Irrational Games co-founder Ken Levine announced at a BioShock: Infinite press preview event this week that the game's release date was to be pushed back to March 26, 2013.
“When Rod Fergusson came on board we looked at the game. He was there for about a month and he said, 'look, I've been looking at the schedule and looking at the game and frankly you could really benefit from another three or four more weeks for polish and bug fixing," said Levine.
“We talked about it. I knew I'd probably get beat up in the press a little bit about it. But at the end of the day, if it's going to make a better game we're going to do it.
"So the new date is March 26. That's my bad news.”
This isn't the first time that BioShock: Infinite has been delayed. Originally, the game was slated for an October 2012 release. Ken Levine announced the game's delay via an email:
"When we announced the release date of BioShock Infinite in March, we felt pretty good about the timing," stated Levine.
"Since then, we’ve come to realize that some specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary. Therefore, to give our talented team the time they need, we’ve decided to move the game’s release to February 26, 2013. We wanted to let our loyal (and very patient!) fans know this as soon as possible."
Around the time of the delay's announcement, Irrational Games also suffered a series of key departures, causing many to speculate that Irrational and the game were both in trouble. Levine's confirmation that the two BioShock: Infinite multiplayer modes that were planned had both been cancelled. However, Levine protested against the complaint arisen over the cancellation of the multiplayer modes, stating, "I think the press have been totally fair with us. The one thing the press was unfair with was when they said multiplayer is cut. When I go out and I specifically very clearly do not announce a feature and do not promise a feature when people ask me about it over and over again... what I said is we work on things all the time. If they end up being a match in the game we'll include it in the game and if not we won't.
“It's great to go out and announce a big feature like multiplayer because it gets you a lot of attention and a lot of press and articles. But then you need to deliver that. And I specifically very very carefully never announced it and never promised it and never said we had it. So when the thing came out, it said multiplayer cut, and I was like, ahh."
Whatever the case, Infinite's month-long delay may be for the best. Besides the necessary bug fixes and a legacy to worry over, February 2013 is a packed month of releases, including the planned releases of Dead Space 3, Metal Gear: Revengeance, Crysis 3, and Aliens: ColonialMarines. Pushing back to a less AAA-title leaden month like March privileges Infinite with fewer titles to compete with.