Backing projects on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter is a risky proposition, even if the creator is a well-established company. Just ask one of the more than 21,000 backers that pledged money to support Nightdive Studios’ remake of the 1994 classic System Shock.
The campaign, if you recall, launched in June 2016. When it was all said and done, 21,625 backers had collectively pledged more than $1.35 million to help Nightdive finish the game and deliver it by the end of 2017.
On Friday, backers were dealt a harsh bit of news.
Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick in a campaign update revealed that at some point along the way, “something happened.” The vision began to change, he said, adding that they eventually moved from a remaster to a completely new game. He recounts the team’s decision in March 2017 to move from Unity to Unreal Engine 4 – a move they don’t regret – but notes that as the concept grew, so too did the scope of what they were doing and the budget for the game.
Ultimately, Kick said, he let things get out of control. It has now become clear that they took the wrong path and turned their backs on the people who made the journey possible – the Kickstarter backers.
Accepting full responsibility for the snafu, Kick said he has “put the team on a hiatus” as they reassess their path so they can return to their original vision. They’re taking a break, he said, but they aren’t ending the project.
Kick promises that System Shock will be completed although unfortunately, no timetable has been given for the game’s eventual release. For now, it looks as if the project could be just another statistic.