Starbreeze cancel System Shock 3 publishing deal



STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (February 11, 2019) – Starbreeze and OtherSide Entertainment have mutually agreed to sell back the publishing rights to OtherSide Entertainment for “System Shock 3”. Starbreeze expects to be fully reimbursed for costs the company has had in connection with development of the game.

Starbreeze acquired the publishing rights for “System Shock 3” in 2017 and has since then partly financed the development of the game. The title owner OtherSide Entertainment and Starbreeze have now reached an agreement whereby Starbreeze returns the publishing rights for the game to OtherSide and will be able to recoup the development costs.

“I believe this is the best solution for us, although it is sad that we cannot complete the project with OtherSide. System Shock 3 is a fantastic title developed in cooperation with the industry legend Warren Spector and I am looking forward to seeing the game released”, said Mikael Nermark, acting CEO Starbreeze AB.

As previously announced, Starbreeze will focus on its core business of games development and publishing. Starbreeze holds publishing titles for “Psychonauts 2” and “Ten Crowns”.


Not a surprise in the current circumstances. However, it suggests Otherside have had the capital to do this.




I saw Starbreeze’s own announcement of this – seems like positive news. (Not sure where OtherSide lined up the financing, but yay!)

My guess is that this is Step 1. Step 2 would be to secure the new funding needed to finish development/distribution/marketing…

…or have these two steps perhaps both been accomplished in one agreement with a new investor?


Does it? Is it? Note that there is no actual quote from anybody from OtherSide in the press release…


“Starbreeze expects” to get their money back, so unclear if it’s actually going to happen.

Starbreeze obviously had a clause in the contract that allowed them to cancel the deal without penalties (and even getting their money back - wow!).

Possibly OS management had to agree to personal liability in exchange for the deal, at least for a certain part of the financing and that’s probably what they are going to get back.

Otherwise whoever is now supposed to bail out OS would now have to reimburse Starbreeze as well.


Hi guys, here’s our official statement about getting the publishing rights back for System Shock 3:

[i]We have very much enjoyed working with Starbreeze on System Shock 3. They’ve been a great partner. As developers themselves they understand the challenges of game development and that’s been refreshing. However, in light of Starbreeze’s current situation, we decided together that it would be best for us to go our separate ways for now. We wish them the best of luck.

OtherSide is rolling forward with System Shock 3. Warren Spector has built a great team and the game is more than halfway completed. At its core, it already feels like a System Shock game, while at the same time introducing new elements to the franchise. As the original creators of the game, we want to see this game made as much as our fans do. Look for more information about System Shock 3 soon.[/i]


In addition, via Warren:
We parted ways with Starbreeze i, which means we are in the process of lining up a new publishing partner. Happily, given the pedigree of System Shock and the progress we’ve made so far there’s been a lot of interest. Has the situation affected development? Not really. The team is still, as we say, ‘psyched and cranking’ - in other words, continuing as normal. We’re confident we can bring System Shock 3 to market and have it take its place as a leading title in the immersive simulation genre.[/i]


Sorry them that they’ll be having to spend time with management and financial concerns when I’m sure they’d far rather be up to their elbows in development (or, let’s face it, just about anything else: finance is dirty business!).

But good to know they’re confident in the future, despite the pain.


Really excited to hear more. Thanks for the update! :smiley:


Thanks for the update! I can’t wait for this one.


Our SS3 meetings and pitches are going well so far. Those we’ve shown the recent builds to seem genuinely excited about it. I’m an optimistic and I continue to be optimistic about us finding a good partner for the game. Keep sending your good vibes :slight_smile:


Good vibes ahoy!

I honestly can’t imagine someone not picking up the rest of the tab for SS3. Austin, and presumably the SS3 team, has so much great game development talent, and then of course there’s the force of nature that is Warren Spector. :smiley: And the amount of goodwill that exists for the System Shock franchise can’t be discounted.

The opportunity for positive ROI here seems real to me. Admittedly I’m biased, but I do seriously think there’s a solid factual case here for why a sharp investor ought to jump on this most rikki-tik.

Fingers crossed!


Please no exclusive Epic Games Store deal. Seriously. I wouldn’t know what to do if it came to that. Otherwise I’ll keep my fingers crossed!


I don’t trust the Epic Games Store either. Until they add written reviews and forums to contact the devs, I’m out.


It’s on their roadmap for the next 4-6 months.


I find it pretty… interesting… how many people do not even want to give them a chance. It’s like you’ve all forgotten that Steam had 15 years to accumulate features and was pretty bare bones when it released. In fact, the complaints about Steam when it released are surprisingly similar to what people are complaining about the Epic Store today.


If I would be the developer team, I’d wish that people symphatize with me and support releasing the game on the cheapest possible store, which would drive competition in the storefront at the same time. If necessary or it has major benefits for Otherside, I encourage them to make System Shock 3 an Epic Games Store exclusive title.

I don’t necessarily care if the game is going be exclusive, that wouldn’t make much sense, but I wish it will be at least available on Epic Games Store. The best solution for the consumer would be releasing the game on as many different stores as possible. So, to be clear, my wish is that the game will be available on the Epic Games Store.