A representative of System Shock 3 developer Otherside Entertainment has broken the company's lengthy silence, telling concerned fans on the official forums "we're still here".
Despite rumours earlier this year that the team behind the third System Shock game had been laid off from OtherSide's Texas studio, a VP currently employed at the company implied the game was still underwat by intimating development had shifted to Unreal Engine 4.
"We're still here. We're all working remotely right now, probably like most of you," said the company's marketing and business development VP Walter Somol (thanks, VGC).
In a forum thread talking about the rumours of recent layoffs, Somol added: "Our new concept is coming along nicely and we are really excited about it. We have cool and we think distinctive art style for it and we have that and gameplay coming together in UE4. I know it's a tease, but I just can't really say anything about it at this point.
"I hope you all are staying safe and healthy in these unfortunate times. Maybe even gaming more than usual, I know I am."
As VGC quite rightly reminds us, Somol works for OtherSide's chief studio in Boston, Massachusetts, and not the Austin studio where the System Shock 3 was reportedly based.
At the time of writing, the company's official social media feeds remain dormant and haven't been updated for several months.
The System Shock 3 development team was reportedly let go by developer OtherSide earlier this year. An anonymous post purportedly from a former OtherSide Entertainment developer reported the entire team was "no longer employed" and that the game was "critically behind", a post subsequently confirmed legitimate by a former community manager who had worked for OtherSide.
The news came after the departure of several other key colleagues including the game's writer, director, design director, and lead programmer. All shared the news via their LinkedIn profiles.
Embattled Swedish game company Starbreeze raised much-needed cash by selling the publishing rights to System Shock 3 back to the game's developer last year. In a short note on its website, Starbreeze said at the time it had sold back the publishing rights to Warren Spector's OtherSide Entertainment for System Shock 3, and insisted it would be fully reimbursed for costs the company has endured in connection with the development of the game.
Starbreeze failed to disclose how much money it's set to receive as part of sale, but when it announced it had snapped up System Shock 3 back in 2017, it said it would invest $12m to help bring the game to PC and other platforms. Starbreeze has partly financed the development of System Shock 3 since it signed the game.
As at the time of writing, OtherSide has yet to respond to press requests for comment. We'll update as/when we hear more.
We last saw a pre-alpha gameplay trailer for System Shock 3 back in September 2019.