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Despite speculation, System Shock co-creator Warren Spector – and his studio Otherside Entertainment – hasn’t worked on System Shock 3 since 2019.
While Otherside announced that development of the long-awaited sequel had moved to Tencent in 2020, it was unclear at the time whether Otherside would remain involved with the project in some respects.
However, talking to GamesBeat, Spector confirmed that Otherside is completely separate from the project and that Tencent is now its sole developer. “There’s not much more to say at this point,” he said. “Tentent drives the franchise forward. It will be up to them to say what they want to say. I can’t give you many specifics.”
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Spector clarified that Otherside only worked on System Shock 3 in 2018 and 2019, before the project was handed over to Tencent. Spector added that Otherside had, at most, 17 employees on the project, but said problems with handing over the project never made him think he should break up the company, despite the layoffs:
“I never thought it would be good to disband a team. It happens in this industry, maybe more often than you would expect. But no. I had a good team. We got together. bumped into certain circumstances. Tencent is now pushing the franchise forward. It’s good for everyone, honestly.”
Otherside originally secured development rights to System Shock 3 and other sequels, while NightDive Studios is currently working on a remake of the original game. It is unclear where the current rights for the System Shock series are. Tencent is a Chinese developer and publisher best known for its work on mobile games, including Call of Duty: Mobile.
Spector says that Otherside is now working on an entirely original game, but which he believes will be an evolution of his work in the immersive sim space such as System Shock and Deus Ex: “I’m a staunch advocate of a kind particular game, for immersive simulations. I’m going to do this for the rest of my life, or at least the rest of my career. If I can’t do this, I guess I’ll stop making games. But at many ways [the new game is] what I’ve been thinking about for quite a while as the next step in immersive simulations. If we get there, people won’t be ready for what’s going to hit them.”
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who sometimes remembers tweeting @thelastdinsdale.