UPDATE 14th DECEMBER: The countdown has ended and OtherSide has revealed the name System Shock 3 with a little bit of art and an audio clip featuring the voice of, presumably, AI villain SHODAN. There aren't many clues to go by but there is mention of virtual reality in a survey you're prompted to fill out if you want to receive updates about the game. The survey asks you to rate your interest in VR gaming on a scale of one to 10. There are only six questions so its inclusion does heavily hint at System Shock 3 involving VR, which is... interesting.
ORIGINAL STORY 8TH DECEMBER: System Shock 3 is... really happening? According to a countdown teaser site belonging to developer OtherSide Entertainment, yes, it is. But I still can't quite believe it.
The countdown teaser site still has five days to go, and has so far only revealed one letter of the name/game it is teasing: "S". But RPG Codex forum members dug around in the source code and found a link to what appears to be the page's final revelatory state, and the name/game is "System Shock 3". I clicked through to register for news alert emails and the form I filled out was titled "System Shock 3" as well.
But how can OtherSide manage it? OtherSide was founded in 2014 by Paul Neurath, co-founder of the studio Blue Sky Productions that became Looking Glass, creator of System Shock. It's a small studio running on Kickstarter money raised to make Underworld Ascendant, a successor to the Ultima Underworld games. Where does it find the extra capacity to make something as prestigious as System Shock 3? And what happens to Underworld Ascendant if/when it does?
My understanding of crowdfunded development is of small teams who work themselves to the bone in order to please their patrons, their community, their fans. Underworld Ascendant is OtherSide's reason for being: I can't believe it would do anything to jeopardise that. Does System Shock 3 production wait until Underworld Ascendant has been released, then? Currently we only have a tentative release date of Nov 2016 to go by, and crowdfunded projects tend to run on because, well, they set their own deadlines.
Maybe OtherSide found some investment for System Shock 3, but there are no job openings posted on the OtherSide website that suggest expansion. Far more likely is this countdown building excitement for a second crowdfunding campaign, which is something a big name like System Shock 3 would excel at. But if that's the case then this System Shock 3 project might be little more than a name and pie-in-the-sky concept - an actual game may be miles and miles away.
OtherSide's apparent System Shock 3 reveal follows a string of System Shock activity by new IP owner Night Dive Studios, a small studio in Vancouver, Washington. An Enhanced Edition of System Shock was released and a proper remake is planned. Night Dive also said it had been "having some conversations" about a System Shock 3...