According to its most recent financial update, BioShock 2 requires "additional development time" and will not be ready for the 2009 Christmas season. "We concluded that moving the release of BioShock 2 into fiscal year 2010 was the right decision for the product," said Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick. "We believe the result will be a more compelling consumer experience and a better performing product in the marketplace."
"The decision to shift a release date is never an easy one, especially with a product as highly anticipated as BioShock 2," added CEO Ben Feder. "We felt that it was essential to invest the additional time to ensure that this title will deliver what its fans expect and deserve. As a result, we will now be launching sequels to several of our strongest franchises - including BioShock 2, Mafia II, Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption - during the next fiscal year."
Unfortunately for Take-Two, the delay of BioShock 2 exacerbates the difficulties it was already facing as a result of the poor economic climate and the company has thus been forced to reduce its guidance for the 2009 fiscal year. "We recognize that our revised outlook for the balance of fiscal year 2009, due to both internal and external factors, is a disappointment," Zelnick said. "Near-term retail conditions have proven to be more challenging for our business than the assumptions built into our prior outlook. We remain confident in the long term potential for Take-Two's business, and our ability to capitalize on that potential through our exceptional creative talent and solid balance sheet."
The news of the delay comes only three days after Take Two announced the addition of French studio Arkane to the BioShock 2 development team. At least one observer suggested at the time that bringing in an entire studio to help with the game's development when it was less than four months away from its scheduled release date could be a sign of impending trouble and possibly even a delay.
Yes, that was me.
BioShock 2 is now expected to come out sometime during Take Two's 2010 fiscal year, taking place between March 2010 and March 2011. We've dropped a line to Take Two asking for details and will update when we can.
UPDATE: VG247 has reported that Feder told investors BioShock 2 is now scheduled to launch in the first half of 2010. We'll continue to watch for updates.