The largest video game investor in the world just saved a moribund sequel from death's doorstep. The always-divisive Tencent has seemingly bought the rights to System Shock 3 from OtherSide Entertainment.
In a brief message posted to the OtherSide website, the developer said "We are happy to announce that Tencent will be taking the System Shock franchise forward. As a smaller indie studio, it had been challenging for us to carry the project on our own. We believe Tencent's deep capabilities and expertise as a leading game company will bring the franchise to new heights."
Many will recoil at Tencent's involvement, but System Shock 3 wasn't getting made without someone from the outside stepping in. In February, reports arose that nearly the entire System Shock 3 development team had been laid off and that the project had been all but abandoned. This came after original publisher Starbreeze (who was in its own financial disarray) sold the franchise rights to OtherSide. It seems as though OtherSide was never in a position to tackle this sort of undertaking all alone.
There's also confusion as to the extent of Tencent's involvement. While OtherSide says "Tencent will be taking the System Shock franchise forward," Nightdive Studio CEO Stephen Kick tweeted "Nightdive owns the System Shock franchise and IP, please don't spread misinformation." So, there seem to be conflicting statements as to who owns the property. We also don't know if Tencent plans to stick with OtherSide as System Shock 3's developer or move it to another studio.
It's all a bewildering mess which is exactly par for the course when it comes to System Shock as of late. At least it seems like development on System Shock 3 will continue one way or another.
Tencent & System Shock [OtherSide Entertainment]