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Levine on BioShock Infinite's supposed 'special Move controller' and miscommunication in game development

Xav de Matos, @Xav

It's called 'the snowball effect.' One piece of information grows into something greater than it was ever meant to be. This effect can take hold even when the information is incorrect to begin with. This was the case when the PlayStation UK site claimed a special Move device was being released alongside the PS3 version of BioShock Infinite.

"My understanding of what happened with that was some marketing person at Sony said, 'Oh, I think there's a Move peripheral for this.' And they put it out there and we saw it and were just like, 'Uh. Really? We never heard of that before," Ken Levine told me last week.

Levine admits that errors like this happen "a lot."

Gallery: BioShock Infinite (E3 2011) | 6 Photos

"When you have these giant games, Xav, there's so many people involved." In going through the laundry list of different types of people attached to game development -- from the game makers to the publishers and marketing -- Levine admitted he was surprised more miscommunication doesn't occur.

But is the peripheral a possibility? "In general, I would probably get some very unhappy calls if I revealed any unannounced product or sort of talked about any unannounced product -- I'm not saying there is a product here," Levine said.

"I've never had a lot of experience with Sony before. I've never really had a lot of direct contact with them, but they've been really terrific with us and have given us a ton of support," he said, reminding us of BioShock Infinite's presentation during the Sony media briefing at E3 2011. "They've been really sweet to us, but [the 'Special Move device' listing] was a complete surprise to us when we saw that."

There's a passion that exists in the video game community that drives fans to put a lot of stock in every piece of information they hear, no matter its size or importance. The "problem" with every shred of information being revered "is a very nice" one for developers to have, he added.

"I was actually talking to my mom this morning and was sort of saying, 'Oh, God. I'm glad I can stop putting off people's questions [about a release date].'" "And then, of course, on my Twitter feed, people were asking about the next thing. Or the 'Collector's Edition.' Or the Vita game.

"I sorta like, was bitching to my mom about it, and I realized, 'Wait a minute, why am I bitching about this? I'm bitching because people are interested in what we're doing?' That is such a stupid thing to complain about."

Using release date 'leaks' from retailer websites as an example, Levine said one individual -- who is simply assigning an estimated window to a game -- inadvertently creates gospel.

"And then it becomes reality for some people and they get frustrated that you're not coming out on that date. It's a big industry with lots of moving parts."

The reality? BioShock Infinite launches on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on October 16.

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