How One Company is Bringing Old Video Games Back from the Dead

Night Dive Studios - the company that we love for resurrecting a variety of classic CRPGs such as System Shock 2, Wizardry VII, and Strife in order to make them run perfectly on modern PC hardware - is the subject of this new article-style interview that traces its humble beginnings and the deals that they've been able to secure in order to get where they are today. Hey, there's even talk of a possible System Shock 3:

During our conversation, I ask Kick if he ever sees himself tiring of this line of work. After all, he entered the games industry as an artist, but now spends most of his days managing staff and talking with rights holders. He responds by noting that every day is different, and insists he's in it for the long haul.

Still, Night Dive's business is starting to change. With most of its current catalog, Night Dive merely licenses the rights for a rerelease, and splits the sales revenue with the rights holder. Night Dive is becoming more interested in acquiring rights in their entirety, as this gives the company much more flexibility.

One example: Night Dive is developing a full remake of the original System Shock, going well beyond the basic rerelease that launched a couple months ago. Night Dive has acquired the full rights to the franchise, and Kick says he's been working with Robert Waters, the game's original concept artist, to reimagine his designs from the early 1990s.

"Seeing the difference between his artistic abilities back then compared to now, and his ablity to reinterpret those ideas, it's just been really exciting for us," Kick says.

Part of the plan for this remake also includes a console version, which would be a first for Night Dive. Kuperman believes much of the company's future growth will come from creating console adaptations for more PC games, along with some ports for mobile devices.

We may even see a System Shock 3 someday, though Night Dive would need a larger publisher to take on the task. Kuperman says the company is "having some conversations" on this front. "To really do another game in that series is going to take resources and time and commitment that we don't have, and it's really not our core business," Kuperman says. (Until now, 2K Games' Bioshock series has stood in as a spiritual successor.)