Teaser sites seem to be all the rage with developers. Last year, Konami's Kojima Studios used a series of elaborate countdowns to generate interest in Metal Gear Solid: Rising. Take-Two 2K Games used the Web site www.somethinginthesea.com to fill in the backstory behind BioShock 2 with clues hidden in a virtual office.
Now, it appears the creator of the original BioShock is also teasing a major announcement. The studio has launched a cryptic site, www.whatisicarus.com indicating it may finally be ready to take the wraps off of its next project, code-named "Project Icarus." The site consists of a black page with an animated vertical infinity symbol and the following text: "August the 12th, at 1:45 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time [11:45 a.m PDT]."
While the timing of the announcement is clear, it's not clear what exactly Project Icarus is. Speculation had run rife that it would be a reboot of the XCOM series--but a 2K Marin-developed shooter based on the classic sci-fi real-time strategy franchise was revealed in April. Then, just two days later, Take-Two Interactive chairman Strauss Zelnick revealed that Irrational was taken off of BioShock 2 "in order to produce an original title that could become another franchise."
Zelnick offered no other details on the project. However, speaking to GameSpot in January, Irrational head Ken Levine said that the game's full reveal would occur this year. "This is the year we'll start talking about stuff, and we stop hiding behind the iron curtain of secrecy," he said. He also said that while the game is the only one Irrational is working on at the moment, "it's a big project."
[UPDATE] To clear up any doubt, Levine posted the following message on the official Irrational site:
"On Wednesday, August 11, we will be revealing Irrational Games' new project to the press. At this special event, the press will be seeing a trailer and a live demonstration of gameplay."
"On Thursday, August 12th, at 1:45 Eastern Daylight Time, we will launch the trailer for our new game at Whatisicarus.com. Our hope is that you all will see it PRIOR to reading any news in the press (which will start to come out around 15 minutes later)." (Emphasis in the original.)
"Trust me, there's a reason."
"In the coming weeks, we will be releasing a video of the demonstration to the community as well. No promises on the date yet; we're still figuring that out. "