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Nightdive puts crowdfunded System Shock reboot on hiatus

The project lost focus after raising more than $1.3 million from Kickstarter backers

A crowdfunded reboot of the 1994 classic System Shock has been put on hiatus, though developer Nightdive Studios has reassured its backers that the project has not been cancelled.

The System Shock reboot started as a proof-of-concept YouTube video, which attracted 500,000 views. A few months later, in June 2016, Nightdive launched a Kickstarter campaign, and raised $1.3 million from 21,000 backers.

However, Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick has now told the reboot's backers that it is on hiatus, to give the team some time to, "reassess our path."

"Maybe we were too successful. Maybe we lost our focus. The vision began to change," Kick wrote in an update on the game's Kickstarter page, mentioning Nightdive's decision to switch from Unity to Unreal, and from a remaster to "a completely new game."

"With the switch we began envisioning doing more, but straying from the core concepts of the original title," Kick continued. "As our concept grew and as our team changed, so did the scope of what we were doing and with that the budget for the game.

"As the budget grew, we began a long series of conversations with potential publishing partners. The more that we worked on the game, the more that we wanted to do, and the further we got from the original concepts that made System Shock so great."

The hiatus will allow Nightdive to "return to our vision", and Kick stressed that it has no intention of ending the project. "Please accept my personal assurance that we will be back and stronger than ever," he says. "System Shock is going to be completed and all of our promises fulfilled."

Nightdive's System Shock was initially scheduled for release at the end of 2017, but with that deadline missed and no fixed idea of when development will continue, System Shock's fans will likely invest their hopes in Otherside Entertainment System Shock 3. With a team that includes Paul Neurath and Warren Spector - both key team members on the original System Shock - and Starbreeze onboard as a publisher, Otherside's sequel may well launch ahead of Nightdive's reboot.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.