Before Bioshock, there was System Shock. Originally released in 1994, this first-person shooter was a major early innovator in its genre and can claim both the aforementioned Bioshock and the Deus Ex series as spiritual successors.
Now word has come that developer Night Dive Studios is working on a remake of the game. More than that, the studio is working with concept artist Robert Waters (who was the concept artist for the original game) to try and make sure that the remake lives up to the look and feel of the original.
Speaking with Fast Company, Night Dive CEO Stephen Kick revealed that the studio now had the full rights to System Shock; this not only allows the company to work on a PC and console remake of the title, but may eventually lead to the development of a proper System Shock 3 as well. “To really do another game in that series is going to take resources and time and commitment that we don’t have, and it’s really not our core business,” explained Larry Kuperman, Night Dive’s head of business development; despite this, he says that the company is “having some conversations” with larger publishers to see if they can find the help they need to get a new sequel made.
The System Shock remake isn’t Night Dive’s first encounter with the IP, either; they are the studio behind the System Shock: Enhanced Edition remaster that was released at GOG a few months ago. Kick even attributes the System Shock series as being a key part of the company’s origin, explaining in the interview how System Shock 2 inspired him to found Night Dive in the first place. After acquiring the rights to rerelease System Shock 2 for modern computers, the company went on to revive and rerelease a total of 86 games that might otherwise have been inaccessible for modern gamers.
With both System Shock and System Shock 2 rereleases in the company’s catalog, it’s seems only right for Night Dive to be the driving force behind a full remake for modern systems. While the graphics and game engine will obviously be updated, it’s encouraging that Night Dive is working with Waters to ensure that the new game will be as faithful to the original as possible. If the remake is successful, it will likely light a fire under the fans of the series and get them craving a true sequel game.
The revival of System Shock is similar to the comeback of the Homeworld series when that IP was purchased by Gearbox; Homeworld Remastered revamped Homeworld and Homeworld 2 for modern audiences, leaving fans hopeful that a Homeworld 3 will eventually be released. Night Dive is a smaller company than Gearbox, so it would obviously take more work for System Shock 3 to hit the shelves. At the very least, though, a successful remake could lead to an updated version of System Shock 2 being made at some point as well.
System Shock: Enhanced Edition is available on GOG. There is currently no release date announced for the System Shock remake.
Source: Fast Company