A new report alleges that the troubled development for System Shock 3 may have been given new life. According to the Video Games Chronicle the game and its various rights have passed to the control of Chinese mega-firm TenCent. Tencent Holdings and its various subsidiaries have been snapping up games and IPs for years now, so it wouldn’t be too surprising.
The report states the SystemShock3.com and SystemShock4.com domains are now possessed by Tencent Holdings, after having been originally registered by OtherSide Entertainment director Paul Neurath. The project and studio have been on pretty shaky ground for some time though, with many allegations circling that could spell doom for System Shock 3.
The original problems for the project began in earnest with troubled publisher Starbreeze shedding the rights to the game. From there, the project went a little bit quiet. Despite the promise of more updates in 2019, the studio seemed to flounder. OtherSide Entertainment creative director Warren Spector said that the studio had enough capital to be independent for “quite a while,” and there were “a lot” of interested partners. The studio did eventually release a new gameplay teaser, but the problems only got worse from there.
After a few months of silence, reports began to surface of a very toxic environment leading to huge problems with System Shock 3. This apparently led to a mass exodus from the development staff, with most of the team disappearing from the project. After that shakeup in February, little has been heard. The social media accounts for the game and company have been very quiet ever since.
It’s unknown what has occurred in that time, but it likely involved a financial life raft from Tencent Holdings. If such a deal did occur, it was likely in exchange for some amount of creative control, as well as the lion’s share of the revenue from the eventual release of the game.
These new reports suggest that the team was having major issues with scale and direction on the game. The reports suggest that the team was sort of running in circles, stuck in a phase of “expensive experimentation”. Tencent Holdings could help right that ship by drawing on a wealth of support studios and game industry talent, so this could be a very good thing for OtherSide and the game itself.
At the moment, neither OtherSide Entertainment nor Tencent Holdings have commented on the report. So take this with a grain of salt. There’s still a chance that this story could change, although it seems somewhat likely given how little progress has been made on the project. OtherSide Entertainment, the original developer on the long-awaited sequel, has gone pretty quiet. The company only lists a skeleton crew via related LinkedIn profiles, suggesting a major scaling back of work. The project is still happening though, according to other reports from the original developer.