BioShock Infinite has been delayed until March 26, 2013, Irrational Games has announced.
Creative director Ken Levine announced the game's latest delay during a BioShock Infinite event attended by VideoGamer.com.
"Okay, guys, I have some bad news," said Levine. ‘When Rod [Fergusson, Epic's former Production Director] came on the project a couple of months ago – and this dude is living in a hotel nearby because he really wanted to work on Infinite – he really fell in love with the game. But he said, 'look, Ken, I really think the game would benefit from three or four more weeks'.
"I thought ahead to this conversation and went 'Oh God!'," Levine continued.
"But at the end of the day, we've got to ship a great game. So if it's three or four more weeks, then it's three or four more weeks. So it's March 26th, now."
The game had previously been due to ship globally on Tuesday, February 26, 2013.
BioShock Infinite's delay is the latest in a string of setbacks to impact the game.
The game, which was announced during August 2010, was originally due to launch in October 2012, but later pushed back to February 2013 "to make Infinite into something even more extraordinary".
A Kotaku report also suggested that a number of senior staff departures, including Art director Nate Wells and director of product development Tim Gerritse, design director Jeff McGann, and producer Joe Faulstick, meant that "a significant chunk of the core Infinite team is no longer working on the game".
But Levine suggests that the departures have made little impact on the quality of the game.
"I wish there was an exciting, dramatic story to tell here," he told VideoGamer.com in a separate interview. "Look, you've worked at a company – I'm sure you've seen people come and go. For some reason [the departures] got a lot of publicity and I think that a lot of that had to do with the fact that there'd not been much news about the game – we'd kind of gone dark. I think that made people worried and made them speculate.
"It's like [our audience] looked at us and went, 'are they hiding something?'," he continued, "but it’s like I told the team: 'look, guys, you're gonna see these stories, they're going to make you feel bad and then you’re gonna move on because ultimately, you'll put a controller into the hands of your audience and then they'll tell us the state of the game'."
And BioShock Infinite certainly left us impressed when we went hands-on with the game earlier in the week.
Head through to our hands-on preview to find out why we described Irrational's next as a "head trip of epic proportions", and how Booker DeWitt's journey through Columbia will leave you awe-struck.