The upcoming System Shock remake is on "hiatus," Polygon reports. The game was originally launched as a Kickstarter, raising over $1.35 million from more than 21,600 backers back in the summer of 2016.
Citing an anonymous source "familiar with the project," Polygon reports that the game was a victim of unrealistic expectations and "mission creep," both of which dug deep into the money raised from its crowdfunding initiative. Additionally, director of business development Larry Kuperman told Polygon pitching the remake to publishers in an effort to secure additional funding was unsuccessful. While no employees from developer Nightdive Studios have been laid off as of yet, Kuperman did say 15 contractors had been let go from the project.
"I have put the team on a hiatus while we reassess our path so that we can return to our vision," Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick wrote to backers last week. "We are taking a break, but not ending the project. System Shock is going to be completed and all of our promises fulfilled.”
According to Polygon, who "pressed" Kuperman for a timeline, the development hiatus could push the game's release back "18 to 24 months." Despite the setbacks, Nightdive said its committed to releasing the game, as well as making good on all its promises to backers.
"“Maybe we lost our focus,” Kick writes in his statement. “The vision began to change. We moved from a Remaster to a completely new game. We ... strayed from the core concepts of the original title.
“As the budget grew, we began a long series of conversations with potential publishing partners. The more that we worked on the game, the more that we wanted to do, and the further we got from the original concepts that made System Shock so great.”
“Ultimately the responsibility for the decisions rests with me," Kick adds. "As the CEO and founder of Nightdive Studios ... I let things get out of control. I can tell you that I did it for all the right reasons, that I was totally committed to making a great game, but it has become clear to me that we took the wrong path, that we turned our backs on the very people who made this possible, our Kickstarter backers.”
System Shock is a remake of the 1994 game of the same name. The original is largely considered one of the most-influential games of all time, sparking later games such as Bioshock, Dishonored and Prey.