This morning, when 2K Games revealed the existence of a new studio, Cloud Chamber, it also took the opportunity to unveil the developer's first title. It's the fourth BioShock game, a series that has been largely dormant since BioShock Infinite released in early 2013.
The way the announcement went, you're meant to think that all of this is a very brand new development. That's not exactly the case. Kotaku has followed this story for quite some time now, providing proof that the roots of the next BioShock stretch back nearly half a decade.
The fourth BioShock originally started in 2015 (but possibly even earlier than that) at Certain Affinity in Austin, Texas. Certain Affinity is a studio that has made a name for itself supporting triple-A shooters. It has assisted on franchises like Call of Duty, Halo, and Doom.
Nothing will ever come of Certain Affinity's time with BioShock because 2K took the project in-house in 2017 and rebooted the whole effort. That's when 2K originally formed what's now Cloud Chamber. Back then, it was a mysterious small team next to Mafia III developer Hangar 13, and the rumbling was that it was working on something BioShock-related. Hangar 13 employees competed with one another to switch teams -- both because BioShock is one of 2K's biggest properties, and because Hangar 13 didn't have a great sense of job security; it underwent an aggressive round of layoffs in February 2018.
When 2K says it has started working on the next BioShock, that's technically true. But that work started years ago. However, all that time was presumably spent figuring things out on a conceptual level, a small group of creatives brainstorming the future of the series. 2K makes it perfectly clear that the next game is still years away. Now that 2K is comfortable enough to formally announce it, we can probably expect development as we imagine it to actually ramp up -- hundreds of people all doing their small individual parts to collectively create a giant video game.