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BioShock for the Vita remains firmly in limbo due to negotiation gridlock

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One month from today, 2K and Irrational Games will finally release BioShock Infinite. It will be Irrational’s first game since the landmark release of the original BioShock in 2007, and it marks the end of a prolonged, and reportedly painful development process. Between the game’s early 2011 announcement and now, it’s lost myriad staff members including its art director, lost a multiplayer mode, and been delayed multiple times. No more! Now people will take to the floating city of Columbia and play what will likely be among the last major releases for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. But what about those patient PS Vita owners? Those Sony handheld fans that have – since Ken Levin’s E3 2011 appearance – waited on word of a portable BioShock? Levine says they’ll just have to keep on waiting.

“I’ve got my fingers crossed that that’s going to happen because it’s something I want to do,” Levine told IGN on Monday, “But until somebody starts signing the checks, there’s nothing I can do.I’ve got people to pay! I could say to my team, ‘Hey do you want to work on this and not feed your family? Because that would be awesome.’”

“At the end of the day I work for Take-Two, and if we’re going to make a game they need to be able to fund that development and have a deal in place that makes sense for them, and makes sense for Sony.”

Finding a deal that makes sense for both Sony and Take-Two Interactive has apparently been the issue blocking the development of BioShock PS Vita for some time now. Levine said in December that the two companies had failed to negotiate a satisfactory arrangement.

“Where the Vita stands right now, it’s in the hands of the business people at Take-Two and the business people at Sony working out what happens in these business decisions,” said Levine, “[BioShock Vita] is something I’m still very interested in. I still have a cool design for it. It’s a question of, do those guys come to find the right mix that makes everybody happy to make that happen?”

Take-Two Interactive is likely reticent to commit one of its biggest brands to Sony’s handheld considering its abysmal sales over the past year. Sony is poised to fall far short of its previous estimates of selling 10 million PS Vitas worldwide by March 2013, and was forced to drop the price of the console in Japan this month.

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