Troubled video game publisher Starbreeze is selling the rights to “System Shock 3” back to developer OtherSide Entertainment, it announced on Monday.
Starbreeze acquired publishing rights for the game in 2017 and invested at least $12 million toward its development. The company expects to fully recoup all of the costs, it said.
The original “System Shock” is a first-person action-adventure title originally developed by Looking Glass Technologies in the 1990s. Widely considered one of the greatest PC games of all time, it helped birth the “immersive sim” genre and produced a truly memorable villain, the malevolent artificial intelligence SHODAN. It was produced by famed game designer Warren Spector, who’s also known for his work on the “Ultima,” “Thief,” and “Deus Ex” franchises.
Spector joined OtherSide Entertainment in 2016 and is currently helping the studio with “System Shock 3” and a spiritual successor to “Ultima Underworld” called “Ultima Ascendant.”
Starbreeze is currently focusing on its core business of internal games development and publishing after a recent restructuring. Sales of its most recent title, “Overkill’s The Walking Dead,” were lower than expected. It’s now trying to lower costs and sharpen its focus.
“I believe this is the best solution for us, although it is sad that we cannot complete the project with OtherSide. ‘System Shock 3’ is a fantastic title developed in cooperation with the industry legend Warren Spector and I am looking forward to seeing the game released,” said Mikael Nermark, acting CEO of Starbreeze AB.
Starbreeze still holds publishing rights for Double Fine Productions’ anticipated platformer “Psychonauts 2” and Mohawk Games’ strategy title “Ten Crowns.”
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