System Shock 3 signs up with Starbreeze

Starbreeze are putting $12 million towards System Shock 3 [official site] in a publishing deal, the Swedes announced today. Publishing deals are rarely exciting enough for us to mention but this means:

1) System Shock 3 is actually, definitely still happening. We did not imagine this. It wasn’t a dream. A new System Shock is being made by a team including Warren Spector, Terri Brosius (the voice of SHODAN), and other former Looking Glass folks.
2) Unlike the System Shock remake, which was dependent on the success of a Kickstarter, SS3 already has a big bag of money to get it rolling.
3) Oh my stars, they really are making a new System Shock.

“System Shock is one of those iconic franchises in the history of games that still gets my blood going and Mr. Spector is one of the founding fathers of the modern action RPG,” Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson-Klint said in today’s announcement. “We’re greatly looking forward to bringing System Shock 3 to players world wide in our collaboration with Otherside Entertainment and Warren Spector’s team. I’ll be first in line to play”.

Starbreeze says that System Shock 3 is “in the early concept stages of development” so don’t expect it any time soon. But do expect it.

System Shock Remastered, by the way, recently switched its art style from that cute recreation of the old angular style to something looking more like a typical modern FPS. I preferred those high-def angles myself.


  1. Halk says:

    So now that they have completely unraveled the legal mess that was System Shock for many years… do that with No One Lives Forever maybe?

    • G-Lord says:

      Nightdive Studios tried for a very long time, but sadly had to give up eventually. Shame really.

    • Legion23 says:

      Warner Brothers are just not interested in republishing NOLF so they had to give up.

  2. Danda says:

    Hell, I was expecting an indie game like the System Shock reboot. Now it’s going to be AAA! (I mean the production values, not the phylosophy!)

  3. dethtoll says:

    wheezing with excitement

  4. Andy_Panthro says:

    I was under the impression that the system shock reboot had merely changed engine, and the art style in the recent video was not indicative of the final product. That’s the gist of what was said in a recent kickstarter post, anyway.

    That said, I’ve no idea if it will end up being anything like the older Unity demo either, so it’s a bit “wait and see” at the moment.

    • Deadly Habit says:

      SS3 and the reboot are two different games.

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        I know, I was just commenting on the last paragraph where Alice suggests they’re changing their art style (on the reboot).

        Not super relevant to SS3, but then we know basically nothing about it at this point.

    • Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

      Very true. I believe these are the relevant paragraphs from that update:
      “So, the engine change and visual change are unrelated. Things would pretty much look the same in either engine, but the big difference is performance. The visuals are still a work in progress and know that I’m listening.
      Art direction was a lower priority for the engine change since we wanted to be sure the technology could do what we needed first. Now that we have the pipelines set for getting art into the engine, we’ll be iterating on the style and mood.
      another thing worth mentioning is that the UE4 video represents 1.5 months of direct content creation, whereas the unity demo had about 6 months.”

      • manny says:

        This is true.
        I don’t think the art style seen in the latest demo is indicative of the final product. Because one of the major advantages of the Unity engine over other engines is the Asset Store, which has advanced lighting tools, these tools would have enabled the devs to quickly add fantastic lighting effects to their first demo.
        In contrast the Unreal engine has a much less mature asset store, and it’s lighting tools are more complex. This would have made the dev team unable to reach the level of polished lighting of the unity engine.
        So in short I would remain hopeful about the the system shock 2 artstyle being like the first demo. It’s seems mainly a skill issue. Perhaps they should buy the tech of an existing unreal engine game for it’s prebuilt lighting settings. That way they don’t have to reinvent the lighting wheel. The most obvious choice would be working from the current Unreal Tournament game, source doe available on github, already set in a scifi world.

  5. X_kot says:

    They already made System Shock 3. It was called Bioshock.


    • DudeshootMankill says:


      Seriously though, System shock 2 is the best of sci fi horror.

      Bioshock is just pretty good.

  6. kud13 says:

    on the one hand, OMG!

    On the other, I’m thinking of Kieron’s piece on SHODAN as the ultimate villain… and I’m left wondering how can they do her justice without reducing her to ridicule?

    I mean, if we follow gaming logic of sequence, the first time she ran a space station, the second time she ran 2 of humanity’s finest starship. Now she’s gotta somehow take over a planet- or at least a satellite (in a sense of a huge frigging rock, not the man-made ones)- sized installation to escalate the threat. And how do keep her from turning into a caricature villain?

    All I’m saying is, please be good, somehow…

    • Miresnare says:


      Less is more. Make her low key and as scary as hell avoiding the Star Wars Episode 7 route. She’s got the potential to keep her scariest baddie trophy (in my mind anyway, that opening taunt in SS1 is still utterly fantastic) but escalating the threat is IMO the wrong way to go. Make the story have far reaching effects by all means, but keep the story intimate and claustrophobic.

    • Replikant says:

      I’ve seen this argument before and found it compelling (actually, I found I when I googled, I was referring to this RPS piece link to

      Anyway, the point made in the article that, in that second game, Shodan had to fight her way back to control, against the odds, against the many and then nearly succeeds to pull earth into her reality with he modified hyper-drives, means that the defeat does not turn her into a comic villain. She lost again, true, but she almost succeeded. In the first game she was the evil mastermind slowly setting her grand plan in motion. In the second, she has to improvise, to work with a lot less, and yet she almost succeeds. She deserves a third chance.

      Oh, who am I kidding. I just want a third System Shock. With Shodan, my all-time facourite villain, right up there with GladOS as her mad twin.

      • This banana says:

        Oh my! With that last sentence you put this thought in my mind, of a cartoon series starring GlaDOS as Pinky and SHODAN as Brain, trying to take over the world…
        I guess it would get old pretty quick, but damnit, I would love to see that pilot!

    • Veav says:

      So I’ve put a lot of thought into that question. Without writing a fanfic – she needs to win. She owns Earth. She owns the station. The player’s goal needs to be a moral victory rather than any hope of defeating her – like SOMA or summat.

    • dare says:

      I’d love it if they let us play as Shodan.

    • Shazbut says:

      Best way I reckon is if the writers can pull off a phyrric victory or bittersweet kind of non-ending that somehow satisfies perfectly as a conclusion without Shodan actually being defeated.

      eg. Shodan infiltrates Earth and causes mayhem, gets stopped, but the game ends with her possibly lying dormant on any number of computer systems on the planet

      e.g Shodan is only hinted to be behind the events in the game, suggesting that she may be capable of much more and is simply waiting to strike


  7. mercyRPG says:

    Poor System Shock remake got botched with the very bland AvoidWarey new look, when they left behind the APL – Awesome Pixelated Look going to UE4.. Too bad, in this crappy “MEH..” shape I’m not buying. Bye-bye System Shock remake !

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Here’s a quote from Jason Fader after they posted the video for the SSR:

      “This was a VERY rapid pass on art stuff and is not final. There’s still a lot more work that will be going into art, as well as bringing in the more iconic nuances of Shock 1. We’ll post more updates on art once things are further along.”

  8. caff says:

    I’m hopeful for this. I just hope it uses SHODAN to full effect. I want a properly scary game.

  9. Gunsmith says:

    man I hope this doesn’t go multi platform.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      It’s confirmed to be going to consoles along with the SS1 remake.

  10. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Oh dear, System Shock Free (to play)?

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    keithzg says:

    I mean, I’m just pleasantly surprised Warren Spector is apparently making a game again! I guess I had the impression that Epic Mickey kindof spoiled things for him.