Take-Two: Bioshock 2 "Profitable" But "Not Hugely Successful"
Speaking to VentureBeat, CEO of Take-Two Ben Feder has noted that although Bioshock 2 was “profitable” for the publisher, he considers it “ultimately successful, but not hugely successful.”
Accurate sales data is always difficult to find in these cases, but back in June 2009 Take-Two’s Strauss Zelnick suggested that the original Bioshock had sold (at that time) around three million copies. Zelnick also said “I’d like to see a title like that sell five million units,” but despite Edge’s headline it appears this was in reference to the first Bioshock, rather than its sequel.
According to Take-Two’s fiscal report from March 2010, Bioshock 2 had also sold three million copies (though it should be noted here that this refers to copies sold to retailers, rather than the public.) This total was apparently lower than expected and Take-Two stated that sales had dried up faster than hoped.
If both sets of data are correct, it seems that Take-Two hoped Bioshock 2 would outsell the first Bioshock and are satisfied but not delighted by an equivalent sales performance. However, Feder himself admits that the familiarity of Bioshock 2’s setting (or a lack of “surprises”) resulted in the game having less of an impact – and this was always going to be the case in a sequel which reused so much of what was original about the first.
Indeed, Take-Two appears to understand the need to encourage the development of new ideas, rather than just coasting along on the diminishing creative returns of established series’ and franchises. The sales figures for Bioshock 2 may have aided this realisation, though Feber also commented that “the franchise is viable and has a lasting impact on consumers,” so another sequel is still likely.