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System Shock 3

It sounds like System Shock 3 is in real trouble

New report outlines the departure of several key developers from OtherSide Entertainment.

System Shock 3 is the in-development follow-up to one of the darlings of the immersive sim genre, and fans have been looking forward to seeing what Warren Spector and his team at OtherSide Entertainment can do with the legendary IP since the threequel was first announced. Now there are major question marks hanging over the project.

That's because a report over on VGC has revealed that a number of key developers have seemingly left the project over the last few months, including the writer/director, senior designer, lead programmer, QA lead, and senior environment artist, followed most recently by design director Chase Jones.

It's not the first time that the game has been in trouble. A year ago the title was set to be published by Starbreeze, but after the Swedish company experienced its own issues, it sold the System Shock 3 rights back to OtherSide. Since then Spector and company have been looking for publisher backing, although at the time it was suggested that there was funding in place and the developer could self-publish if required. That hasn't stopped the team leaking talent, however.

The report on VGC also points to an anonymous post on RPGCodex that outlines a worrying state of affairs at the studio.

"If Starbreeze hadn't gone into crisis I think we would've delivered something interesting with some fresh and innovative gameplay," the alleged whistleblower wrote, "but a much smaller game than what people were expecting and inevitably disappointing for a sequel to such a beloved franchise.

"Those high expectations drove a lot of expensive experimentation. We were a small team and knew we couldn't compete with current immersive sims in production quality and breadth, so we had to be creative and clever and weird. And we were on our way to make something unique and possibly fun, but probably not what the audience was hungry for."

You should take those comments with a pinch of unverified salt, of course, although they were linked-to by another former OtherSide dev, ex-community manager Sam Luangkhot, who added: "I know people are concerned about the state of the studio. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried as well."

The studio's previous game, Underworld Ascendant, launched back in 2018 in a sorry state, so the omens aren't great. Here's hoping that OtherSide can turn the tide and get System Shock 3 in the kind of shape that immersive fans will be hoping for. When that'll be is anyone's guess.

System Shock 3

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