Everything we know about BioShock 4: Open-world leaks, platforms, setting, more

Brad Norton
BioShock 4 potential logo

10 years have passed since the release of BioShock: Infinite, meaning BioShock 4 gets closer every day. From the setting of the next entry to leaked details of an open-world twist, here’s everything we know about the future of the franchise.

From the gloomy depths of Rapture to the astonishing heights of Columbia, BioShock has taken players far and wide throughout its three mainline titles. What started in 2007 as a standalone release came to an end in 2014 with the final episode of Burial at Sea. Ever since, the franchise has remained dormant.

After years of development hell and reported internal reboots, the next BioShock was officially made real in 2019. However, the public announcement doesn’t seem to have stopped further troubles from compounding internally.

While details remain scarce on the next entry in the BioShock franchise, here’s a rundown of everything we know thus far.


Is there a BioShock 4 release date yet?

There is no release date for the next BioShock game just yet. Despite confirming its existence in a 2019 announcement, BioShock 4 had seemingly only just begun development at that stage.

No exact timeline was provided along with this reveal. Instead, 2K Games outlined that the project “will be in development for the next several years.”

Given it’s a brand new studio taking the reins, it could also take longer than a typical AAA timeframe. This means we’re more than likely looking at anywhere from 2024 onwards as a safe bet. Considering previous delays in the franchise to boot, don’t expect to have your hands on the next BioShock for quite some time.

Furthermore, supposed leaks in 2023 claim the title is still in “development hell” to this day. According to a prominent insider on Twitter, the project was once again rebooted in 2022, its fourth restart all up. “The game is currently being drastically rewritten,” they claimed.

“The narrative team has faced the biggest challenges, as they have been ‘unable to write a script worthy of a renowned franchise’ over these years. This became a key factor of the reboot,” the leaker claimed. Additionally, the pointed to a reliance on contractors and “very high staff turnover” as signs of disorganization within the studio.

BioShock 4 platforms

BioShock 1 artwork
The original BioShock launched in 2007 on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

Since the next BioShock is still a few years out, that all but confirms what platforms we’ll be seeing it on. There’s a very slim chance that the PS4 and Xbox One hardware will support the title.

As a result, it’s safe to assume BioShock 4 will launch across the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S, and PC. 

BioShock Isolation & open-world leaks

BioShock Infinite gameplay
In an open-world setting, players would advance through the core storyline at their own pace.

As Cloud Chamber looks to bolster its development team, the studio has been hiring for all manner of roles. While little is known about the game itself, a number of these job listings have revealed some major details. 

A Senior Writer was previously in hot demand as the team is looking to “weave impactful, character-driven stories in an open-world setting.”

Not only that, but an AI Programmer’s role required the development of a new “urban crowd system.” Additionally, mission content has been listed as “primary and secondary,” further hinting at the notion of a broader game.

Additional leaks have teased the name ‘BioShock Isolation’ as a possibility. While there’s no verifying these claims just yet, not only did the source provide a potential logo, but also further details that align with previous leaks.

Bioshock Isolation may be set in “a new-to-franchise isolated dystopian city,” according to the leaks.

In fact, this dystopia could even be split in two, according to an alleged slide from a Bioshock pitch.

“There might be two cities with a radically different ideology,” leaks claim. “One of them located underground right below the other, both sharing a ‘flipside’ border zone with an unleashed ‘vertical war.’

It’s obviously worth taking this information with a grain of salt for now.

When and where is BioShock 4 set?

BioShock collection artwork
From Rapture to Columbia we’ve seen polar opposites in the BioShock series.

The BioShock series stood out in large part due to its idyllic man-made locations. Where might the next daring leader carve out their utopia? We’ll just have to wait and see what 2K has in mind.

But according to a report by VGC and their sources: “BioShock 4 will take place during the 1960s in a fictional Antarctic city. Narratively, the game will be tied to the previous BioShock games.

“We want you to help us breathe life into a new and fantastical world,” one such listing read. While it doesn’t help us pinpoint the next title, we know for definite that earlier locations are off-limits.

BioShock Burial at Sea gameplay
With a brand new setting in-store, it’s safe to assume there won’t be any returning characters.

We’ve been sky-high and deep underwater, so what does leave for the next entry? If BioShock 4 is to follow its roots, a brand new community could take over and establish its borders just about anywhere on Earth. After all, wherever there’s a lighthouse, there’s always going to be a city.

Perhaps it’s even time for the series to take us into a futuristic city out in space. We’re sure to have an exact date and location locked in well before release, so we’ll keep you updated.

About The Author

Brad Norton is the Australian Managing Editor at Dexerto. He graduated from Swinburne University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and has been working full-time in the field for the past six years at the likes of Gamurs Group and now Dexerto. He loves all things single-player gaming (with Uncharted a personal favorite) but has a history on the competitive side having previously run Oceanic esports org Mindfreak. You can contact Brad at brad.norton@dexerto.com