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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

Posted by Nightdive Studios (Creator)
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 236 more people like this update.


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    1. Thufir Hawat on

      Hey Andre, going to report ed for saying the C word? No? Oh, just me then for saying shit, ok.

    2. Missing avatar

      Ed on

      hey bill. how about, don't be such a cunt? maybe that will make you happy.

    3. Viacheslav Baczyński on

      Yet another scam project and wasted money. It's a pity.

    4. Missing avatar

      Bill on

      Seven weeks and not a peep out of NDS. Discord means shit. Until it is here, on the record, it means nothing at all.

      And I see that Shaun, ever pollyanna fanboy, continues to make excuses for these criminals. Shaun, you probably believe your wife actually IS visiting a sick friend every Saturday night when she comes home smelling like cigarettes and your brother's aftershave.

    5. Shaun Gupta on

      @John Clarke, I don't disagree that more updates here might be helpful and alleviate some concerns. I think Discord fits their needs better as far as an ongoing conversation, so I see why it tends to be preferred, but it's fair that some backers would prefer more communication here, and I'd personally like to see that as well. An update via KickStarter is coming soon (latest word is towards the beginning of April), and I know some discussions have been had to improve communication (including the possibility of livestreams, etc.).

    6. Missing avatar

      John Clarke on

      over a month later and people keep saying "on discord" well don't you think maybe should be more comms on here as here is where all there backers are?
      not given up on the game but leaving us in the dark after a post like this isn't building confidence

    7. David Shaw on

      I guess.. IF it does all fall through.. one glimmer of light.. Chris Avellone could always rock up to Zenimax and suggest they give him his own studio. 'Mr. House Studios'.. kikaz. Second release FO's every 2 years after a Bethesda main release. Hire any free OB staff. Zeni kinda owe him that at least, because of how the OB deal went down with no OB bonus.

    8. Missing avatar

      John Burton on

      These days I think "fuck this game"

      I'll happily take my money back, and NDS and the backers who still care can do whatever the hell they like with the project.

      Is that an option to get a refund?

    9. Bjornen on

      So, they have the same demo they had in 2016, and they are talking about 2020?
      Good thinkg is the stated they don't have financial problems. That's great, because now they can give me my refund.

    10. Thufir Hawat on

      I see the NDS apologist n chief, Andre, has been busy. 3-5 years is reasonable for a game if you're starting from scratch. NDS weren't starting from scratch, when they started the kickstarter they claimed they were 20% done. They also didn't have to develop the plot/levels/monster types as that had all been done before. Their job was simply to refurbish System Shock...but they decided to go beyond that, way beyond that. I don't know if you're employed by NDS or what, but it's clear that you're going out of your way to pardon their incompetence,

    11. Andre on

      The reality is that even as a remake this game would take as long as ground up rebuild or reboot. for the reason that they are redoing the script, the Voice overs and adding expanded levels and narrative. This has always been part of the plan. It was stated clearly in the KS game definition. No one can claim otherwise.

    12. Andre on

      For a development project of this type 3 to 5 years is reasonable. You guys can claim to the contrary all you want......

      You dont need to go further than looking at other similar projects. Many of which probably have similar development hiccups.......

      People talk of games as art......well art, being a creative process takes time.

    13. Andre on

      I strongly believe KS needs a backer screening progress.

    14. Shaun Gupta on

      Bjornen, they did indeed show some work at GDC. David already posted one article, but here's the PC Gamer version. Latest word is a KS update the beginning of April.

    15. Tactical Dragon Inc on

      I strongly believe that KickStarter need a policy to deal with this kind of issues.
      This is a proyect and all investment needs quaranties or fiances.

    16. Thufir Hawat on

      NDS lie? Whatever next? Swindle 20,000 out of $1.3 million?

    17. Bjornen on

      So, another lie.

      They told on Discord that they were preparing to show something at GDC. Well, GDC ends today. Nothing shown (zero surprises here)

    18. Stefan Morley on

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

    19. Stefan Morley on

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

    20. Thufir Hawat on


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

    21. Missing avatar

      John Burton on

      @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...)

    22. Thufir Hawat on

      @ 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...

    23. Missing avatar

      John Burton on

      @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?

    24. Thufir Hawat on

      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!

    25. Ravenknight on

      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...

    26. Missing avatar

      Grumpy Greg on

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

    27. Missing avatar

      Bill on


      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.

    28. Zangdaarr on

      Because their project management is disastrous

    29. Bjornen on

      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.

    30. Frodo

      Bill, Shaun is not to blame for this mess.

    31. Thufir Hawat on


      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!

    32. Missing avatar

      Bill on

      @ 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.

    33. Missing avatar

      Bill on

      @ 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.

    34. Missing avatar

      Grumpy Greg on

      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?

    35. Frodo

      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!

    36. Shaun Gupta on

      @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).

    37. Missing avatar

      Grumpy Greg on

      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.

    38. Lexrax on

      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 ?

    39. Missing avatar

      Andy "Soraldor" Klein on

      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.

    40. Missing avatar

      Bill on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    41. Thufir Hawat on

      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.

    42. Shaun Gupta on

      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.

    43. Missing avatar

      SPBreit on

      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.