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Jagged Alliance Online maker Cliffhanger Productions has turned to Kickstarter to get Shadowrun Online made.

The developer is after $500,000. At the time of writing, it had secured $52,098 from 754 backers with 26 days to go.

This is the second Kickstarter video game project set in the near-future Cyberpunk role-playing universe. Shadowrun Returns, from Harebrained Schemes, met its funding goal of $400,000 within 28 hours.

Shadowrun Online is being built using the Unity game engine, and will be accessible through browsers and tablets (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and possibly Linux). It's free to play, and there will be a connection with the Shadowrun tabletop game and the Shadowrun Universe website, where you will be able to transfer achievements and send messages.

But why turn to Kickstarter? "While our MMO is extremely modest by the big budget standards of today, it costs far more than a development company of our size is able to afford on our own," the team said.

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"Due to the license restraints, it is hard to get traditional publishers interested, and we didn't want to give away creative control over the project, or the ability to shape the game together with you, the fans.

"We have invested a considerable amount of our own, and our friends' and relatives' money, into laying the groundwork for the game and technology, but the bulk of the project and most of the content requires your pledges. We hope there is enough Shadowrun love out there, to make this game become a reality, and humbly thank you for your support. Let's shape the future of Shadowrun together!"

While Shadowrun Online will be free to play, a premium subscription will be available that equates to around $10 a month. This will reduce the amount of time you'll need to spend grinding, will improve your in-game reputation, earn you karma and secure discounts at in-game vendors.

"These boosts are designed and balanced with the rest of the game so they don't break gameplay, as there are still basic requirements that must be reached before a character can use that snazzy new weapon he or she just purchased at a discount," the team said. "Overall, the premium subscription will save players some time, and let you focus on the really important adventuring and challenges."

The last Shadowrun game launched in 2007 as an ambitious cross-platform PC and Xbox 360 title. Kieron Gillen reviewed for Eurogamer, awarding a 6/10.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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