BioShock Infinite Dev Nearly Quits Over Religious Differences

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

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Bioshock Infinite | Comstock Statue

An employee working on Irrational Games’ BioShock Infinite nearly resigned from the project over religious differences. A new development video from Gamespot outlines some of the difficulties of creating characters for the game. Ken Levine, creative director for the upcoming game, spoke in an interview of one incident during the game’s development.

“[…] There’s a gentleman here- one of our artists- who got to a point in the game, played it, turned off BioShock, […], opened Microsoft Word, and wrote a resignation letter,” said Levine. “It had offended him so much.”

It seems that the disagreement stemmed from the depiction of Infinite’s main antagonist, Zachary Hale Comstock. Levine recounted the difficulties he had writing for the character.

Bioshock Infinite | Comstock Banner

The incident seems to revolve around antagonist, Comstock.

“[Comstock] was one of the toughest characters for me to write because I don’t have a religious background, let alone the darker side of his beliefs; the racist side of his beliefs. So I really had a lot of trouble writing him for a long time.

When the problem with the artist came to Levine’s attention, he was able to discuss the matter with the employee, and was able to translate those issues into the game.

“I ended up having a conversation with [the artist]; my first impulse was; “I don’t want this guy to go because he was a good guy and a talented guy,” and we actually ended up having a long talk. He was an extremely religious guy, and when we started talking, I realized that something I could connect to was a notion of forgiveness […] and thinking about how I would incorporate the power of that notion to Comstock- into his world- was, to me, the key. Because who hasn’t done things that they don’t want to be forgiven for?”

The artist ended up staying on with the project.

As of yet, it is unknown how the issue with the employee may have affected Infinite’s storyline, but fans will be able to see for themselves when the game is released on March 26.


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About Tyler Lubben

Tyler is a lifelong gamer, getting his start on the Intellivision when he was three years old. After receiving his English degree, he discovered all those jokes about getting a job in his field were true. As Head Editor with oprainfall, Tyler is able to bridge his two passions; playing and talking about video games at any given opportunity, and being a total grammar nazi the rest of the time.