Things were looking rosy for OtherSide Entertainment back in 2017, as Starbreeze Studio sold the publishing rights back to the System Shock 3 developer after they’d experienced some catastrophic business bad luck with Overkill’s The Walking Dead. Back in their control, Otherside’s team of top tier talent were confident that they’d be able to grab a new publishing and funding partner to help them finish off development on a sequel to a cult classic.
The only problem? It’s now 2020 and System Shock 3 is still without a publisher willing to take on the responsibility of spreading the game far and wide. Not only that, the project is currently haemorrhaging staff, with VGC via Eurogamer reporting that design director Chase Jones left OtherSide last week and is but the latest name in an exodus of skilled staff. According to a System Shock 3 forum thread, the departures began in June 2019 and so far include the likes “System Shock 3’s writer & director, senior designer, lead programmer, QA lead, senior environment artist and more”.
The other problem? According to one anonymous poster who claims to be a former developer at OtherSide, the sequel is currently sitting on risky development ground. “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,” the alleged former OtherSide member with the username of Kim Corn Karn explained.
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.
When drilled further by members of the forum, Karn said that they “don’t actually know what’s going on, but the team is no longer employed there,” adding that they couldn’t share more or risk “violating their NDA”. Whatever the case, don’t get your hopes up on seeing System Shock 3 in the near future as the game has been dead quiet since it clawed its way out of the demise of Starbreeze and went radio silent not long after despite having a promising slice of gameplay released in September, reintroducing players to the sinister menace of SHODAN.
Last Updated: February 10, 2020
February 10, 2020 at 09:22
It sucks that the studio fell apart, but the trailer they released for System Shock 2 was genuinely destructive to my interest in the game. The game footage we saw seems to struggle to find any way to appear unique, and while it was cool to see SHODAN back, (a) I don’t think she translated well to full CG facial movement, and (b) it was really awkward seeing her acting high and mighty, and laughing at the humans trying to stop her… when they did stop who two games in a row.
February 10, 2020 at 13:30
It seems the number 3 is a bad luck number in the gaming world – I’m looking at you HL Ep. 3.
February 10, 2020 at 08:57
February 10, 2020 at 17:46
Sigh. I was obviously interested but I am happy it’s been canned (hopefully) as it sounds as if the game had lost it’s core according to observations.
February 11, 2020 at 08:58