The Bioshock series won't end with the departure of Ken Levine and demise of Irrational Games, according to Take Two's CEO Strauss Zelnick, who has reaffirmed its importance to his publishing company.

Speaking at the Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in late May (via GameSpot), Zelnick revealed that the series to date has sold in excess of 25 million units, of which 11 million were Bioshock Infinite, the third and most recent game in the series.

"It's a really important intellectual property for the company," Zelnick said. "And while I don't have any announcements to make, yes, it's a really important franchise for us."

The series' first debuted in 2007 and was a huge success creatively, critically and financially for development team Irrational. A sequel – developed by 2K Marin – followed in 2010 before Irrational's true successor Infinite was released in 2013.

In 2014 series creator and Irrational co-founder Ken Levine announced that the studio was to be shot down and that he would be taking a small team off to develop a smaller game of his own design.

Of course Bioshock was never expected to fade into memory, and this isn't the first time Zelnick has commented on the series' continuation. Roughly a year ago, he said: "I think there's a lot of upside in that franchise. It hasn't necessarily been realised yet. And the question for the future, assuming we decide to answer the question, would be 'How do you stay true to that creatively?'; 'How do you do something exciting?'; and 'How do you do expand the market?'.

"That would be the natural drill. We're starting from a good point on it. And certainly it's been a great piece of business for us; it's been a profitable piece of business."

With E3 just a few weeks away, Zelnick's comments are likely to spark rumours of an impending announcement.