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Back in February, when it was announced that Nightdive's remake of the original System Shock was going on a hiatus, we were given a pretty broad time frame for when it was expected to get back on track, and in general, things were looking pretty grim for Nightdive's System Shock.
However, during this year's GDC, when PC Gamer asked Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick and business development director Larry Kuperman about the current state of the project, the two of them were more optimistic. They mentioned renewed publisher interest thanks to a new, tighter scope, and even gave an approximate release date - Q1 of 2020. An excerpt:
"As we geared up and started moving forward with it, we began to run into feature creep," Kuperman said. "All of those things like 'you know what would really be cool, how we might reinterpret this.' Various people wanted to put their imprint on it. As this process evolved over a period of time, it grew in complexity, and it veered away from this original representation. That doesn't mean that interpretation would've been bad, but it wouldn't have been true to the System Shock vision."
As we reported in February, some of the team working on the project has changed with the return to a more straightforward remake. Nightdive didn't talk in specifics about those staff changes.
"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 gave that date with the kind of expression and shrug that conveyed: no, that date isn't what anyone wants to hear. But it's practical. He was unequivocal when I asked if another two years of development would put Nightdive in a financial bind.
"No it doesn't. We've also had renewed interest from some publishing partners, for whom the more complex and costly game was something of a challenge for them, that this is what they were hoping we would provide and renewed their interest."