Developer The Fullbright Company is the indie team behind the sensational Gone Home. One of the developer’s co-founders, Steve Gaynor, worked on the BioShock franchise; he wrote the story for BioShock 2’s DLC “Minerva’s Den”. Gaynor has now revealed that Gone Home and BioShock take place in the same universe.
Speaking during an episode of his Tone Control podcast, Gaynor dropped this intriguing nugget of information and extrapolated it a little further by pointing out that “Minerva’s Den” showed links between the BioShock and System Shock universes. “If you were to make a lot of logical leaps,” Gaynor said, “all of those games have been linked together by our ridiculous retconning.”
As for the actual links between Gone Home and BioShock, that can be picked up via in-game video games found in both titles. In “Minerva’s Den” there’s a video game from 1950s called Spitfire. That game is playable inside BioShock 2’s DLC. In the DLC’s narrative, the game was made by a character called Charles Milton Porter, who manages to escape Rapture and return to the surface.
In Gone Home, players can find a game cartridge for a game called Super Spitfire, which is published by a company called CMP Interactive, or Charles Milton Porter Interactive. According to Gaynor, the thinking behind how Rapture’s Spitfire game made into Katie’s home is as follows: “the art [of Super Spitfire] is very Japanese-style art, so what I think happened is [Charles Milton Porter] did start a computer company when he got back to the surface, and it’s been 50 years or something, so probably the company that he started licensed the IP for that game to a Japanese company, which then made a Super Nintendo version of it.” And that’s the version that can be found in Gone Home.
Furthermore, the airline that Gone Home’s lead character Katie uses to fly home uses an updated logo of the same airline that BioShock protagonist Jack was in prior to crash-landing in the ocean.
I am such a sucker for this sort of narrative stuff.