Shadowrun Online Kickstarter Drive Launched

I honestly had no idea the folks at Cliffhanger were planning to fund their Shadowrun browser/tablet MMO through Kickstarter, but if I had to take a guess I'd say the success of their single-player cousin Shadowrun Returns convinced them it was viable, considering they have now launched their own Kickstarter fundraising drive, complete with the usual reward tiers (exclusive beta access, starting gear, etc.) and FAQ.

Here's an excerpt from their Kickstarter page:
Shadowrun Online will be free to play - meaning you can enjoy it on your own, or with friends, as long and as often as you like. You will be able to hire other runners, or play live with a team. Players can band together to try and take over parts of a city, and align themselves with one of the mega corporations (temporarily) in an all-out faction war. The mega's stocks will rise and fall with the collective actions of the players, as they take on missions, alongside or against one another. These changes will be reflected in the official pen and paper timeline of the Shadowrun tabletop game, and we will even produce a campaign book for SR 4th edition!

Shadowrun Online will also directly connect with the Shadowrun Universe website at www.shadowrun.com, so you will be able to transfer achievements or send messages between the website and the game. The Shadowrun community is at the heart of what we are trying to accomplish.

Why Kickstarter?

While our MMO is extremely modest by the big budget standards of today, it costs far more than a development company of our size is able to afford on our own. Due to the license restraints, it is hard to get traditional publishers interested, and we didn't want to give away creative control over the project, or the ability to shape the game together with you, the fans.

We have invested a considerable amount of our own, and our friends' and relatives' money, into laying the groundwork for the game and technology, but the bulk of the project and most of the content requires your pledges. We hope there is enough Shadowrun love out there, to make this game become a reality, and humbly thank you for your support. Let's shape the future of Shadowrun together!

UPDATE: Here's the press release:
Shadowrun Online launches on Kickstarter

Cliffhanger Productions launches one of the biggest European games project on Kickstarter to date. Their ambitious project for Browsers and Tablets wants fans to control much more than just the funding.

Vienna/Frankfurt, July 29, 2012 - Shadowrunhas had an exciting year, with Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun, launching a wildly successful Kickstarter topping near two million dollars with Shadowrun Returns. Now Kickstarter sees the launch of Shadowrun Online from Austrian based Cliffhanger Productions, who have already teamed up with Harebrained and Catalyst to create the Shadowrun Universe at www.shadowrun.com.

While Shadowrun Returns is focused primarily on providing a great single-player adventure experience, Shadowrun Online—like the tabletop—is all about experiencing the awesome world and gritty atmosphere of Shadowrun together with friends in tactical but fluid turn based combat. Details on the project can be found at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1964352341/shadowrun-online.

Cliffhanger Productions is taking its game to the community to fund, launching an ambitious Kickstarter campaign. This ensures that Shadowrun Online remains under the creative control of Cliffhanger, while offering the fans to participate like never before. “Our whole game concept has the fans at its heart,” said Jan Wagner, Managing Director of Cliffhanger Productions. “From our unique player driven plotline to connecting the community on the Shadowrun Universe website directly with the game, we want to bring games back where they belong: To the people who play them.”

Cliffhanger is teaming up with creative talent from Catalyst Game Labs and Hare Brained Schemes as well as previous Shadowrun authors, coordinating on story elements and pooling writing talent. That cooperation will lead to allowing players to directly affect the ongoing tabletop storyline through their game play of Shadowrun Online and also connect to the Shadowrun Returns plot! "I think coordination between the different Shadowrun products is important,” said Jason Hardy, Shadowrun Line Developer for the tabletop RPG. “I've been really pleased at how open the different parties have been to pooling cool ideas and coming up with ways to interweave plot lines to make the playing experience as awesome as possible."

The online game will available for the browser on PC and Mac as well as Android Tablets and iPads, using the Unity3D engine to create high quality graphics and visual effects.

In Shadowrun Online players take on missions alone or together in the dystopian world of the 2070s, ranging from hustling a local Ork gang, to stealing valuable cargo from a ghoul-infested warehouse, through infiltrating a remote megacorp research lab to sabotage a top-secret project.

Players will meet and mingle in social hubs and (in)famous establishments, to form runner teams, and pick up missions. Runs will take place on beautifully detailed 3D maps, involving combat, stealth, and strategy.

Different characters will perceive the world differently, and be able to interact with different parts of the world, from tactical overlays to augmented reality or assensing the spirit world.

ABOUT US:
Cliffhanger Productions is an interactive entertainment company that creates free-to-play games for a new generation of players. Cliffhanger games combine the accessibility of social and browser games with the depth and excitement of traditional games. We care about graphics and immersion. We care about story. We care about deep and satisfying gameplay. We care about what gamers want. Our first online product Jagged Alliance Online was critically acclaimed for raising bar for the quality of browser games and we aim to do even better on Shadowrun Online. Find out more at www.shadowrun.comor visit www.cliffhanger-productions.com