Having worked on three Shadowrun games Harebrained Schemes turned to another classic FASA brand with BattleTech next, but even if BattleTech had been on their mind for a long time as Harebrained Schemes co-founder Mitch Gitelman put it the rights "were just kind of a mess". Eventually, and largely thanks to the success of the Shadowrun games it was made possible, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer had no small part in it.
"Actually it was the Shadowrun fans that sort of enabled the BattleTech fans because, with the overwhelming support that we got from Shadowrun and the fans reaction to what we did, the great reviews. That caught Microsoft's attention back to us."
"Obviously we had the Shadowrun license and they were really positive about it but, once they saw what we did with it, it was actually Phil Spencer who is the vice president of Microsoft Studios who really wanted us to do a Battletech game. To his credit, he's a really great guy. He was a good boss when I worked for him and he's a fan of Jordan's. From his point of view this had nothing to do with money any more or anything like that or licensing, screw that from his perspective."
"He had a chance to satisfy BattleTech fans by giving us the license and so he did. He just wanted there to be a good BattleTech game because there hadn't been one in so long and, that's how that happened and I'm pleased about that to."
We asked Gitelman if there weren't any strings attached - as there often is with these kind of deals.
"Phil's not about that. It's not about a lack of competition, he would love it if we supported the platform but not at the cost of another platform. He's not about that."
You can read up more on Harebrained Schemes in our recent interview with Mitch Gitelman - Harebrained Schemes: From Storage Space to Kickstarter Kings.