Levine: "I got some nasty f***ing threats"

Over BioShock PC copy protection controversy, reveals designer

BioShock designer Ken Levine has revealed that he received some "nasty f***ing threats" over the controversial PC copy protection of his underwater FPS. Calm down, PC gamers...

Speaking to PC Zone, Levine said that as Irrational Games' front man he needed to stand his ground and take the threats over BioShock's copy protection - which required a mandatory internet connection and allowed only two installs.

"When we had the copy protection issues come out, I was out there talking about the product, I didn't run away from that. And frankly I got some nasty fucking threats," Levine told PC Zone. "I think it's important that somebody takes responsibility, and at the end of the day my job as creative director is to sort of be the arbiter of taste.


"With great power comes great responsibility right?"

Apart from taking knife slashings from angry PC gamers, the designer said he has to take the positive credit with the bad, which includes criticism over BioShock's fairly underwhelming conclusion.

"When I talk about the narrative problems in the third act, I don't say it's Bill's fault. I'd be wrong to take credit for the good stuff and not for the bad," said Levine.

"Sometimes my taste needs readjustment too, and Bill or Chris will come to me and say 'Dude, seriously, this section of the game is messed'. So I have to listen to these guys. Outside the work they're doing, their taste comes into it heavily.

"But at the end of the day, if you like it or hate it, the decision for it to be in the game was mine."

Read the full interview with Levine, along with lead programmer Chris Kline and lead designer Bill Gardner, in PC Zone issue 199, in the shops tomorrow.