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Starbreeze Sells Back System Shock 3 Publisher Rights to Otherside

Oct 27, 2017
1,176
#1
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (February 11, 2019) – Starbreeze and OtherSide Entertainment have mutually agreed to sell back the publishing rights to OtherSide Entertainment for “System Shock 3”. Starbreeze expects to be fully reimbursed for costs the company has had in connection with development of the game.

Starbreeze acquired the publishing rights for “System Shock 3” in 2017 and has since then partly financed the development of the game. The title owner OtherSide Entertainment and Starbreeze have now reached an agreement whereby Starbreeze returns the publishing rights for the game to OtherSide and will be able to recoup the development costs.

“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 Starbreeze AB.

As previously announced, Starbreeze will focus on its core business of games development and publishing. Starbreeze holds publishing titles for “Psychonauts 2” and “Ten Crowns”.
https://www.starbreeze.com/2019/02/...publishing-rights-to-otherside-entertainment/

Update: Otherside's statement via Facebook:

We have very much enjoyed working with Starbreeze on System Shock 3. They've been a great partner. As developers themselves they understand the challenges of game development and that's been refreshing. However, in light of Starbreeze’s current situation, we decided together that it would be best for us to go our separate ways for now. We wish them the best of luck.

OtherSide is rolling forward with System Shock 3. Warren Spector has built a great team and the game is more than halfway completed. At its core, it already feels like a System Shock game, while at the same time introducing new elements to the franchise. As the original creators of the game, we want to see this game made as much as our fans do.

Look for more information about System Shock 3 soon.
 
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OP
Mr. Tibbs
Oct 27, 2017
1,176
#7
OP
OP
Mr. Tibbs
Oct 27, 2017
1,176
#12
so are they self publishing now?
I imagine they'll want to secure a new publisher ASAP. Underworld was an enormous flop, and while their Boston studio has a new project & publisher lined-up (recently trademarked a title called Thick as Thieves), they can't have enough cash to sustain two separate teams and self-fund the development of System Shock 3, especially when they're still trying to fix Underworld and release the console ports.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,805
Western Australia
#13
I can see Devolver or Nordic swooping in. Night Dive is developing the System Shock remake internally and would probably prefer to brings 3 under its wing as well in terms of acting as publisher, but I'm not sure it has the resources to do so.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
3,251
#16
Seriously wondering how long Starbreeze is going to last. It's simply not looking good over there.

As for System Shock, I imagine someone else will pick it up. Probably one of the other mid-sized European publishers like 505, Paradox or Techland or maybe someone like THQ.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,805
Western Australia
#19
Jesus, Bo sounds like a big idiot with all this bad decisions and investments.
The whole VR thing was especially bizarre. That's not a market you just waltz into unless you have the financial cushion to support long-term bets (e.g. Facebook and Valve) or it represents an extension of your existing hardware focuses (e.g. Samsung and Sony).
 
Mar 16, 2018
1,284
#24
i'm surprised it hasn't been cancelled already. can't trust otherside with releasing a good game after the catastrophe that was underworld ascendant. warren spector hasn't made a great game in 20 years.
 
OP
OP
Mr. Tibbs
Oct 27, 2017
1,176
#25
I can see Devolver or Nordic swooping in. Night Dive is developing the System Shock remake internally and would probably prefer to brings 3 under its wing as well in terms of acting as publisher, but I'm not sure it has the resources to do so.
Hm, I'm not sure about Nordic. Don't they just buy IP rather than publishing licences to single entries? I'm not familiar with their acquisition arrangements outside of them being super frequent. Given Devolver's history, I can't seem them backing SS3. Have they ever supported a 205-30ish development team based in the States? When they publish mid-tier games, like the first Shadow Warrior reboot and Serious Sam 3, they seem to go to countries like Poland or Croatia where you get more dev for your buck.

System Shock 2 sold pretty badly, but that was 20 years ago and they were fortunate to be just a tiny 15 person team working on a PC exclusive release. I wonder if the unique feature Spector's talked abotu will be enough to differentiate it from other recent immersive sims?
 

Dr. Caroll

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,110
#27
i'm surprised it hasn't been cancelled already. can't trust otherside with releasing a good game after the catastrophe that was underworld ascendant. warren spector hasn't made a great game in 20 years.
My understanding is that Spector had little involvement with UA. It is also worth noting that UA is still being worked on. There's a new patch coming soon that turns the game into a single cohesive dungeon and makes a bunch of improvements. They've already overhauled the save system, among other things.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,805
Western Australia
#28
Hm, I'm not sure about Nordic. Don't they just buy IP rather than publishing licences to single entries? I'm not familiar with their acquisition arrangements outside of them being super frequent. Given Devolver's history, I can't seem them backing SS3. Have they ever supported a 205-30ish development team based in the States? When they publish mid-tier games, like the first Shadow Warrior reboot and Serious Sam 3, they seem to go to countries like Poland or Croatia where you get more dev for your buck.
Nordic has published some stuff that was developed externally, most recently Darksiders 3. You raise a fair point about Devolver, but as SS3 has been in development for a while now, it wouldn't be footing the entire bill.
 
OP
OP
Mr. Tibbs
Oct 27, 2017
1,176
#29
You raise a fair point about Devolver, but as SS3 has been in development for a while now, it wouldn't be footing the entire bill.
I just hope for Otherside Austin's sake that substantial progress has been made. Starbreeze saying they "will be able to recoup the development costs" sounds scary!
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,463
#31
I hope Night Dive works out a deal with them. Remake development has been a little bumpy to say the least but the team is really cool. I love watching their livestreams.
 

Dr. Caroll

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,110
#32
Even without Starbreeze's financial difficulties, after Undermountain Descendant I would have cancelled SS3 too.
One of these games was by Ion Storm Dallas. The other was by Ion Storm Austin. They were released a month apart. The quality of one does not really reflect upon the other.


Underworld Ascendant was/is by the Boston studio. System Shock 3 is by the newer Austin Studio that Spector is heading, as far as I can tell.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,805
Western Australia
#34
Nov 1, 2017
604
#40
I imagine they'll want to secure a new publisher ASAP. Underworld was an enormous flop, and while their Boston studio has a new project & publisher lined-up (recently trademarked a title called Thick as Thieves), they can't have enough cash to sustain two separate teams and self-fund the development of System Shock 3, especially when they're still trying to fix Underworld and release the console ports.
Sounds like a their spiritual successor. Anyway, never played Underworld, currently waiting for console release but what was wrong with it?
 

Valdega

Banned
Member
Sep 7, 2018
1,609
#41
I imagine they'll want to secure a new publisher ASAP. Underworld was an enormous flop, and while their Boston studio has a new project & publisher lined-up (recently trademarked a title called Thick as Thieves), they can't have enough cash to sustain two separate teams and self-fund the development of System Shock 3, especially when they're still trying to fix Underworld and release the console ports.
I don't have high hopes for SS3. Underworld clearly had a tiny budget and was released as a broken and unfinished mess. SS3 would have an even larger scope than Underworld so... yeah. Good luck to them.

Underworld Ascendant was/is by the Boston studio. System Shock 3 is by the newer Austin Studio that Spector is heading, as far as I can tell.
Oh? Maybe there is some hope then. That said, the last game Spector worked on was Epic Mickey. Let's not forgot Invisible War, either, which most people unfairly blame on Harvey Smith. Smith redeemed himself with Dishonored but Spector has yet to prove that he can still make a good game.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,140
#42
Sounds like a their spiritual successor. Anyway, never played Underworld, currently waiting for console release but what was wrong with it?
Visit the OT. Initial release had literally a non-functional save system (you pick up item, save and load, you're warped back to the beginning of the level and the item reappears), cringeworthy story/characters, bad performance, gaps in the level geometry, crashes, bad UI. I hear they patched the shit out of it, but I'm not touching it again until it gets to No Man's Sky levels of redemption.

Makes you wonder if Starbreeze agreeing to relinquish publishing rights was motivated less by its dire straits and more OtherSide's hemming and hawing.
On OtherSide's FB page (emphasis added):

We have very much enjoyed working with Starbreeze on System Shock 3. They've been a great partner. As developers themselves they understand the challenges of game development and that's been refreshing. However, in light of Starbreeze’s current situation, we decided together that it would be best for us to go our separate ways for now. We wish them the best of luck.

OtherSide is rolling forward with System Shock 3. Warren Spector has built a great team and the game is more than halfway completed. At its core, it already feels like a System Shock game, while at the same time introducing new elements to the franchise. As the original creators of the game, we want to see this game made as much as our fans do.

Look for more information about System Shock 3 soon.
Quite the opposite, it seems. Game's "more than halfway done".

EDIT: Actually could this FB quote above be added to the OP?
 
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Mr. Tibbs
Oct 27, 2017
1,176
#45
Quote from Warren Spector via the Otherside forum:

We parted ways with Starbreeze (amicably), which means we are in the process of lining up a new publishing partner. Happily, given the pedigree of System Shock and the progress we've made so far there's been a lot of interest. Has the situation affected development? Not really. The team is still, as we say, 'psyched and cranking' - in other words, continuing as normal. We're confident we can bring System Shock 3 to market and have it take its place as a leading title in the immersive simulation genre.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,056
#48
Night Dive securing publishing rights seems like the best of the likely scenarios. I also don't know if they've got the money to fund full development, but it makes a certain sense given their work on previous System Shock games and the current remake.

That said, when Prey came out people were already wondering if System Shock 3's lunch had been eaten. If you find yourself jonesing for SS3 and you haven't played Prey, you know what to do.