System Shock Remastered screenshot of a zombie attack

Despite starting off extremely strong with a playable demo that managed to turn heads left and right, the development of the System Shock remaster has now unfortunately gone on hiatus. According to Nightdive Studios' CEO Stepen Kick this doesn't mean that the project is canceled, but rather that the team is taking a break in order to reassess their approach and return to the original vision.

The whole announcement is fairly brief, so allow me to just share with you the full quote. I'm afraid it won't give you much in terms of 'real' information, but it'll at least offer you some insight into System Shock's troubles. Have a look:

"In March of 2016, Nightdive Studios released our video of our vision of System Shock Remastered. Done in Unity it was an immediate hit with almost a half million views on YouTube. In June of 2016 we launched a Kickstarter campaign to make the vision into a reality. It was tremendously successful with over 21,000 backers contributing over $1.3 million to the campaign. We put together a development team and began working on the game. But along the way something happened.

Maybe we were too successful. Maybe we lost our focus. The vision began to change. We moved from a Remaster to a completely new game. We shifted engines from Unity to Unreal, a choice that we don’t regret and one that has worked out for us. With the switch we began envisioning doing more, but straying from the core concepts of the original title.

As our concept grew and as our team changed, so did the scope of what we were doing and with that the budget for the game. As the budget grew, we began a long series of conversations with potential publishing partners. 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.

Ultimately the responsibility for the decisions rests with me. As the CEO and founder of Nightdive Studios, a company that was built on the restoration of the System Shock franchise, I let things get out of control. I can tell you that I did it for all the right reasons, that I was totally committed to making a great game, but it has become clear to me that we took the wrong path, that we turned our backs on the very people who made this possible, our Kickstarter backers.

I have 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. Please accept my personal assurance that we will be back and stronger than ever. System Shock is going to be completed and all of our promises fulfilled."

While this is truly unfortunate, I can't exactly say I'm surprised given that the shift to Unreal Engine has been marked with noticeably worse visuals, atmosphere and enemy design. As you might imagine, these aren't the things you usually see when a project is going well.

That said, I still hope that Nightdive Studios will manage to pull through and steer System Shock back towards the original vision because that was a game I could easily see myself sinking hours upon hours into! Having it canceled at this point, especially with so many new people excited for the series, sure would be a darn shame.

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