So, uh, an interesting turn of events — that remaster of System Shock from NightDive Studios? Days before its planned Kickstarter, the developer has decided to drop the "Remastered" bit and is launching head-first into reboot territory. This, I'm sure, will be met with mixed feelings.
Speaking with Polygon's Allegra Frank, NightDive CEO Stephen Kick revealed the change of name and direction:
"We felt that the amount of passion and resources that we are putting into this game elevated it beyond the expectations that someone would have for a remaster ... This is a full-fledged reboot of a classic game into something new."
I guess it was a good idea to make this clear before the Kickstarter. Good to know what you're pitching in for and all that.
What does this mean in terms of the bigger picture? It's hard to say. As Kick alludes to, the project might have began as a reskin, but in reality it started out as more. Remastered wasn't simply updating models and textures — NightDive was reimplementing the game in an entirely new engine.
Given such a fresh start, it's easy to see how small changes to gameplay — and even the plot — may have snowballed into a more significant endeavour. Perhaps rebranding as a reboot was the only honest thing to do, so it's immediately apparent that you're getting a similar, yet noticeable different game.
We'll see if the strategy pays off — the Kickstarter will certainly give a clear indication.