An anonymous employee of OtherSide Entertainment has claimed that System Shock 3‘s development team is “no linger employed” at the studio, in the wake of many key figures leaving the studio.
VGC reports “at least a dozen” senior developers have left OtherSide Entertainment. These include the studio’s Director & Writer, Design Director, Senior System Designer, Lead Programmer, QA Manager, Senior Environment Artist, “and more”.
The information comes via changes to the staff members LinkedIn profiles, though VGC do not link to them. We have linked them above, and have provided screencaps of the profiles as of this time of writing below:
VGC also claim this was over a period of of five months, though the individuals in the positions above left over the course of 2019, with one leaving in February 2020.
Fans had also discovered other individuals had left from layoffs around June 2019 (as detailed in this thread on OtherSide Entertainment’s own forums).
This included a Principal Engineer, Senior Designer, Level Designer, Manager of People and Operations, Senior Producer, Senior Environment Artist, Senior Graphics Programmer, Senior Software Engineer, and other staff who indicated they were involved with other projects (such as Underworld Ascendant).
Sam Luangkhot, OtherSide Entertainment’s former community manager, also stated “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried as well.” Linking to “Someone from the Shock3 team” posting in a thread on RPG Codex, that user (“Kin Corn Karn”), confirming that footage in trailers were all in-game.
The anonymous team member claims that while the core systems were nearly done, the team were “way behind on was content.” In addition, the content they had “wasn’t complete enough that it could be handed off without any engineering support, and everyone on the content side is no longer with the studio.”
Another user doubted the anonymous developer, claiming they were trying to save face. They also stated that after the results of Underworld Ascendant, they felt that System Shock 3 would not turn out good. “Kin” responded:
“The only reason I’m posting is because I saw so much confusion about the state of the company and the project I thought some first person information would be welcome. I never suggested we were halfway done, core systems are a great foundation for a game but most of the work is content development which we were critically behind in, both in real assets and in tool support for an efficient pipeline.
Was the failure of the project right? It’s hard to say. If Starbreeze hadn’t gone into crisis I think we would’ve delivered something interesting with some fresh and innovative gameplay, but a much smaller game than what people were expecting and inevitably disappointing for a sequel to such a beloved franchise.
Those high expectations drove a lot of expensive experimentation. We were a small team and knew we couldn’t compete with current immersive sims in production quality and breadth, so we had to be creative and clever and weird. And we were on our way to make something unique and possibly fun, but probably not what the audience was hungry for.”
When another user asked if the project had been abandoned, Kin replied “I don’t actually know what’s going on, but the team is no longer employed there.”
This is not the first problem the game has endured. As alluded to by Kin, Starbreeze Publishing originally invested $12 million into publishing the game in 2017. Two years later, they would sell the rights back to OtherSide Entertainment when they encountered their own issues [1, 2, 3].
Until otherwise stated, System Shock 3 is in development for Windows PC. We will keep you informed as we learn more.