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Report: System Shock 3 development team is "no longer employed"

Development of the sequel was reportedly "critically behind".

The System Shock 3 development team has reportedly been let go by developer OtherSide.

In a report by our sibling site VGC, an anonymous post purportedly from a former OtherSide Entertainment developer has confirmed the entire team is "no longer employed" and that the game was "critically behind".

The news comes after the departure of several other key colleagues who have left the studio in recent months, including the game's writer, director, design director, and lead programmer. All shared the news via their LinkedIn profiles.

An anonymous poster claiming to be a former OtherSide developer posted on RPGCodex with the username Kin Corn Karn, stating: "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," they added. "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 questioned by forum members, Karn added they "don't actually know what's going on, but the team is no longer employed there" but was reluctant to share more, stating they couldn't "be any more specific without violating [their] NDA".

Of course, this is little more than speculative whispers at present, but VGC reports that a former community manager "confirmed [the poster's] legitimacy".

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.

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