Bioshock Infinite will probably sell in at least the 2-3 million range. I can't tell you why it will, but it probably will as people seem to like this game series for some reason despite the major drop in quality with each title.
You start off with the great System Shock games then the still good but inferior Bioshock 1. We had the awful sequel to Bioshock and now Infinite which looks like a totally different game again, but still has the Bioshock name ... guess they thought Skyshock sounded stupid.
It all kind of reminds me of the Fable series ... start with great title and each title after gets worse and worse and then before you know it we will have on on rails kinect Bioshock game.
But Bioshock has like 95% Meta and is considered a borderline masterpiece by many people. Personally I don't think it's as good as Half-Life 2 but it's a great game.
And Bioshock 2 wasn't made by Ken Levine's studio.
I said that Bioshock was good, but it has some serious flaws that drag the experience down. I think if you ignore the story and just focus on the absolutely gorgeous environments of the game and the fun shooting/plasmid mechanics then you have a really solid game in Bioshock one. The story, aside from the somewhat clever M Night style twist half way through, was quite bland ... kind of a hodgepodge mix of From Russia with Love's underwater city idea and a high school sophmore's comprehension of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Also, the only interesting character in the entire game, Andrew Ryan, was needlessly ejected from the story 3/4 of the way through leaving the stereotypical gangster Fountaine pulling main antagonist duty when he was really more of a bit player in the story.This culminates in one of the lamest final boss fights ever. I think they almost would have been better off cutting out the last 1/4 of the game. Lets not forget that this also introduced the absurdly stupid idea of turning the player into a Big Daddy ... which the sequel would take the ball and run with.
Bioshock 1 is a quality game, and maybe it is even a great game in some respects, but it is no masterpiece. I don't care what critics say either who often have strong incentives to give even the worst crap a 8+ rating (see Gameinformer).
You have very valid points and I agree with all of it. The final 1/4th of Bioshock was a let down as it went from original and sophisticated to becoming conventional and cliché.
Bioshock Infinity looks good but I have a gnawing feeling that it will disappoint.
I don't know, maybe I unconsciously wanted to defend Ken Levine because he is a sympathetic person.
I really do hope for the best for Levine and his team. I go into every game I play hoping it will be good, and, despite my concerns with the series, I will probably buy Bioshock Infinite.
I suppose Levine could have just phoned in a game and made another generic military shooter; but they instead went for something at least somewhat original and different from the mainstream. My expectations are low for Infinite, but maybe it will surprise me.