2K Games Launches New Studio to Develop Next 'BioShock' Title

Cloud Chamber - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy 2K

Kelley Gilmore will serve as head of the newly formed Cloud Chamber, becoming the first woman in 2K's history to lead a development studio.

Video game publisher 2K has formed a new, wholly owned development studio which will operate under the company's publishing label. The new studio, Cloud Chamber, will build its team in 2K's Bay Areas headquarters and in Montreal, marking the first Canadian office for a 2K studio. 

Cloud Chamber is currently working on the next entry in the BioShock franchise, the latest since 2013's BioShock Infinite. A follow-up to that title, which sold more than 11 million copies, has been rumored to be in the works for years under different studios and creative leads. 

One of the largest publishers in the games industry with franchises such as NBA 2K and Borderlands, 2K adds Cloud Chamber to its family of wholly owned studios, which includes NBA 2K developer Visual Concepts, Firaxis Games, Hangar 13, Cat Daddy Games and 2K Silicon Valley. 2K is a subsidiary of parent Take-Two Interactive, which also owns Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption developer Rockstar Games.

Games industry vet Kelley Gilmore will serve as head of the newly formed studio, becoming the first woman in 2K's history to lead a development studio. She previously worked for nearly two decades at 2K's Firaxis Games, the studio behind turn-based strategy series Sid Meier's Civilization. Her new role is based at 2K's headquarters in Novato, Calif.

"I’m really honored to be in this position," Gilmore tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I’ve worked with 2K since their inception in 2005 and I’ve grown with them. I really admire them because they are a studio that looks for talent all over the place. While I’m becoming the first female studio head, I’m also joining a lot of other women in leadership positions throughout the organization."

Where'd the name come from? "An actual cloud chamber is this scientific contraption that captures particles from the air that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye and then through a process within this contraption they come to life and produce really cool images," explains Gilmore. "All the creative ideas we have as a collective exist in our minds until we come together and collaborate and bring them to life on a screen. We think of our space here as functioning kind of like a cloud chamber."

Tapped as studio manager for Cloud Chamber is Ken Schachter, who will also be an ambassador for both the studio and 2K in "establishing a significant company presence" in Montreal. Schachter previously served as general manager for mobile games company Zynga in Toronto. He also founded indie game developer in Montreal, known for 2012's Warped and Fez

Gilmore says Cloud Chamber is currently a "small team," but there are a number of BioShock series veterans working on the new title, including Hogarth de la Plante, creative director, who worked on BioShock and BioShock 2; Scott Sinclair, art director, who worked on BioShock and BioShock Infinite; and Jonathan Pelling, design director, who worked on all the previous BioShock titles.

“We have a leadership team that really understands what this franchise is all about and we’ve also hired veterans from other huge franchises like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed to help build a team that can bring this game to life,” says Gilmore.

Additionally, Cloud Chamber is looking to grow. "We’re going to be adding on as quickly as we can," says Gilmore.

Gilmore says she is "not ready to talk about the details" of the new BioShock title, which is the only game currently being developed at Cloud Chamber, just yet, but notes, "We’re excited for people to know it’s in the works because there’s a pretty big fan base out there that’s been wanting this to happen for a while."

While the game will be "in years of development still," Gilmore hopes fans will be able to "wait patiently" for the new title.