When Shadowrun Returns was first conceived, it came with the sparkly promise of pristine freedom – not a speck of diabolical DRM to be found even in its grimiest cybergutters. But then, due to some behind-the-scenes shenanigans, Harebrained Schemes went back on their word, shackling all future updates to Steam, which – while not the end of the world – was absolutely a form of DRM. Now, however, PLOT TWIST: things have changed… again! Harebrained was recently seen beating its own DRM into a mangled, bloody pulp, lighting it on fire, and then reading it passages from this fan fiction. Meanwhile, onlookers watched in horror until they realized this was cause for celebration and started cheering. Some even joined in. Experts described the scene as “just a really great time” and “hahahaha wheeeeeee yeah!”
Harebrained broke the good news in a Kickstarter update:
“Thanks to a new agreement we were able to negotiate with our partners at Microsoft, Harebrained Schemes is pleased to announce that we are now able to release fully DRM-free versions of Shadowrun Returns and future expansions such as Berlin.”
“The DRM-free versions of SRR and Berlin will continue to be fully supported. You’ll be able to download all game patches, use the Shadowrun Returns editor and experience user-generated content downloaded from third-party sites such as Nexus.”
Shadowrun Returns will also arrive on GOG at some point in the near-ish future.
So hurrah for all that. It’s still quite upsetting that the game ever had DRM in the first place, but it’s great to see that Harebrained went to bat with Microsoft and managed to get rid of it. So then, who’s still playing this? Have there been any great user-created campaigns yet? I’m really hoping to find the time for a few while waiting on the Berlin expansion, personally.