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Nightdive Studios says the fate of a third System Shock game lies in Tencent's hands

"Tencent has the rights to the third game. That’s pretty much where it stands right now."

Nightdive Studios has confirmed that the fate of the third instalment of the eagerly-anticipated System Shock series still lies with Tencent.

In an interview at Gamescom, CEO Stephen Kick confirmed that whilst his studio retains the right to remake the first - and potentially second - game from the series, rights to the third game were sold to Tencent.

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"When we originally acquired the rights to the franchise, we licensed the rights for the third game to Warren and Paul [Neurath] at Otherside. They then subsequently sold their rights to Tencent," he told VGC.

"So Tencent currently has the rights to the third game, and we have the rights to do the remake of the first game and potentially a remake of the second game. That’s pretty much where it stands right now."

The comments echo those of System Shock 3's creative adviser, Warren Spector, who confirmed in March that "there's not much more to say at this point" about the beleaguered project and stating that it was up to Tencent "to say what they want to say" about the game. According to Spector, his team has not worked on the project since 2019.

System Shock 3 was originally announced in 2015, when Spector was revealed as its creative adviser. The project fell off the rails in 2018, however, after publisher Starbreeze found itself in financial difficulties. Spector's studio OtherSide split ways with Starbreeze and said it would continue working on the project on its own, but reports of development troubles and staff departures emerged in 2020. Shortly after, OtherSide announced that Chinese conglomerate Tencent would be "taking the System Shock franchise forward", though it was believed at the time that the developer was still involved in some capacity. And that's pretty much all we know right now.

It's not all bad news for System Shock fans, though. There's still the long-awaited System Shock remake, which was delayed in December and is still due sometime in 2022 and a System Shock TV adaptation is also on the cards, written by Mortal Kombat scribe Greg Russo.