System Shock is a gaming icon, one that gave many a taste of what was to come after its release. Without it, there would be no shred of its successor, Bioshock. It was pleasant news when a small team Kickstarted the remake of this beloved icon, and soon the potential of a follow-up to its sequel was in the making. Unimaginable, almost 20 years later, that a full sequel is in production.
However, 2020 started off kind of low in terms of game releases, and the infamous crunch. We’ve seen delays from multiple companies, followed by claims of unethical work relations at a number of studios. It seems that nobody can escape these problems nowadays, and the same plague spread to the development of System Shock 3.
What’s The Fuss About?
As of February 9th, 2020, the entire team at OtherSide, working on the upcoming title, is “no longer employed.” Some even going publically and addressing the situation in the fullest. Thanks to news outlet VGC, CharlieOscarDelta got a few tips from an anonymous source at the studio. Most notably, some key members already prepared for their departure five months earlier, including its chief writer and director. The unidentified source went on the panel explaining some vague aspects, regarding the matter.
“The only reason I’m posting is because I saw so much confusion about the state of the company and the project I thought some first-person information would be welcome. I never suggested we were halfway done, core systems are a great foundation for a game but most of the work is content development which we were critically behind in, both in real assets and in tool support for an efficient pipeline.”
“Was the failure of the project right? It’s hard to say. If Starbreeze hadn’t gone into crisis I think we would’ve delivered something interesting with some fresh and innovative gameplay, but a much smaller game than what people were expecting and inevitably disappointing for a sequel to such a beloved franchise.”
“Those high expectations drove a lot of expensive experimentation. We were a small team and knew we couldn’t compete with current immersive sims in production quality and breadth, so we had to be creative and clever and weird. And we were on our way to make something unique and possibly fun, but probably not what the audience was hungry for.”
The source keeps on going, explaining that this all might be due to the lack of sales the publisher, Starbreeze Studios, has been suffering lately. After its mediocre release of Overkill’s The Walking Dead, the studio went on in an interview, stating that a cut down of employees might occur. Yet this was at the time, unconfirmed.
The license was tossed around a lot since the first Kickstarter, and finally, it went to the OtherSide. And now this. Yet, we didn’t see any signs of trouble within its ranks. Last year’s early trailer made everyone sure that everything was going according to plan. When in reality, the game was going through development hell and was way behind their schedule.
Currently, the license is lost in limbo, yet we hope more news will come our way regarding the matter. Yet, for all those eager to see the remake version, fear not for that is still coming out. A studio by the name of Nightdive is handling that project, and from the looks of it, it’s shaping into an astonishing title. Not only that, but the game seems to already have a planned release date by the end of this season. All of those eager to take a bite at it can do so by downloading the demo the studio so generously provided.
For now, all we can do is wait. While the remake is coming out as planned, it remains to be seen what will happen to the third installment. As the industry gets more demanding, so too must developers ramp-up their products to meet the demands. From what we gather, there may be hope if they manage to find a new publisher. But in its current state, the game is dead, and might not ever surface. Let’s just hope that System Shock 3 will eventually come our way, and get untangled from this mess. Until then, we await any further news on the matter, so be sure to follow us.