Ever since I had the fortune to see BioShock Infinite, coming away extremely impressed with the demo, I’ve been following the ups and downs of the game’s development. Unfortunately, following a delay into 2013 and no demonstrations at E3 or the upcoming Gamescom, Irrational Games’ latest game has hit another snag. Two key team members have left the production – director of product development Tim Gerritsen and art director Nate Wells. Both men have interesting histories and it is certainly sad to see them leave such a high-profile project.
Gerritsen worked on another project riddled with issues but held a great deal of promise, Prey 2. As Chairman of Human Head Studios, Gerritsen capped off a long career in the gaming industry, dating all the way back to developing for the Sega 32X, before helping to craft Infinite. Wells has also been a member of the industry for over a decade, working with Irrational for 13 years. Wells has not addressed the shift on his Twitter or announced where he might be landing, but BioShock mastermind Ken Levine has designated Wells’ replacement.
Art Director for the original BioShock, Scott Sinclair, will take over duties, which at least holds promise for the remainder of development. The aesthetic touches and sense of discovery they provided are truly what made BioShock special for me, and hopefully Sinclair has enough time to leave his mark on the title.
With a little over six months left, it is disheartening to hear two seemingly important figures leave the project, but the BioShock franchise is no stranger to development issues, and hopefully this is a small snag along the way. As the original entry in the franchise released three years after its initial reveal, fans should not worry too much and expect Levine, Sinclair and the rest of their team to deliver a solid offering when it releases on February 26, 2013 for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.