UPDATE: This article was updated at 10:32pm GMT with corroboration from our own sources.
The setting for the next BioShock game has reportedly been revealed.
Details on the in-development fourth BioShock game were shared by journalist Colin Moriarty during a Sacred Symbols video on Friday (currently published for paying Patreon subscribers).
According to Moriarty, BioShock 4 will take place during the 1960s in a fictional Antarctic city. This matches with what VGC has been told by our own sources about the game.
Narratively the game will be tied to the previous BioShock games, the journalist claimed, and developer Cloud Chamber is targeting a 2022 release.
BioShock: The Collection – Launch Trailer
“It takes place in a 1960s Antarctic city called Borealis,” Moriarty said. “[The game is] codenamed ‘Parkside’… I’ve been told that the development team has incredible latitude to get it right. That seems and sounds right to me.”
He added: “Internally the game is very secret and apparently, totally locked up. Apparently the inclination there is that they understand full well that this game will be compared to what [BioShock creator] Ken Levine does. And by the way, [Take-Two] is also publishing Levine’s next game.”
Publisher 2K announced in December 2019 that work had begun on a new entry in the BioShock franchise and that it would be in development “for the next several years”.
Jonathan Pelling, who was a designer on the original BioShock, as well as creative director at the 2K Australia team responsible for Infinite’s floating world of Columbia, is design director for the new BioShock.
The game’s creative director is Hoagy de la Plante, who was involved in the original BioShock across multiple disciplines including level design, environment art and programming.
Scott Sinclair, the art director of the original BioShock and BioShock Infinite, is also working on BioShock 4.
BioShock’s original director, Ken Levine, will not be involved in the new project. He’s thought to currently be working on an “immersive sci-fi game with RPG elements” at Ghost Story Games.
BioShock 4 will reportedly be narratively linked to earlier games.
While the first two games in the series took place in the underwater city of Rapture and the third in the floating city of Columbia, a job advert spotted in August 2020 suggested BioShock 4 will take place in “a new and fantastical world”.
Another opening, for a senior technical audio designer, described the game as a “AAA narratively-driven FPS project full of character and personality”.
Finally, another job listing published earlier this year suggested that BioShock 4 will be an open world game. The job advert stated: “We’re hoping to find someone who can weave impactful, character-driven stories in an open world setting.”