This may be the start of a new trend: development studios seeking outside help to make the best game they possibly can. And we're all for it.
Perhaps you didn't know, but developer 2K Marin has already dragged in some outside help during the design process for Bioshock 2 ; they've asked 2K Australia for some help with the title's technological component, and Dark Sector developer Digital Extremes assisted in the multiplayer aspects. Now, as reported by GameSpot , 2K Marin has gone after their fourth studio: it's Arkane Studios, who will be "lending design, animation and art assistance" to the game in question. If you're not familiar with Arkane, they gave us Arx Fatalis in 2002 and 2K Marin producer Alyssa Finley had this to say about their help: "Under the direction and leadership of 2K Marin, Arkane is assisting in the creation of levels that embody the aesthetic and gameplay ideals that make BioShock such a unique and exciting experience." As far as we're concerned, we don't care how many different developers are involved in any given production; if the game is awesome, that means everyone did their respective jobs. What's wrong with going outside the box to drag in extra talent?
So now we've got an idea: let's all make a game that blends all sorts of genre elements, and we'll use Konami for any action elements related to stealth, Square-Enix for any RPG elements, Rockstar for any open-world adventure elements, and the combination of Naughty Dog and SCEA Santa Monica for any combat elements. WIN.
Related Game(s): Bioshock 2