System Shock 3 team allegedly made redundant, game shelved

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-02-09-report-system-shock-3-development-team-is-no-longer-employed

After the game's writer, director, design director, and lead programmer left OtherSide Entertainment in recent months, an anonymous source has said that the entire development team has been let go. This is possibly as a result of the publisher StarBreeze getting into financial difficulties and selling the rights back to OtherSide, which may have then caused further financial issues on their end. According to the anonymous source, the game wasn't even half finished.

For maximum confusion there were in fact two System Shock sequels in development, the other being developed by Night Dive and titled simply System Shock. That one was put on hiatus in 2018 although allegedly they're looking to bring it out this year.

If I remember correctly Night Dive was developing a remake, and it also had quite a rocky development.

Drathnoxis:
If I remember correctly Night Dive was developing a remake, and it also had quite a rocky development.

Is that the one that had the demo, got a kickstarter, then found a publisher and pretty much announced they were going to change to a complete different engine which essentially meant scrapping most of the progress they made(partially because nobody on the team had experience with the new engine)?

Dalisclock:

Drathnoxis:
If I remember correctly Night Dive was developing a remake, and it also had quite a rocky development.

Is that the one that had the demo, got a kickstarter, then found a publisher and pretty much announced they were going to change to a complete different engine which essentially meant scrapping most of the progress they made(partially because nobody on the team had experience with the new engine)?

That's the one, here's a write up

https://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=42010

At the end they were essentially just making a tech demo hoping some company would buy them. It's pretty staggering how bad they handled this. Say what you want about evil corporate overlord, but it's not like the small dedicated team are foolproof either.

I don't know why shock/deus ex type game can't catch a break. Prey 2017 was amazing but apparently sold poorly. Last deus Ex did poorly (okay that one was mostly deserved) and the next bioshock seems to have been stuck in development hell or pre preduction since forever. I guess there's not much of a market for FPS adventure/stealth game...

Meiam:
I don't know why shock/deus ex type game can't catch a break. Prey 2017 was amazing but apparently sold poorly. Last deus Ex did poorly (okay that one was mostly deserved) and the next bioshock seems to have been stuck in development hell or pre preduction since forever. I guess there's not much of a market for FPS adventure/stealth game...

If devs stopped making the same Immersive Sims over and over again, maybe there'd be more of a market for them. I've played Deus Ex and System Shock several times already, make a NEW immersive sim game already. Even Cyberpunk is going to basically be a less good Deus Ex most likely. The chances of CDPR making an amazing immersive sim on their 1st try is pretty unlikely as the genre is way way more ambitious than what any of the Witcher games have been. Even if it IS better than Deus Ex, it'll only be a slightly better version of a game I already played.

image

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Mark Brown sums it up perfectly (video queued to the immersive sim part):

Phoenixmgs:

Meiam:
I don't know why shock/deus ex type game can't catch a break. Prey 2017 was amazing but apparently sold poorly. Last deus Ex did poorly (okay that one was mostly deserved) and the next bioshock seems to have been stuck in development hell or pre preduction since forever. I guess there's not much of a market for FPS adventure/stealth game...

If devs stopped making the same Immersive Sims over and over again, maybe there'd be more of a market for them. I've played Deus Ex and System Shock several times already, make a NEW immersive sim game already. Even Cyberpunk is going to basically be a less good Deus Ex most likely. The chances of CDPR making an amazing immersive sim on their 1st try is pretty unlikely as the genre is way way more ambitious than what any of the Witcher games have been. Even if it IS better than Deus Ex, it'll only be a slightly better version of a game I already played.

image

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Mark Brown sums it up perfectly (video queued to the immersive sim part):

Ah... Dishonored series? I know that didnt sell exceptionally well but it was a fantasy spin on the immersive sim

It's been cancelled?

Well that comes as a shock to my system.

Not so good for those people's livelihoods. Curious to why starbreeze is silent on it all though. Maybe it's a shareholder thing. Maybe it's a 'finding one last trick to pull out the hat' type thing, like epic store exclusivity money, or Sony or Ms exclusive money. Maybe both. Or none. Or a disgruntled genie seeking vengeance for emotional neglect. At least it's not sacrificed at the alter of live-service cash-ins based on popular IPs midway through narrative I supposes.

Suck for the people who are now out of a job. Hope they find new and better employment soon.

Still, who wants the honor of telling B-Cell the "best game ever" is cancelled again?

Meiam:
I don't know why shock/deus ex type game can't catch a break. Prey 2017 was amazing but apparently sold poorly. Last deus Ex did poorly (okay that one was mostly deserved) and the next bioshock seems to have been stuck in development hell or pre preduction since forever. I guess there's not much of a market for FPS adventure/stealth game...

Well yeah, immersive sims are pretty niche. They're in this weird space of genre-mixing that ends up alienating a large portion of those genre's respective fanbases. Not FPS enough for FPS fans. Not RPG enough for RPG fans. And so on.

But it's not just the limited appeal. Immersive sims are afaik also really complex and difficult to make, pretty much requiring a large team and long development to properly pull off, basically AAA level resources and by extension AAA level costs. So you have a genre that is both expensive to produce and only has a fairly small potential customer base. In short, risky. That might've been more acceptable back in the 90's when even moderate success could keep a studio in the black, but in today's industry?

Is the remake of #1 still happening?

Silvanus:
Is the remake of #1 still happening?

K, quick timeline. Original version kickstarted in june '16. Development restarted from scratch to migrate to UE4 in march '17. Put on hiatus in february '18 cuz of feature creep. Development restarted again in march '18 to return to original Kickstarter vision with release date slated for Q1 2020. Nothing solid shown since.

I'd keep expectations low.

Chimpzy:
K, quick timeline. Original version kickstarted in june '16. Development restarted from scratch to migrate to UE4 in march '17. Put on hiatus in february '18 cuz of feature creep. Development restarted again in march '18 to return to original Kickstarter vision with release date slated for Q1 2020. Nothing solid shown since.

I'd keep expectations low.

Hmm, got a bit worried, so I had a look at the Kickstarter updates since then...

Seems they had a 48-hour playable demo the December just gone!

Meiam:

Dalisclock:

Drathnoxis:
If I remember correctly Night Dive was developing a remake, and it also had quite a rocky development.

Is that the one that had the demo, got a kickstarter, then found a publisher and pretty much announced they were going to change to a complete different engine which essentially meant scrapping most of the progress they made(partially because nobody on the team had experience with the new engine)?

That's the one, here's a write up

https://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=42010

At the end they were essentially just making a tech demo hoping some company would buy them. It's pretty staggering how bad they handled this. Say what you want about evil corporate overlord, but it's not like the small dedicated team are foolproof either.

Yeah, that's what I read. It's a shame, really. I really liked the demo but I'm not really holding out hope at this point. If it ends up releasing at all, it'll feel like a minor miracle.

Oh fuck really? Double whammy. -_-

This is just depressing. I didn't have suuuper high hopes for the game, but damn I was still hoping it would be at least decent. :(

Meiam:

I don't know why shock/deus ex type game can't catch a break. Prey 2017 was amazing but apparently sold poorly. Last deus Ex did poorly (okay that one was mostly deserved) and the next bioshock seems to have been stuck in development hell or pre preduction since forever. I guess there's not much of a market for FPS adventure/stealth game...

I'm so salty about Prey 2017 not doing well. It's one of the best Immersive Sims I've ever played. Great, smart plot, loads of clever gameplay systems that interlock to allow for a ton of fun shenanigans, the whole thing was incredible. It deserved much better than it got. Oh, and the Roguelike-ish DLC was a blast too. Really felt like I was carefully peeling layers away from a great big puzzle onion.

...I'm also kinda salty because a few reviewers I read said the game was "just ok" or "kinda boring", so I skipped on it for a while instead of getting it day 1, like I'd intended. Just goes to show that Immersive Sims really don't have mainstream appeal and you can't really trust most reviews on that sort of genre.

And that in fact is WHY they never catch a break. They're very costly to make, have a VERY narrow audience, and when you put those two together, they rarely make the money they need to justify their existence to shareholders. :(

Finally, the last Deus Ex game could have been amazing. It was REALLY close. It really just needed to have ONE more proper Infiltration mission so the game felt like the right length, and actually provide some kind of narrative closure to a few plot threads to make the narrative end satisfying. It's upsetting how close they were to nailing it, but falling short.

I really do have to applaud them for getting the final mission EXACTLY right, though. That final mission is EXACTLY how you do it in Deus Ex. Multiple objectives, needing to play around civilians without causing a panic, providing a gut-wrenching choice of what to do at the end...But giving you enough time to ACTUALLY do *both of them* if you were fast enough (and/or made the right story choices early on).

I made a post related to this on Easy Allies called "Do We Need Another System Shock?". Sucks that 3 is in the can, and for all we know, Remake may not happen. Seriously after games series like the Bioshock Trilogy, Dead Space, Prey (2017), Dishonored, Singularity, and arguably Evil Within 2, is it necessary at this point? This is why you never end on a sequel hook. I just feel bad for the men and women out of work right now.

Phoenixmgs:
snip

I remember when DMC1 first launched and any game that copied became DMC clones. Then God of War (2005) existed, and every game afterward was called God of War Clone. And then Yahtzee comes along and calls it spectacle fighter starting in his review of No More Heroes. All of sudden, everyone latches on to it, because he made it popular. Only for Mr. Crowshaw to regret the term many years later. When at the end of the day, spectacle fighter was just a fancy way of saying beat'em up or hack n' slash. Which is what they all are. Now the new-old term is just Stylish Action, but now does not have to be a game with swords, melee, or fist-to-nose frenzy. The term applies to 3rd person shooters like Vanquish, Gungrave, WET (sucked), and Stranglehold. FPSs have been doing this since Bulletstorm with Bright Memory and Ultrakill on the way.

For even more irony, there is a game on the PS1 that beat DMC1 to it by 2 years. The only difference being you only get one sword, one gun, a super mode, and there's is platforming. Also, there are QTES where you have to hit all of the face buttons. They're mainly finishers thankfully. The game is called Rising Zan: Samurai Gun.

CoCage:
I remember when DMC1 first launched and any game that copied became DMC clones. Then God of War (2005) existed, and every game afterward was called God of War Clone. And then Yahtzee comes along and calls it spectacle fighter starting in his review of No More Heroes. All of sudden, everyone latches on to it, because he made it popular. Only for Mr. Crowshaw to regret the term many years later. When at the end of the day, spectacle fighter was just a fancy way of saying beat'em up or hack n' slash. Which is what they all are. Now the new-old term is just Stylish Action, but now does not have to be a game with swords, melee, or fist-to-nose frenzy. The term applies to 3rd person shooters like Vanquish, Gungrave, WET (sucked), and Stranglehold. FPSs have been doing this since Bulletstorm with Bright Memory and Ultrakill on the way.

For even more irony, there is a game on the PS1 that beat DMC1 to it by 2 years. The only difference being you only get one sword, one gun, a super mode, and there's is platforming. Also, there are QTES where you have to hit all of the face buttons. They're mainly finishers thankfully. The game is called Rising Zan: Samurai Gun.

From Mark Brown's video I embedded in my post, the "clone period" is basically step 1 of creating a new genre. Then as other games come out that broaden game, it then becomes a genre because it's no longer just one game being cloned. Roguelikes never got past the "clone period" until rather recently. And if they didn't, I very much doubt we'd have the current roguelike topic we have on the board right now. Immersive sims are comfortable to reliving the glory days of System Shock and Deus Ex right now. Dishonored at least blended that with Thief.

There's hardly any DMC clones; outside of literally the guys that invented DMC (Capcom to Clover to Platinum) and Team Ninja, no one has really ever made those kind of games. There was just a thread asking if any western studio has made a game like DMC and it was a bunch of "nope". The only GOW clone I recall is Dante's Inferno. The combat system that got cloned ad nauseam was Arkham combat and that shit got so tiring.

That Rising Zan game plays nothing like DMC outside of the character having a gun and sword.

Phoenixmgs:

There's hardly any DMC clones; outside of literally the guys that invented DMC (Capcom to Clover to Platinum) and Team Ninja, no one has really ever made those kind of games. There was just a thread asking if any western studio has made a game like DMC and it was a bunch of "nope". The only GOW clone I recall is Dante's Inferno. The combat system that got cloned ad nauseam was Arkham combat and that shit got so tiring.

That Rising Zan game plays nothing like DMC outside of the character having a gun and sword.

True but Gungrave (especially the first game), Shinobi (PS2) & Kunoichi (Nightshade), Bujingai: The Forsaken City (PS2), and Viewtiful Joe count as DMC clones along with Ninja Gaiden. Though nothing plays like VJ; not even it's spiritual successor W101. And then God of War happened, and the rest is history. There is also God Hand, but nothing plays like it either. The closest thing is Mad World and Anarchy Reigns. They too (Clover to Platinum) developed the three games I just mentioned. In another bit of irony, DMC3 took notes from DMC2 and Gungrave for Dante's Gunslinger moves.

Rising Zan may not play like DMC, but it has all the hall markings and features of the genre that would become standard. You have a limit break/super meter where you're either invincible for a limited time and do more damage, QTEs, and end of level rankings. So clearly, someone was on to something before Hideki Kamiya got started.

EDIT: There is also the Onechanbara games. The early ones were like a weird cross between Dynasty Warriors and DMC. Starting with Z:Kagura the series started acting more like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta.

There goes the best game evah.

The game have not been progressing at all. i was worrying about after bankruptcy of starbreeze as this kind of game need insane amount of budget.

This is rather disappointing. And the trailer made it look like its coming together.

Is Night Dive's remake of the first game coming along though?

Samtemdo8:
This is rather disappointing. And the trailer made it look like its coming together.

Is Night Dive's remake of the first game coming along though?

Night Dive's game is coming out this year, according to them, despite it being put on hiatus back in 2018. It's probably not worth clearing your diary for.

B-Cell:
The game have not been progressing at all. i was worrying about after bankruptcy of starbreeze as this kind of game need insane amount of budget.

No, it doesn't. Dishonored was made on a small budget and was profitable at around 800K sales. Games don't need big budgets, even games that are immersive sims like Dishonored or System Shock.

 

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