Work on it actually began in 2015, but development was rebooted.
Questions about when 2K’s beloved BioShock series will return have been asked time and time again over the years, and recently, the published confirmed that a fourth game in the series is in development at their newly formed studio Cloud Chamber. And though 2K says the game won’t be out for several years, it seems BioShock 4 – or whatever Cloud Chamber end up calling it – has actually been in development for a while now.
As per a report on Kotaku, who have spoken to “four people familiar with the project”, a fourth BioShock game – internally codenamed Parkside – has been in development in some form or the other for four years now. The project was reportedly outsourced to Austin-based studio Certain Affinity – who’ve worked in a supporting role on multiple Halo games, multiple Call of Duty games, Left 4 Dead, and more – in 2015.
However, development on the project was halted in 2016 for reasons unknown, with 2K deciding to reboot the project and move work on it in-house. By 2017, 2K started setting up a new team to work on the game, hiring people from multiple studios (including Mafia 3 developers Hangar 13). The game entered early pre-production that very year.
That BioShock 4 still won’t be out for several years yet would suggest that the game moved past pre-production and entered proper development very recently, but that the developers are taking their time with the project and have been in the pre-production stages since 2017 is an encouraging sign.