Look at Ken Levine in the photo above, taken at E3 2011. That's a man passionate about bringing a BioShock game to Vita, holding the handheld proudly aloft, barely weighed down by an astonishingly vast sack of cash poured into his pockets mere seconds before the event.
Three years on, however, and we've practically given up hope. After all, Irrational Games has all but closed down and Sony has confirmed that they aren't supporting the Vita with much in the way of AAA games any more. Today, Levine has banged yet another nail into the coffin, though does give us a hint of what the vapourware project might have looked like.
Hint: it wouldn't have been a shooter.
"2K and Sony couldn't put a deal together when I last checked," Levine tweeted today, yet again confirming that the two companies haven't been able to come to a business arrangement since last year's woeful update. "They seemed way more optimistic about this back in 2011."
"Wish I could do it myself, but lawyers and all that. I still love my Vita."
It's worth noting that the game was announced before the project was actually greenlit... naughty naughty... but regardless, there's almost no chance of it ever happening now. The Vita's mediocre sales forced Sony to retask the handheld as a companion device for the PS4, drastically reducing the number of expensive AAA games for the system, but convincing indie studios to fill in the gaps. There's also the small matter of Levine firing dozens of employees and all but closing Irrational Games down earlier this year.
That last point might not matter too much to BioShock Vita, though, because Ken Levine envisioned creating a turn-based strategy game as opposed to a horror-steeped shooter, requiring a smaller team to develop. "I was thinking a Final Fantasy Tactics-style thing set in pre-fall Rapture," Levine continued. "Something that would work well on the Vita and not be a compromise in any way. Also, as some know, I'm a turn-based whore."
So am I (from Tactics Ogre to FFTA and Metal Gear Ac!d), though I have to wonder whether the pitch of a turn-based title rather than a familiar shooter tie-in might have deterred Sony and 2K in the first place.
We'll likely never know. Were you still excited for BioShock Vita?