Publisher 2K announced the founding of a new first-party game development studio, Cloud Chamber. The press release also confirms that the studio is working on the next, as yet untitled game in the BioShock series, “which will be in development for the next several years.”
Kelly Gilmore (Firaxis Games) is the Global Studio Head for Cloud Chamber, and the first woman in 2K’s history to lead a development studio. She’s shipped over 40 games in her two decade plus career, including Sid Meier’s Civilization and XCOM franchise entries at Firaxis Games, another 2K internal studio.
“We founded Cloud Chamber to create yet-to-be-discovered worlds – and their stories within – that push the boundaries of what is possible in the video game medium,” said Gilmore. “Our team believes in the beauty and strength of diversity, in both the makeup of the studio and the nature of its thinking. We are a deeply experienced group of game makers, including many responsible for BioShock’s principal creation, advancement and longstanding notoriety, and honored to be part of the 2K family as stewards of this iconic franchise.”
Cloud Chamber is made up of two development teams, one in 2K’s headquarters in San Francisco, and the other in Montréal, Quebec, the publisher’s first ever Canadian office.
The original BioShock (itself a spiritual successor to System Shock) released in 2007 as a critical and commercial success, paving the way for the immersive shooter genre with a heavy focus on story-telling. It was followed up by BioShock 2 (developed internally at 2K) in 2010, and BioShock Infinite (by BioShock 1 studio Irrational Games) in 2013. A remastered collection that included all three games was released in 2016 for modern consoles and PC.
BioShock series creator and Irrational Games co-founder Ken Levine left after most of the company was laid off in 2014, but returned to found Ghost Story Games in 2017 with 2K, with a focus on smaller games by a smaller team. That studio has yet to publicly announce a game. It’s unclear how much involvement, if any, Levine will have with Cloud Chamber and the next BioShock game.