Don’t Expect The System Shock Remake Until 2020

Don’t Expect The System Shock Remake Until 2020
Image: Nightdive Studios

It could be said the writing was on the wall when Nightdive Studios, the developer behind the System Shock remake, switched engines from Unity to Unreal. So, when it was announced the game was going on hiatus after “straying from the core concepts of the original title” it wasn’t completely out of nowhere. Now, it appears Nightdive’s lack of focus has pushed the game’s release all the way to 2020.

This week at this year’s GDC, PC Gamer’s Wes Fenlon managed to ask Nightdive’s Stephen Kick and Larry Kuperman about the game’s trouble development. Essentially, the team wasn’t able to keep the scope in check, which complicated matters:

“As we geared up and started moving forward with it, we began to run into feature creep,” [business development director Larry 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.”

When asked about a new release date, CEO Kick revealed it won’t be any time soon:

“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.”

They[who?] say the haunted space station overrun with creepy experiments is paved with the good intentions. I certainly hope Nightdive can stick to this plan of remaking the original, rather than an entirely new game, but its track record right now suggests otherwise.

System Shock Remake Dumps Unity For Unreal Engine

A game swapping engines mid-development is -- to put it mildly -- a risky proposition. Assets have to be redone, code ported or even cooked from scratch and developers have to acquaint themselves with new tools and workflows.

Read more

Nightdive talks System Shock remake’s change in direction, expects release ‘probably Q1 of 2020’ [PC Gamer]


  • The Unity engine build looked unique, It had a “feel” to it, The Unreal engine build looked generic like any other fps. I won’t buy the Unreal engine build. There’s already plenty of good graphics but soulless looking Unreal engine games, No thank you. These guys should have focused on what the backers wanted & not Triple A “We know what ppl want” The game into hiatus.

    • True, some recent UE4 games have felt a bit plastic in appearance and feel, such as ARK.

      Would like to see some more games use Unigine engine also, but I guess UE4 is just so EASY to develop with that its just too tempting.

      • Unity isn’t harder to develop for than UE4, but it’s much, much easier to have something optimised on UE4 than Unity. Unity is a colossal pain in the arse to optimise unless you’re careful with your assets and scenes, and even then sometimes it’s just a dog of an engine. UE4 might lack some of the flexibility (at least overtly) but it runs nicely out of the box.

        There’s (probably) no reason they can’t make the UE4 version look like the Unity version, but it’d probably take them some time to write shaders to make it look that way.

  • When your kickstarter campaign is about doing ‘x’, you should stick to doing ‘x’ cause thats what people invested in. So frustrating they can go off the rails like this in the first place.

    • Expecting 2020.. umm No!
      Expecting it never! More than likely.

      The game has already done everything wrong and has descended into the 4th level of kickstarter hell.

      Made fundamental changes to the design post kickstarter.
      Ran out of money
      Changed game engines mid development.
      Dramatically shifted treethe timeline
      Seeking investor funding (and sounds umsuccessful)

      Even if this comes out there will be so many changes and compromises due to time and funding it will be dead on arrival on the slim chance it did come out… and either way wont live up to the nostalgic memory.

  • Wow. Might take it off my wishlists. Depressing looking at it for the next 3 years. And I wouldn’t be shocked to see it cancelled. Let’s face it, the kickstarter money ran out long ago.

  • Has any kickstarted game that fell behind on production after spending its initial funding ever made its game?
    Was it critically accepted or panned?
    Delivered on its initial design scope?

    I cant think of one game. Its dead Jim… or its going to be a rotten zombie corpse!

  • This is one of the few things i really wanted to back on crowdfunding. the more i read about it i’m glad i hesitated and held onto my money.

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