Lead designer at Irrational Games, Ken Levine, has confirmed today that BioShock Infinite will not see a release this year, and will instead be pushed to early 2013. BioShock Infinite was originally scheduled to be released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on October 16th, now our first chance to get inside Columbia will come on February 26th.

Levine says the main reason for the delay is to make “specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary.” Sounds like a fantastic reason to us. Of course, pushing a huge title like this back a few months frees up a an October spot for another (rumored) huge release — Grand Theft Auto V. Below is the official message from Levine.

When we announced the release date of BioShock Infinite in March, we felt pretty good about the timing.

Since then, we’ve come to realize that some specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary. Therefore, to give our talented team the time they need, we’ve decided to move the game’s release to February 26, 2013. We wanted to let our loyal (and very patient!) fans know this as soon as possible.

I won’t kid you: BioShock Infinite is a very big game, and we’re doing things that no one has ever done in a first-person shooter. We had a similar experience with the original BioShock, which was delayed several months as our original ship date drew near. Why? Because the Big Daddies weren’t the Big Daddies you’ve since come to know and love. Because Andrew Ryan’s golf club didn’t have exactly the right swing. Because Rapture needed one more coat of grimy Art Deco.

The same principle now applies to BioShock Infinite.

What does this mean for you? It means a bit more waiting, but more importantly, it means an even better BioShock Infinite. The great can be made greater, and we owe it to both ourselves and to you, our fans, to take this opportunity. Irrational Games is one of those rare developers lucky enough to ask the people who sign the checks: “Hey, can we have a few more of those checks?”

We are also going to hold off on showing BioShock Infinite at the big events of the summer, like E3 and Gamescom. That way, the next time you see our game, it will be essentially the product we intend to put in the box. Preparing for these events takes time away from development, time we’re going to use instead to get the best version of Infinite into your hands in February.

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