In the kind of Getting The Band Back Together news that makes me hyperventilate ever so slightly, the news just broke that Warren Spector has joined Otherside Games, the studio working on System Shock 3 and Ultima Underworld spiritual successor Underworld Ascendant.
Spector has been working with students at the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy within the University of Texas, but will now be acting as Otherside's Studio Director. By my reckoning, this marks the first time he's been involved with PC development since Thief: Deadly Shadows in 2004, the port of Epic Mickey 2 notwithstanding.
Back in 2013, Spector told us he'd like to return to the PC when the time was right. When I heard that, I hoped that would mean a return to Thief, System Shock or Underworld, but I never really expected that to happen. I certainly didn't expect him to be working on two of those franchises (one officially; the other spiritually) at the same time.
At Otherside, he'll be reunited with Paul Neurath, who worked on the first two Thief and Ultima Underworld games at Looking Glass.
Of his return to studio work from the cloisters of academia, Spector had this to say, as reported by gamesindustry.biz:
"...when the opportunity to have a bigger role in bringing Underworld Ascendant to life, as well as playing in the System Shock universe once again, helping to bring these games to a 21st century audience, I just couldn't say no. Working on System Shock was one of the most fulfilling things I've done in my career and it's hard to describe how much I'm looking forward to sharing with players what SHODAN has been up to since the last game was released."
I've been waiting for the System Shock 3 hype to hit me between the eyes. I think it just did.