ImageIt's easy to play Monday morning quarterback and say "I would've signed on to publish BioShock." But you'd think the guys at Irrational Games (now known as 2K Boston), the studio behind System Shock 2, would get more credit.

BioShock senior designer Joe McDonagh told CVG, "Ken [Levine, 2K Boston president] spent years pitching the game to publishers but no one was interested, incredible as that seems now. I joined Irrational in December 2004 and my first job was to get a publishing deal for the game (I worked as the Business Development Director for the first six months). I remember pitching the game to one publisher who later told a friend of mine that it was 'just another fucking PC FPS that's going to sell 250,000 units.'

"This sort of attitude really pissed me off. System Shock 2, for all its critical success, didn't sell very well, which turned buyers off. Something I realized very quickly was that as much as your boss won't ever know that you turned down a future game of the year, he will know that you signed up a turkey. You don't get fired for not taking risks. That kind of mentality is driving the industry into a creative cul de sac."

Both 2K parent Take-Two and Microsoft have gotten behind BioShock, pushing the title as one of the highlights of Xbox 360's summer offerings, and one that will likely accent the upcoming slew of later holiday games.

So far, the game has received a perfect score from Official Xbox Magazine UK and a 9.5/10 from PC Gamer UK.

In addition, a demo for the game just went up on Xbox Live. BioShock launches August 21.