Irrational Studios' big daddy, Ken Levine, told Joystiq at Gamescom today, "You can see from the gameplay perspective connections between the games, how it's a BioShock game. I think we'll learn over time about what and if the other connections are. But it's really important to me that the same way if I had talked to people about 'would you kindly' or anything like that ahead of time, it would have taken away a lot of the experience. We want to protect the experience."
When we politely pointed out that he had avoided answering the question on whether the game is set in the same universe, he simply reiterated, "We want to protect the experience." He did eventually note regarding criticisms of the game's name: "More will be understood in time. The name will become far less mysterious once you finish the game." Yeah, great -- that's two agonizing years from now!