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System Shock is a complete remake of the genre defining classic from 1994 built by a team of industry veterans. 

Remember Citadel.
System Shock is a faithful reboot of the genre defining classic from 1994 built by a team of industry veterans. 

Remember Citadel.
System Shock is a faithful reboot of the genre defining classic from 1994 built by a team of industry veterans. Remember Citadel.
21,625 backers pledged $1,350,700 to help bring this project to life.

Sometimes You Need To Take a Step Back In Order To Take Two Steps Forward

Kickstarter Update from Stephen Kick, CEO of Nightdive Studios


In March of 2016, Nightdive Studios released our video of our vision of System Shock Remastered. Done in Unity it was an immediate hit with almost a half million views on YouTube. In June of 2016 we launched a Kickstarter campaign to make the vision into a reality. It was tremendously successful with over 21,000 backers contributing over $1.3 million to the campaign. We put together a development team and began working on the game. But along the way something happened.

Maybe we were too successful. Maybe we lost our focus. The vision began to change. We moved from a Remaster to a completely new game. We shifted engines from Unity to Unreal, a choice that we don’t regret and one that has worked out for us. With the switch we began envisioning doing more, but straying from the core concepts of the original title.

As our concept grew and as our team changed, so did the scope of what we were doing and with that the budget for the game. As the budget grew, we began a long series of conversations with potential publishing partners. The more that we worked on the game, the more that we wanted to do, and the further we got from the original concepts that made System Shock so great.

Ultimately the responsibility for the decisions rests with me. As the CEO and founder of Nightdive Studios, a company that was built on the restoration of the System Shock franchise, I let things get out of control. I can tell you that I did it for all the right reasons, that I was totally committed to making a great game, but it has become clear to me that we took the wrong path, that we turned our backs on the very people who made this possible, our Kickstarter backers.

I have put the team on a hiatus while we reassess our path so that we can return to our vision. We are taking a break, but NOT ending the project. Please accept my personal assurance that we will be back and stronger than ever. System Shock is going to be completed and all of our promises fulfilled.  

Stephen Kick

Stargazer, Junaid Hussain, and 231 more people like this update.


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    1. Stefan Morley 3 days ago

      sorry we want a game not the mona lisa but get over youre self

    2. Stefan Morley 3 days ago

      grow the fuck up we wont want game not the mona lisa

    3. Andrew Magowan 3 days ago


      If they do make a release announcement, i'd take the release date with a hefty pinch of salt!

    4. Missing avatar

      John Burton 3 days ago

      @Andrew Magowan
      I hope that you're not right about that - it would be an interesting coincidence that an announcement is made at a time when there's rumblings of discontent and possible legal action...

      Seems so long ago that I felt anything positive about this project, but time will tell (even though there's still the little matter that they haven't said exactly when this magic announcement will be...)

    5. Andrew Magowan 3 days ago

      @ John, who knows? But one thing is for sure, I won't be believing anything NDS have to say. They've shown themselves to be thoroughly dishonest. But it's odd that they are silent for a month, then a few people go ahead and complain to the authorities...then suddenly NDS have exciting news to share with us...

    6. Missing avatar

      John Burton 5 days ago

      @Andrew Magowan
      I don't think it's concept art, otherwise they wouldn't have to wait to announce it (unless the artist hasn't finished drawing it yet lol)

      I'm not sure what it could be - but, the thing is, if it was anything concrete at this point then why wait?

      My guess would be they're hopeful a deal can be announced, and it isn't yet finalized, so are waiting. But obviously if that doesn't materialize then this "announcement" will have got our hopes up for nothing.

      If it's not that, then why can't they announce it now?

    7. Andrew Magowan 6 days ago

      Yup, Stephen Kick must be raging that he has ZERO control over what people post here, Hi Stephen :) Whats it like being a cowardly little douche?

      Also, stay tuned, NDS have an announcement to the next few weeks....I bet even money that its more concept art. Well done guys, 2 years and $1.3 million and all you have is concept art. Brilliant!

    8. Ravenknight 6 days ago

      So Chicken-shitz want to stay on Discord where they can control the discussion and ban people asking where the money went. Color me unsurprised...

    9. Missing avatar

      Michal Mlotek 6 days ago

      Talked to the bank : chargeback is possible, but it will hurt Kickstarter, not NDS

    10. Missing avatar

      Bill 6 days ago


      You (and Shaun) are welcome to indulge any outlandish fantasies about this project ever having a pulse, but as of this date, the evidence is all firmly on the side of my prediction that this game is dead and we've all been rooked.

      I never said Shaun was to blame for the mess. But his verbose pollyanna act enables this mess to continue ad infinitum.

      Whether it comes from NDS or some closet case fanboy, I know bullshit when I smell it.

    11. Zangdaarr 6 days ago

      Because their project management is disastrous

    12. Bjornen 6 days ago

      Still don't understand why it takes so much effort to come here, put the same thing that they said on Discord, and press publish so all us backers that paid in advance for a game have updated information. Lots of kickstarters do that, there is no need to make a huge and nice post with videos everytime an update is done. Just let us know how things are and which are the next steps, that's fine.

      And for the content of it...I still don't believe it. 2 months in total for a kickstarter update? I really think they are saying things on Discord but not here just because they don't want anything "official" to be said.

    13. Frodo
      6 days ago

      Bill, Shaun is not to blame for this mess.

    14. Andrew Magowan 7 days ago


      He did the same thing to me on twitter, Stephen Kick is an abject coward who presses the 'block' button every time someone asks him a difficult question...
      My advice Michal, file complaints with the better business bureau and federal trade commission, I and a few other on here have done, good luck!

    15. Missing avatar

      Bill 7 days ago

      @ Frodo:

      They don't need to communicate with us peasants here. They have their pet stooge Shaun to repeat their excuses for them, rub his crystal ball and somehow declare with a lawyer's indistinct deniability that something, somewhere, some time, may happen. Or not.

    16. Missing avatar

      Bill 7 days ago

      @ Shaun:

      "All I can say is [an update] is coming - I don't have a timeframe unfortunately. "

      So, no, Shaun, you CAN'T say that. Because you don't know a damned thing. Don't you get it, "volunteer mod"?

      I'm glad you have more patience than sense. Must be nice to live so wholly unperturbed by being ripped off. So blissful. Perhaps some day I'll lobotomize myself and give it a try.

    17. Missing avatar

      Michal Mlotek 7 days ago

      I will not be respectful and considerate.

      Right now by your own words (sorry, cannot quote them, cause you've blocked me), you are promoting the Discord as the main channel of communication.
      The channel you have the control over it and you can silence all opposition about all the things you are doing there..
      Bout you cannot control the kickstarter.
      You received got our money (YES/NO?)
      You've got your own ideas about System Shock (YES/NO?)
      Your ideas =/= ideas you were pledging on Kickstarter (YES/NO?)
      You've missed your deadline (YES/NO?)

      You've been trusted with our money. Not yours, not the bank ones.
      Are you comfortable (sum all above YESes/NOes) an adnswer HERE!

      And "I will not be respectful and considerate.

      Right now by your own words (sorry, cannot quote them, cause you've blocked me), you are promoting the Discord as the main channel of communication.
      The channel you have the control over it and you can silence all opposition about all the things you are doing there..
      Bout you cannot control the kickstarter.
      You received got our money (YES/NO?)
      You've got your own ideas about System Shock (YES/NO?)
      Your ideas =/= ideas you were pledging on Kickstarter (YES/NO?)
      You've missed your deadline (YES/NO?)

      You've been trusted with our money. Not yours, not the bank ones.
      Are you comfortable (sum all above YESes/NOes) an adnswer HERE!

      And "Shaun Gupta" - how do you feel being a punch bad for NDS? Was it worth it?

    18. Frodo
      7 days ago

      Shaun, right from the start, I've been appalled at NightDive's lack of communication here on Kickstarter.
      The game was funded here... they took money here... and they should communicate here!

    19. Shaun Gupta 7 days ago

      @Bill, I can't say "know" for things that I don't 100%. All I can say is that I'm a fellow backer, and I still have hope in this project, so I was expressing my feelings (and mine alone) in that regard. It's not condescension - it's fine if people disagree, but that's truly where I'm at, and patience is the only thing that's going to prove things out either way.

      @Soraldor, I agree with you that a KS update needs to happen. All I can say is one is coming - I don't have a timeframe unfortunately. There has been some decent conversation on Discord, but the meaty updates are still planned for here.

      @Lexrax, the game has *not* been cancelled and is still coming, per Stephen (both in the last update, and more recently on Discord).

    20. Missing avatar

      Michal Mlotek 7 days ago

      I've just have been banned on Your channel on Discord, while asking about refund.
      Will file VISA chrgeback right now.
      Enjoy your life without credit.

    21. Lexrax 7 days ago

      So... What the heck is going on ? Are they going to complete it , or am i going to loose more money on something i backed on KS ?

    22. Missing avatar

      Soraldor on March 14

      One month is gone, it's time for an update!
      Not in the Discord channel. The update has to be HERE on Kickstarter in the updates section, where everybody can read it.

    23. Missing avatar

      Bill on March 14

      @Shaun -

      "Volunteer Mod"? Are you fucking joking? More of a volunteer apologist/battered wife.

      You THINK patience will be rewarded.
      You HOPE the next update is not far out.
      You BELIEVE it will be worth the wait.
      You HONESTLY BELIEVE that NDS will deliver in the end.
      You FEEL things aren't so dire as they seem.

      Hey Shaun? Your soapbox condescension means exactly nothing until you can honestly replace any of those verbs with KNOW.

    24. Andrew Magowan on March 14

      They led us down the garden path, as recently as January they were pretending everything was ok when they knew they were running out of money. Heck, even when they pushed release back to 1st qtr 2018 they must have thought "wait, we're nowhere near ready, we're out of time and all we have is concept art". They could have come clean then, but they let the masquerade go on for another few months.....and now that they've told us they're out of cash, they're not giving any more info, blocking people who ask questions on twitter and not responding to e-mails. Theres a word for that, suspicious.

    25. Shaun Gupta on March 14

      Folks, I encourage a bit of patience here for those of you willing (I know some are not, but please, please consider it, as I think your patience will be rewarded...and I mean that as a fellow backer, not just a volunteer mod). An update *is* coming and the game is *not* dead -
      there have been multiple reassurances on Discord in that regard that the game is definitely still happening and they have no intention of letting it fail.

      I think if people are just willing to give NDS a chance, the next update will reassure you, but the only proof will be in the pudding. I realize people are disappointed and upset about the hiatus, but if you give NDS a chance to get their ducks in a row and have some substantial things to say before releasing the next update (which hopefully is not too far out, but I can't give an exact date unfortunately), I truly believe it will be worth the wait.

      This is just my opinion - I can't tell you what to think, but it's where I am, and I honestly believe that despite the delay, this KickStarter will deliver in the end. (I do happen to agree NDS could have better communication via KickStarter, but I also feel that things are not nearly as dire as a lot of people are making them out to be.) Time will tell, of course, but please give them the time to refocus so they can address this project properly.

    26. Missing avatar

      SPBreit on March 13

      Stephen, the time for silence is over. I hope that you guys can get this back on track, but you need to start communicating NOW.

    27. Missing avatar

      Bill on March 13

      30 days later and not one step closer.

      Nightdive, shut down this page. The corpse is starting to smell.

    28. Ravenknight on March 11

      Thieves never liked to be called out in public.

    29. Andrew Magowan on March 11

      @ Bjornen, good man. Nearly a month after NDS told us they had burned through all our money and still no update from the elusive Mr Kick, other than to block people who ask him questions on twitter. Hopefully if enough people complain they'll see that we're not going to take being swindled lying down!

    30. Bjornen on March 11


      I also did the same. Not sure if it will lead to something, but at least the will have to respond an official complain.

    31. Andrew Magowan on March 10

      @ James
      Got some good advice earlier, for those who have been let down by NDS and want a refund, complain online to the Better business bureau and Federal trade commission, I just did and it only took a few minutes.

    32. Missing avatar

      James Wells on March 9

      Well that's it. No more kickstarter project backing from me. This is the second project I've backed and the success records for me has been 100% failure. My first was 'War for the Overworld', which did finish but was released as a buggy mess and was barely playable. Its been patched since and maybe fine now, but I've moved on. And now this, a failure even though you received more backing than what you asked for, and a remake that should have been straight forward if you kept to what you promised, and made what your backers actually paid for.
      How has the money has run out? Whether its due to mismanagement or feeding your own egos to produce something that was way more than what you originally stated; frankly I don't really care. All I know is myself and many others are now out of pocket due to your gross incompetence. In other industries you would most likely be fired or even facing legal consequences for this kind of thing. So well done, Kickstarter has now lost another customer. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. Wanna try to fool me a third time? Go and have a word with yourself. Shame.

    33. Andrew Magowan on March 9

      And just as an update to the below....Stephen Kick has blocked me from seeing and posting on his twitter account all because I said
      "Brilliant, so you've time to plug t shirts and yet no time to explain to system shock backers where their $1.3 million went? Refunds now!!"
      So, yeah, Mr Kick doesn't like being asked difficult questions....and for anyone who'd like to ask the reclusive Mr Kick some questions, his twitter handle is @pripyabeast
      Feel free to let him know what you think about people who blow $1.3m of other peoples money then hides like an abject coward.

    34. Andrew Magowan on March 8

      I know what you're saying, John, but quite frankly i'd sooner trust one of those psychic monkeys from ss2 over NDS to complete the game. Check out Stephen Kicks twitter account, he's more interested in drawing silly pictures than he is fixing his mess or explaining the way forward to his backers!

    35. Missing avatar

      John Burton on March 8

      @ Andrew Magowan
      Maybe selling those glow in the dark T- shirts is how they intend to raise funds and finish off making the game?

      If that's the case then don't burst that bubble man! Big it up to all your friends and family so it becomes a huge fashion trend - it could be System Shocks saviour!

    36. Andrew Magowan on March 8

      Anyone remember when Broken Lizard started a crowd funding campaign to make Super Troopers 2? They were looking $2 million to make a movie....and ended up receiving over $4 million. That movie is out next month, and those who backed it received various rewards from tickets to the movie to autographed memorabilia.
      Contrast this with NDS who were looking $900k and received $1.3 million, and nearly two years after they got the money they have nothing to show for it aside from limp wristed excuses. And now, as Bjornen points out, 3 weeks after we were told that NDS screwed the more information, no plan, no reply to e-mails or fact what we get is Stephen Kick posting his own fan art for the shape of water and plugging glow in the dark t shirts....Fantastic. If i'd wasted two years and $1.3 million, i'd at least have the decency to answer questions and attempt to reassure my backers....but no...Stephen Kick is more interested in drawing pictures and selling t shirts.

    37. Bjornen on March 7

      3 weeks now. Still no answers, no plans, and no explanations given to the people that made your project possible.
      Before there was a small chance for me that this whole thing was a "shit we screwed so bad and we want to make things right" movement, just made poorly. Now I'm 100% positive this is just you running away of responsabilities.
      Still want my refund.

    38. Missing avatar

      John Burton on March 6

      Apologies for reiterating what you already know, but I don't think Niclas (who you responded to) was wrong, and it sounded like you were making excuses for NDS.

      To say it should have been easy was oversimplifying it, but saying it's "never that easy" is ignoring how much of a cross NDS made for their own backs.

      Wouldn't you agree that it's a simpler task taking an already developed game and rebuilding it in a new engine, than it is redesigning almost every facet of said game when you're a very inexperienced developer on a limited budget? I really can't comprehend how anyone would think the latter thinking can be defended...

      Game development is hard, but they made it much harder than it needed to be. I don't think people who expected a timely release of this project were wrong to do so. If NDS had at least stayed within the straightforward scope of what they were funded for...but, alas, they didn't.

      And whilst the backers may underestimate the difficulties of game development - they aren't developers. So what is NDS excuse, as "professionals" for making the same mistake in judgement? They gave a date, and a required budget - that budget has been spent, and the date has come and gone with apparently no actual game to show for it.

    39. Gumbemanden on March 6

      @John Burton

      I know these things, I've been following the development and updates very closely.
      Thanks for a recap, I guess.

    40. Missing avatar

      Bryce on March 6

      Well if they fail to deliver I hope we have a few lawyers backing that are willing to take them through the ringer even if there isn't much financial gain. Washington state residents certainly can. Bankrupting Nightdive and Stephen may be the only recourse we have.

    41. Missing avatar

      John Burton on March 6

      The problem is not that they have to recreate everything in Unreal...

      It's that they:

      1) Started in Unity despite knowing it was slower to implement. The demo took around six months to make, so even then they knew it was a lot of work to use that engine. Eventually they realized a switch to Unreal would be better for faster production.

      But they took months figuring that out....

      2) The engine change had absolutely nothing to do with them COMPLETELY changing the scope of the project. From a straightforward (ish) remaster which would have been relatively easy, to almost a full re imagining of the game which takes a lot more skill and money.

      It's this second point that seems to have derailed the project - not having enough money to see this "vision" through, with the poor choices about how they approached it being modest issues in comparison.

      This should have been a simple project to back, but NDS screwed it up.

    42. Missing avatar

      Knut Mikael Haukeland on March 5

      I'm very disappointed. I only backed this game because of the absolutely STELLAR demo. THAT was the game I wanted.

    43. Missing avatar

      Vault Dweller on March 5

      @Darren Sandford: This is a good question, as NDS not delivering the product I backed (ether in time or the prouct I backed) I wan´t my money back

    44. Gumbemanden on March 5


      It's never that easy.
      They have to recreate EVERYTHING in Unreal, from the art-style to the gameplay and story.

    45. Missing avatar

      Niclas on March 3

      How hard can it be they have the game made already just make new shiny graphics that's it.....

    46. Missing avatar

      John Burton on March 2

      What's the problem...?? Seriously?

      The problem is that they've run out of that was only theirs because we financed a project they haven't delivered. A project that isn't:
      a) what they said it would be
      b) financially viable by this point

      Unless NDS apparently sell a lot of copies of remastered Turok games, or get funding from a publisher, then this projects future is questionable for now. If it does get made it will have taken twice as long as we were told, and this situation could have been easily avoided.

      This is an issue because the backers kept up their end of the deal, but from the moment funding was raised NDS have betrayed their end of the deal.

      Bad things happen, I get that. If a developer was hit by personal tragedy, or other unforeseen circumstances, then only the heartless would criticize. But that isn't the case here - this failure is entirely of NDS own making.

      NDS were foolhardy with other peoples money by being overly ambitious, possibly dishonest too, and deserve every bit of negative commentary they're getting. Will this bad commentary help the project move along? no, of course not.

      Will it hopefully burst NDS ego and make them learn to walk before they can run? Will it make them think to be more responsible with other peoples money? Maybe - regardless, the backers have a right to say it, and NDS must suffer through it.

    47. Missing avatar

      Rob Gerhardt on March 2


      I remember telling you on Discord that the switch to Unreal Engine wasn't a good idea and that what we saw on the Unity demo is what we really wanted.

      Now, I appreciate that you finally realised that the current path wasn't the right one and that you told us.

      As a game developer with 17 years of experience, my advice would be to take back the original plan, ask Unity for help, because they are nice guys and will be glad to help, and add support for VR, as this is one feature of the original I always wanted to try and now it's relatively easy to do.