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.