Several BioShock Games Get a 2K Launcher Calling It a ‘Quality of Life Update’

Apparently now a quality of life update means adding a launcher to existing games and breaking them, if you happen to have 2K.

Recently, BioShock Remastered 1 and 2, plus BioShock Infinite all had this “Quality of Life Update”. Expecting some sort of bug fixes and polish that the name suggests, it was nothing of the sort. Instead, the patch notes for all three simply say:

This week’s update introduces several quality of life improvements, including:

  • Added in-game account linking option
  • The addition of a new launcher that includes a store to purchase new content

For BioShock Infinite, I can confirm that the update breaks when booting the older native Linux port from Virtual Schedule. Not great for those of you who stick to native versions and pay for it.

Looking at various reports, many people mention that the launcher update has broken all three for them on the Steam Deck. It’s confusing though as I tried all three on desktop Linux and Steam Deck and all three worked out of the box for me with Proton 7.0-4 and no other changes and I wasn’t even shown a launcher on Steam Deck. All good, until I tried to run them again on the desktop and sometimes the launcher just doesn’t show up so they don’t run. Frustrating.

You can see my video guide on how to switch between Proton versions or a native Linux build, if one exists.

Infinite was noted to be not supported on Steam Deck anyway, but forcing Proton 7 makes it work in my tests.

As for BioShock Remastered 1 and 2, neither of them had a native Linux version, so players on desktop Linux and Steam Deck used Proton. The problem here is that both had gone through Deck Verified, the first being “Playable” and the second “Verified”.

Fortunately, the community has stepped in to provide multiple fixes for these games if the launcher has cracked them. If you add these as a launch option (in Properties for each game) should it works for all titles on desktop Linux and Steam Deck to bypass the launcher and I have personally tested them working:

Bioshock Remastered 1:

bash -c 'exec "${@/2KLauncher\/LauncherPatcher.exe/Build\/Final\/BioshockHD.exe}"' -- %command% -nointro

Bioshock Remastered 2:

bash -c 'exec "${@/2KLauncher\/LauncherPatcher.exe/Build\/Final\/Bioshock2HD.exe}"' -- %command% -nointro

Infinite Bioshock:

bash -c 'exec "${@/2KLauncher\/LauncherPatcher.exe/Binaries\/Win32\/BioShockInfinite.exe}"' -- %command% -nointro

There has been a batch of unhappy gamers on Windows as well, so 2K is brewing a storm with all three titles receiving negative reviews on Steam. I hope they learn from this. It’s just another reminder of the problem with launchers and publishers just stuffing them into games for no real benefit to users.

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