OtherSide Looking For A Publisher For System Shock 3

Published: May 17, 2019 5:12 PM /


OtherSide Looking For A Publisher For System Shock 3, Not Ruling Out Self-Publishing

System Shock 3 was first teased, then announced, in December 2015 when OtherSide Entertainment announced their other project in tandem with Underworld Ascendant (Our Review). In February 2016, Warren Spector joined OtherSide Entertainment, returning to the games industry after a hiatus spent teaching at the University of Texas in Austin. Spector would head the Austin branch of OtherSide, working on System Shock 3, while the Boston branch was working on Underworld Ascendant. In March 2017, OtherSide and Starbreeze Publishing announced a partnership, and the Swedish publisher invested $12 million in funding. Finally, last February the two companies announced that the publishing rights had been sold back to OtherSide.

Now, in an interview with VGC, Warren Spector says that OtherSide is looking for a new publishing deal for the game:

It’s going great. We’re talking to a lot of partners and we have a lot of interest. We don’t have a deal right now, but luckily OtherSide is flush enough that we’re funding ourselves and can continue to do that for quite a while. Let’s see what happens. [...] We need somebody to say, ‘yeah, let’s talk deal terms’ and we’re in that kind of discussion with some folks. But we’re not quite finished yet.
He also added on the possibility of self-publishing, which they would prefer not to do it, but not completely ruling it out either:
The reality is, OtherSide is a company of developers who want to develop games. We don’t particularly want to be a publisher. Paul Neurath and I have worked with publishers before, Origin [Systems] self-published when I was there, and we don’t want to get into the market of distributing stuff. I think it would be a huge distraction. We would have to hire staff to do that because we don’t currently have the expertise. I hope we don’t go that way. I’ll probably get in trouble for saying that if we do. We’re not ruling anything out, but at this point we’re looking for a publishing and funding partner.
At GDC this year OtherSide showed the first proper teaser of System Shock 3 during the Unity Keynote. The game is currently being developed on the Unity engine. There's no confirmation yet on which platforms they plan to release the game.


Quick Take

After playing and reviewing Underworld Ascendant, I'm very pessimistic about future OtherSide games. In my opinion, the teaser looks all sizzle and no steak. Much like Ascendant, it might look interesting from a distance, it might give you the illusion of depth and potential, but I no longer think they can develop games that live up to the legacy of the Looking Glass classics. I might be wrong (and I hope I'm wrong), and it might even be worth a playthrough, but my disappointment with Ascendant is still going strong, and OtherSide will have to move mountains to regain the trust of the audience in that sense. So, as I see it, a new publishing deal would have to essentially guarantee they won't repeat the abomination that was Underworld Ascendant.

What do you think of Warren Spector's statements on a publishing deal? Is there any publisher that would match OtherSide's culture? Let us know in the comments below!

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Richard Costa
| Staff Writer

Hack for hire, indentured egghead, maverick thoughtcriminal. Mainly interested in Western RPGs, first-person immersion, turn-based tactics, point-and-… More about Richard