BioShock Will Return; L.A. Noire, Beaterator Delayed Until FY09

Looks like Rapture may have a second coming. In an analyst conference call, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick revealed the company's plans to turn 2K Boston/2K Australia's BioShock into an ongoing franchise.

Zelnick was addressing an analyst's question on how to avoid watering down a franchise with annual releases but still foster innovative development on a regular basis. The chairman said Take-Two would be roughly on a biennial schedule for game releases if it didn't have to worry about fostering creativity in game design.

"I would say, probably, roughly an every-two-year schedule would be optimal. And if you look historically that has been largely the case with GTA, and I'd expect we'd apply rougly the same strategy to BioShock because BioShock is shaping up to be a very important franchise," Zelnick said in response to an analyst's query. "I don't want to say more than that about BioShock because I certainly don't want to jinx it, but I feel awfully good about where that's going."

Another analyst asked Zelnick about the sell-through numbers for BioShock, since the company has revealed shipment numbers of 1.5 million, but not retail sales. Zelnick would only say Take-Two thinks BioShock is "one of the fastest selling games in video game history."

The call also revealed two delays from previously predicted development schedules for Team Bondi's hard-boiled PS3 action game L.A. Noire and Rockstar Leeds' Beaterator--a PSP music game collaboration with hip hop producer Timbaland. Both titles are now expected to ship in Take-Two's fiscal year 2009, which begins in November 2008.

"Right now we're just pushing out the release date, and we'll be more specific as we have more information," Zelnick said. "We are continuing to develop the titles, and I think our decision was driven in part by the fact that we have such a strong release schedule for '08 and a pretty robust one."