When we last heard from Nightdive Studios and their upcoming remake of System Shock, the team was still at work on the game’s “vertical slice”. However, that was really back in November. And the news coming out yesterday is not what fans wanted to hear.
On the game’s Kickstarter page, Nightdive Studios’ CEO and founder Stephen Kick has posted to state that development on the game has halted while the Nightdive team regroup to get back on track. You’re probably asking the same questions I asked when I first read that announcement. Well, according to Kick, along the way, the team moved from the remaster to “a completely new game.” After the change in engine from Unity to Unreal, the team “began envisioning doing more, but straying from the core concepts of the original title.”
As the concept grew, so did the scope of the game (and the game’s budget). “The more that we worked on the game, the more that we wanted to do, and the further we got from the original concepts that made System Shock so great.” As a result, Kick has “put the team on a hiatus while we reassess our path so that we can return to our vision. We are taking a break, but NOT ending the project…System Shock is going to be completed and all of our promises fulfilled.”
Certainly a small indie studio trying to update and bring one of the greatest PC games ever to a whole new generation of gamers is no small task. And at least Kick is up front with what’s going on, even if it’s not the greatest news in the world to backers. And it’s certainly more than what we’ve heard from the also-in-development System Shock 3 camp for a while now. Still, it’s not something you want to hear from a game that was set to come out later this year.