Night Dive are responsible for the recent Enhanced Edition of the original System Shock and in an interview with Fast Company, CEO Stephen Kick explained that his company have “acquired the full rights to the franchise” and have been working with the game’s original concept artist as they develop a full remake of the game. Talks about a possible System Shock 3 have also begun, although Night Dive admit they would need outside help to achieve something on that scale.
Of a sequel, head of business development at Night Dive Larry Kuperman says: “To really do another game in that series is going to take resources and time and commitment that we don’t have, and it’s really not our core business.” However, the rights to make that sequel have now been removed from the legal limbo they appeared to exist in for so long. From the Fast Company article, Jared Newman tells the story:
…due to confusion over who owned the series’ rights and trademarks, the only way to get System Shock 2 was to acquire an old physical copy or pirate the software, and any potential sequels were out of the question. After some digging, I found that the game’s rights wound up at a Michigan-based insurance company. A lawyer for that company told me his clients were willing to sell. Kick now tells me that this story was the catalyst for his first business deal.
The full tale, involving trips to Guatemala and GOG is well worth reading. Along with the System Shock talk, there’s also an insight into Night Dive’s business, from discussions with Harlan Ellison about sci-fi horror adventure I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream, to failed attempts to revive No One Lives Forever.
What we don’t have yet are details about the System Shock remake itself. Beyond the involvement of concept artist Robb Waters, there’s no information as yet. Of Waters return to the game, Kick says: “Seeing the difference between his artistic abilities back then compared to now, and his ablity to reinterpret those ideas, it’s just been really exciting for us.”
Whether Night Dive will incorporate community work into their remake isn’t yet clear. Alice wrote about one remake last year and that project recently moved to Unity 5. You can read more about it at its IndieDB page.