Following recent reports of the game’s troubled development, it now seems that Otherside Entertainment has passed the rights to System Shock 3 (and potentially the System Shock series) to publisher Tencent.
“Tencent will be taking the [System Shock] franchise forward,” says Otherside Entertainment via Twitter. “As a smaller Indie studio, it had been challenging for us to carry the project on our own. We believe Tencent’s deep capabilities and expertise as a leading game company will bring the franchise to new heights.”
There’s quite a lot to break down here, but the gist of it is that Otherside Entertainment once acquired the rights to develop System Shock 3 from Night Dive Studios. However, somewhere along the way, Otherside encountered a series of problems that caused massive delays in the game’s development and tremendous financial strain on the company. Seemingly out of options, they’ve now (presumably) sold the rights to System Shock over to Tencent.
Interestingly, though, it does seem that Night Dive Studios is still working on a remake of the original System Shock game. That would appear to indicate that Tencent controls the rights to System Shock 3 and future entries in the franchise but may or may not have any say regarding the publishing and development of that game. However, the full details of this arrangement are not entirely known at this time.
As for Tencent, moves like this only solidify their power and influence on the industry. For those who don’t know, Tencent is a multinational holding company that invests heavily in technology and entertainment. Their various interests include full ownership of developer Riot Games, 40% ownership of Fortnite developer Epic Games, 5% ownership of Activision/Blizzard, and 5% ownership of Ubisoft. What we’re trying to say is that they’ve relatively quietly become one of the biggest names in gaming that many people still don’t know about.
Recently, Tencent as indicated that they’re interested in expanding more into internal Triple-A gaming as well as continuing to invest in other companies and their own lucrative mobile titles. They’ve even recently hired key talent from major developers in order to help advance their interest in developing more Triple-A games.
System Shock now appears to be part of that strategy, but it really remains to be seen what Tencent intends to do with that series. The System Shock name has never exactly been a powerhouse in its own right as the franchise’s popularity could more accurately be described as “cult.” That said, we’re still interested to see whether System Shock 3 is ever released and what it will look like following what will likely be a creative reset.