as the BioShock movie. BioShock was developed by 2K Boston and 2K Australia, but Take-Two established a new studio based in Marin county to handle the development of BioShock 2 following rumors of dissatisfaction with Levine among a "good chunk" of the original development team. The company said Levine "will be involved" with the development of BioShock 2, although no details have been released regarding the nature of his role; he is also rumored to be working on a revival of the old X-Com tactical combat series.