Bringing back System Shock

Rebooting any game is tough but for Stephen Kick, bringing back System Shock was an arduous task. Here’s his story.

PC

Before I got my own computer, I played System Shock 2 on my best friend’s PC. It remains one of my favourite FPS’s with its dingy mecha-horror graphics and expansive gameplay.

Noclip spoke with Stephen Kick of Night Dive Studios about the strange story behind System Shock’s return from development limbo and his struggles to get the reboot finished.

From Wikipedia:

[…] Stephen Kick of Night Dive Studios had been seeking to license the System Shock property as to create System Shock 3. Star Insurance had not been willing to grant that license but did agree to allow Night Dive Studios to bring System Shock 2 to modern systems. Shortly after getting this approval, the NewDark patch had been released, and Kick attempted to contact “Le Corbeau” to discuss the use of their patch, but the user was impossible to contact. Kick decided to approach GOG.com for a timed-exclusive release on their digital distribution website in February 2013, where the game was the most requested to be added to the catalog. This version, considered by GOG.com to be a “collector’s edition”, included the “Le Corbeau” NewDark patch.

While Night Dive Studios also acquired the rights to System Shock, talks of a sequel (System Shock 3) lie with Tencent who acquired the rights from Otherside Entertainment who acquired the rights from Night Dive Studios.

Coincidentally, the latter confusion and delay was related to the COVID-19 pandemic not unlike the theme of System Shock (or the demise of SEGA’s arcade business).

Stream the interview below.