The demise of System Shock 3 had long been suspected, but OtherSide Entertainment’s Warren Spector has now confirmed the team hasn’t worked on the game since 2019. Meanwhile, the franchise is in the hands of Tencent who will be taking it forward. Their plans are currently unknown but it seems like System Shock 3 is indeed canceled.
What happened to System Shock 3?
System Shock 3 entered the early concept stages of development at OtherSide Entertainment in 2015. Development continued over the years but wasn’t without its problems. A publishing agreement with Starbreeze hit the rocks when the publisher hit severe financial problems and narrowly avoided closing for good. The rights to the System Shock IP were sold back to OtherSide Entertainment but the damage was done. At this point the core systems of the game were in place but content development was “critically behind”. The project needed more funding but no other publisher came forward.
Development on the game ceased in 2019, Spector explained in an interview with VentureBeat. This was closely followed by a series of layoffs as most of the key people involved in the project left the studio. A few months later, Otherside announced Tencent would be “taking the System Shock franchise forward”, although the new publisher has never elaborated on what that might mean exactly.
OtherSide is now working on an “all original” game. Spector claims “nobody’s ever seen anything like it”. Admittedly the image above showing a whale in ornate gold armor is fairly unique. Otherwise, all we know is the game has “an immersive world and engaging narrative that players will directly impact through their choices and playstyles”. There is “going to be a lot of variety in what you can do and what we ask you to do”.
In other news, EA is currently hiring for several positions at their new Seattle studio, which is currently developing a “rich and dynamic” AAA third-person open world action RPG. Elsewhere, Hogwarts Legacy will be taking center stage in another State of Play show set for later this week.