The System Shock remake is now slated for a release window of Q1 2020. The project, which began as a Kickstarter in 2016, was only recently put on hiatus last month. Speaking to PCGamer at GDC 2018 recently, Nightdive Studios CEO Stephen Kick and business development director Larry Kuperman discussed what went wrong with the System Shock remake, and what the current state of development is. Kick said: “We understood based on the backer feedback, especially, that we weren’t going in the right direction with the game, what we promised to them. That’s what really caused the shift in what we’re doing now, which is going back to what we’d established and represented with the Unity demo.”
Nightdive Studios switched from Unity to using the Unreal Engine for the System Shock remake. Kuperman added that as development on the game progressed, more people wanted to “put their imprint on it,” which made the game move away from its original representation. He explained that although their initial “interpretation” wouldn’t have been bad, it still wouldn’t be faithful to the “System Shock vision.”
Kick continued: “Our intention is to ship exactly the game that was promised, with as much of the features that were promised as we can, in a timeframe that will get it out as fast as we can. Our expectation is probably Q1 of 2020.” Kuperman explained further that although that date wouldn’t have been what players wanted to hear, it’s the most realistic projection of when the game will be ready for release.
Kick also told PCGamer that Nightdive Studios will unveil the Unreal Engine version of an in-game sample from the System Shock remake to Kickstarter backers in the next update, which will arrive in early April. The original System Shock was released over more than two decades ago in 1994 for the PC and other platforms. It was notable for being the first game which sparked the immersive sim genre of games, inspiring other iconic games like Bioshock and Deus Ex. Check out the Kickstarter page for the System Shock remake here.