If you were hoping to play the System Shock remaster sometime this year, you might want to pump the breaks on those expectations. According to a recent announcement, the team at Nightdive Studios has temporarily shelved the game while they reassess the project's direction.
This will likely come as upsetting news for the 21,000 plus Kickstarter backers who funneled $1.3 million into the System Shock remaster. The latest update on the game's crowdfunding page stresses that this is only a temporary pause for the project, but based on the entire body of the post and reaction in the comments, the outlook isn't very sunny.
Back in March of 2016, the folks at Nightdive released a concept video highlighting their vision for a System Shock remaster. For folks unfamiliar with the series, it's a survival horror title that eventually led to the BioShock series. The original game has a lot of fans, but it hasn't aged super well. That's why Nightdive thought it would be cool to remaster the game from the ground up for a new generation.
The video got so much love that the team decided to crowdfund the actual project, which was also wildly successful. That was back in June of 2016, with the studio fully forming and getting the ball rolling once the campaign concluded. That means the System Shock remake has been in full development for about a year and a half at this point. It was slated to launch this past December, and was then moved into 2018. Based on this latest post, however, backers are starting to fear the game won't ever see the light of day.
According to Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick, the team lost its vision somewhere along the way. They had sold the idea of a straight remaster of System Shock, which basically translates to making the game run, sound and look great by modern standards but, otherwise, you're basically playing the original game.
Kick's update explains that the team was perhaps "too successful," something they let go to their heads. The team continued to grow, as did their ideas for the game. Kick says that, after a while, the project's scope had stretched to the point that it became clear they were no longer working on a remaster so much as something completely different.
To that end, he says the team has been put on hiatus, but that backers should not fret. He states that the project will resume at some point and deliver on all of the original promises.
The comments section of the post is filled with doubt. How many members of a team on hiatus are going to stick around, without working, simply crossing their fingers that work will resume at some point? It's also pointed out that, in the games industry, hiatuses frequently extend indefinitely.
If all goes well, hopefully Nightdive just needs a little time to get refocused and back on track with the System Shock remaster. Until their next announcement, though, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.