The Bureau: XCOM Declassified was a really disappointing game, there is no doubt about that. The game was developed by 2K Marin and according to an ex-Irrational Games developer, the publisher is to blamed for the game’s disappointing state.
According to Irrational Games’ former developer, 2K Games tried to get its hands dirty with the development, and that had a huge negative effect on the game itself.
The developer claimed that 2K Games turned the product around several times for reboots, and completely took creative control out of the hands of the developers.
As this ex-Irrational Games dev wrote at Medium:
“By the way, does anyone know why XCOM tanked? I know?—?I was there: It is because out of the above titles, it is the only title where 2K HQ felt obliged to get their hands dirty with the development. They turned the product around several times for reboots, and completely took creative control out of the hands of the developers, even going so far as to change the name of the lead studio to “2K Marin, Australia”?—?just so the Australian studio knew they were no longer in charge.”
What’s really interesting here is that 2K Games was not involved at all in the development of other successful titles – that were developed by Irrational Games and its 2K studios – such as BioShock, BioShock 2, BioShock Infinite and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
This further proves that publishers should stay away from a game’s development. They should not try to force their ideas and take creative control. They should not interfere at all as they will, eventually, do more harm than good. We’ve seen this in the past with other studios, and 2K Marin’s case is no different.