BioShock ships 1.5M, sequels being discussed

Take-Two execs toast PC/360 action-adventure's success, say IP now a "very important franchise" for the publisher.

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Last week, newly installed president of EA Sports Peter Moore told GameSpot that August sales of one title would prove third-party publishers aren't being squeezed out by console-maker-made exclusives. Ironically, the game in question wasn't an EA title. Instead, it was BioShock, a PC and Xbox 360 action adventure game made by bitter EA rival Take-Two Interactive.

It turns out these comments by the former Xbox 360 and Games for Windows marketing chief were prescient. Today during a post-earnings report conference call with analysts, Take-Two Interactive Chairman Strauss Zelnick said BioShock was already a runaway success for the controversial publisher, which has been set back by the Grand Theft Auto IV and Manhunt 2 delays.

"I'm particularly pleased with the tremendous market response to 2K's BioShock," said Zelnick. "It is reported we are the top-selling title at GameStop, less than a month since launch. We have already shipped more than 1.5 million units. Clearly we have a new hit franchise on our hands. And this one was developed internally, and we own the IP. We're proving our ability to diversify Take-Two's product portfolio."

While he did not reveal actual sales numbers for the game, Zelnick also made much of the fact that BioShock has the best aggregate review score on GameSpot sister site Metacritic. He also said the company is considering sequel-izing the action adventure along the same lines as Grand Theft Auto.

While opining on the GTA development cycle, Zelnick said, "I would say probably roughly an every-three-year [release] schedule would be optimal... I expect we would apply roughly the same strategy to BioShock, because BioShock is shaping up to be a very important franchise. I don't want to say more than that about BioShock because I certainly don't want to jinx it, but I feel awfully good about where that is going."

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