Developers working on OtherSide Entertainment’s highly anticipated System Shock 3 have reportedly been let go.
Though OtherSide has yet to respond publicly to the rumours, someone purporting to be a former OSE developer has replied to forum comments from concerned fans, stating the team was “critically behind” on development. While they couldn’t “be any more specific without violating [their] NDA”, they also added that while they “don’t actually know what’s going on […] the team is no longer employed there”.
“The only reason I’m posting is because I saw so much confusion about the state of the company and the project. I thought some first-person information would be welcome,” explained an anonymous poster writing on RPGCodex with the username Kin Corn Karn. “I never suggested we were halfway done, core systems are a great foundation for a game but most of the work is content development which we were critically behind in, both in real assets and in tool support for an efficient pipeline.
“Was the failure of the project right? It’s hard to say,” they added. “If Starbreeze hadn’t gone into crisis I think we would’ve delivered something interesting with some fresh and innovative gameplay, 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.”
VGC reports that a former community manager “confirmed [the poster’s] legitimacy”.
Creative director for OtherSide Entertainment, Warren Spector, said back in July that while there’s been considerable interest from publishers interested in System Shock 3, the team has not yet ruled out self-publishing the game.
Starbreeze sold the rights to System Shock 3 back to OtherSide in February as it struggled with a “liquidity shortfall”. The development studio is now talking to “a lot” of potential publishers, with Spector stating the company is “flush enough” to press on with development whilst it attempts to secure a publisher.
At the time of writing, OtherSide has not responded to requests for comment.