BioShock 2 Q&A: the trick to creating a critically acclaimed sequel

The first BioShock game surprised gamers when it debuted on the Xbox 360 in August, 2007. It was a horror-shooting game with mature themes and an imaginative story set in an underwater paradise gone bad. Today, Take-Two Interactive’s 2K Games division is launching the sequel, BioShock 2. The first game sold more than 3 million copies and got an average review rating of 94 out of 100 on the review aggregator Metacritic. Jordan Thomas, creative director at 2K Marin, had the task of heading the design of BioShock 2. We talked with him yesterday about the challenge of creating a brand new studio and creating a major sequel to a hit game at the same time. Here’s an edited transcript of that interview.

How do you rate Google's Super Bowl commercial debut?

Google made its Super Bowl commercial debut with its “Parisian Love” 30-second spot. Did the company get its money’s worth from the $2.5 million or so it spent? The ad is cute and does make a good point about how you can use Google to find out so many things that are important to you in life. It is focused on the product itself, not silly humor like the Doritos or Bud Light ads. And I think that’s an intelligent approach to brand marketing. What do you think?

Kaspersky Labs uses graphics chips to speed virus sorting (video)

Roel Schouwenberg is a senior antivirus researcher at Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based antivirus company that has grown into the fourth-largest in the business. Kaspersky, which entered the U.S. market in 2005, protects 250 million users from cyber threats. It has to analyze tens of thousands of files each day to figure out if they’re variants of known computer viruses.

Check out the latest new speakers and new site for GamesBeat@GDC

We’re excited to unveil our latest speakers for GamesBeat@GDC, our executive game conference that takes place at the Game Developers Conference on Wednesday, March 10, at the Moscone convention center in San Francisco. We’ve created a Facebook group for the conference where you can chat with fellow attendees and see who’s attending. We welcome your suggestions on that page. And we’ve created our own GamesBeat 2010 dedicated web site. Look for more details to be posted on these sites in the coming days.