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Shadowrun Returns brings back one of our most original & cherished game settings as a 2D turn-based RPG for tablets & PC.
Shadowrun Returns brings back one of our most original & cherished game settings as a 2D turn-based RPG for tablets & PC.
Shadowrun Returns brings back one of our most original & cherished game settings as a 2D turn-based RPG for tablets & PC.
36,276 backers pledged $1,836,447 to help bring this project to life.

The Word of the Day is. . . Information!

Here we go...

This update is full of information about Backer Rewards, distribution plans, pre-orders, and more. No sexy behind the scenes look at how we’re making the game this time. Just good, clean process. This is important stuff (like deadlines) that everyone needs to know, so make sure you read it!

How long do I have to pre-order the Collector’s Edition of the game?

The last chance to get the Shadowrun Returns Collector's Edition is Sunday, April 28th, 2013. Please tell your friends! (More on pre-orders later.)

When can I give you my information for my Backer Rewards? 

We are happy to announce that the Harebrained Account Website is now open for business! It’s not pretty but it’ll get the job done! Starting today, Backers will begin to receive emails from us (as you’re imported into the system) containing a link to the website and a password. If you haven’t heard from us by Friday, April 12th, drop us a line at (Preorder folk will receive separate emails later.) 

If you’re a Backer, please log in as soon as possible to enter your mailing address and (based on your Backer Level) upload your picture for your DocWagon card, tell us which shirt and size you want, and all the other information we’ll need to get you your much-deserved rewards. 

IMPORTANT: In order to get your rewards on time, you must log in and fill in your information by Monday, April 22nd, 2013. Otherwise, your rewards may be left out of the shipment, get shipped to the wrong address or other, more heinous horrors. 

 When do I get my rewards? 

  • Your DIGITAL rewards (the game, the editor, the wallpaper, special ability, the soundtrack, the short story anthology PDF, etc) will all be available on the Harebrained Account Website on launch day
  • Your PHYSICAL rewards (the t-shirts, the DocWagon cards, the hardcover short story anthology, the USB dog tags, the deluxe box edition (which contains a bunch of stuff), will ship about 3 weeks after launch day. (We’ll explain why below.) 
  • People who pre-ordered the Shadowrun Returns Deluxe and Collector’s Editions will get their digital and physical goodies in the same timeframe as above. (And will download their digital goodies from the Harebrained Account Website too.)
  • Early access to the Shadowrun Returns EDITOR will be available to eligible Backers at the end of April
  • Backers eligible to have their photo turned into an NPC or CUSTOM PC have already been contacted and work has already begun! 

 Here’s some examples! 

Why do I have to wait until after the game releases to get my physical rewards? 

First, picking, packing, and shipping your physical rewards is an expensive proposition. If we send out physical rewards in more than one batch, the cost will be prohibitively expensive (like twice as much!). That would be a considerable percentage of our total budget and that money could go into the game. Our focus is (and always will be) on using the funding you’ve generously provided to make Shadowrun Returns great. So we’re doing one big shipment of all physical rewards at the same time. 

Second, in order to press the discs containing the game and the soundtrack, the game and the soundtrack actually have to be done! So, because we’re shipping everything in one batch and because we can’t press discs until the game is done, the physical rewards will ship about 3 weeks after the game is released. 

Unfortunately, this also means we can’t put the game and other stuff on the USB Dog Tags as we said we would during the Kickstarter. If we did, we'd first have to wait for the game to be done, then we’d have to wait for the manufacturing of the flash drives, and then wait again for them to arrive from China, adding at least a month to the wait. On the plus side, we’ve already received and approved functional prototypes of the dog tags, so we know they’re going to be awesome. (If you were at Emerald City Comic Con or SXSW, you got a chance to see them yourselves.)

And here's what the Doc Wagon cards will look like.

When will the game be released?

Shadowrun Returns will release in June. 

How will I download the game when it’s released? 

After a lot of prototyping and research, we decided that our best delivery option for OSX/Windows/Linux is to go the route that great games (like Skyrim!) have taken and embrace Steam and the Steam Workshop. Steam allows us to provide up-to-date downloads and patching along with a vibrant ecosystem for developing community-created content and file sharing. 

So, we're happy to announce that all Backers will receive a Steam Key for the game and will be able to contribute and browse community-created content using Steam Workshop. 

We realize that for some of you, releasing on Steam isn’t your first choice but there are a lot of really great things we get from this decision that allow us to focus on the game rather than on making things like backend servers to deploy and manage shared content. From the start, we’ve had to make practical decisions like this one to ensure we get the most out of the support you’ve given us. We consider this to be the best option for everyone. 

Now, that may prompt the question, “What about DRM-free?” To honor our original promise of a DRM-free version of the game, the Harebrained Account Website will also contain a downloadable version of Shadowrun Returns that does not include Steam integration. While this version will include the Seattle story (and Berlin, via a one-time update), without Steam integration, it will be unable to browse and play community-created stories from within the game. Any future DLC will only be available through Steam. 

Will people be able to pre-order the game on Steam? 

Yes. Pre-orders for Shadowrun Returns and the Shadowrun Returns Deluxe Edition will be available on Steam Monday, April 29th 2013. Again, the last chance to pre-order the Collectors Edition or get the pre-order discounts on is Sunday, April 28th 2013. Please spread the word. 

When do I get the Linux version of the game? 

As we said during the Kickstarter, we will release the Linux version in a reasonable timeframe after launch. We've done a few test builds in house but there are a fair number of issues remaining to be fixed. Rather than delay the entire release of the game to everyone, we're going to focus on the non-Linux platforms first as they have the most support and are the furthest along in development. 

What about the iOS and Android tablet versions of the game? 

Tablet versions of Shadowrun Returns are not part of any Backer reward levels and will be available for purchase from the Apple and Android App Stores. Tablet versions will not include the Editor or have the ability to browse and play community-created content. We hope to bundle and add the best community-created content to the tablet versions of the game in the future. 

What about the German, French, and Italian versions of the game? 

We plan to release translated versions of the game around the same time as the Linux version. 

 What sort of DLC can we expect? 

Here’s what we’re planning to make available for paid download after launch: 

  • Berlin Campaign (new campaigns also allow you to build with an expanded set of tiles) 
  • Map Packs (new terrain tiles and props for you to use in your own campaigns) 
  • All New Shadowrun Stories (created by HBS) 
  • Additional Outfits and Portraits for your character 

Now to be clear, our Backers and Collector’s Edition Pre-orderers will get the Berlin Campaign at no charge. Any DLC developed after launch will require payment. 

Do I have to pay for Community Created Content? 

Stories created by the community will be available through Steam Workshop at no charge. However, if you download a story created with optional DLC (such as Berlin) that you don’t have yet, you’ll need to purchase that DLC before you play it. 

What type of modding support will there be? 

While we have not spent a lot of time creating hooks for modding in the core game code, we're confident that clever Shadowrun GMs will manage to do some amazing and creative things that we haven’t even dreamed of yet! We don't plan on getting in your way but we also don't have the resources to officially support a modding community beyond what the Editor is able to create (which is already a lot - it’s powerful and flexible). 

So that’s a big ol’ info dump! (Hmm, could be a cool band name - Info Dump.) 

If you have questions, please send them to  



    1. Static Brown on July 26, 2013

      I'm actually really enjoying the game. I'm freakin hooked! One question, though...what's the special backer-only ability? If I'm not mistaken, backers are to start with this special ability. I'm not sure if I'm missing something here...

    2. Missing avatar

      shh on July 25, 2013

      WHERE is my game?!?
      What, Steam-keys?! Yeah, I remembered some email, but I don't wanted any DRM-shit(sorry).
      And ALSO I dont't want to register to any other system with 100dreds of related spam-emails.
      I pledged to have a game without all this. Two other manufaturers where able to provide a download via kickstarter (to exactly my kickstarter-registration). Is is that difficult to just point to the download-address?

    3. Missing avatar

      Martin on July 25, 2013

      Hello Guys,

      The game looks very good so far. However I have noticed that the downloads of the game, wallpapers, soundtracks, anthology is limited.

      I hope you change your opinion on that. It like a kick in the balls to tell me, that I get this and that for download and then the amount of downloads is limited.

      You "NEVER" under any circumstances stated that these downloads were limited. This was not part of the deal.

      I am very disappointed with you guys and I really do hope, you will change your mind on that. If not, I can assure you that me, or my friends won't ever back any project of you again.

    4. RC on April 17, 2013

      Hoi Chummers! Info on the Shadowrun Returns T-Shirt sizes! *This is all the info currently available* and it's subject to change

      It looks to me like the shirts run a little larger than other brands. Can't wait to sport mine this summer! ^_^

    5. RC on April 17, 2013

      Hoi Chris!

      I posted this in the other Update thread, but...

      I really don't believe HBS "knowingly deceived us from right from the start." And I have many reasons for believing this, none of them having to do with my fanboyism for the game. But due to my perceived relationship with HBS as a volunteer moderator for the game, I don't want to burn them if I get it right and Microosofts lawyers get angry. Legal wranglings are a tricksy thing and I don't want to trigger a shitstorm bigger than the DRM-free one that's already rolled in. However, I will say the following - Disclaimer - this is supposition! I suspect something happened after the Kickstarter and now they're stuck with a confidentiality agreement (NDA) that prohibits them from providing the details they really want to explain to us all, related to their Shadowrun license. - HBS has not stated this to me, but from everything we've seen, it makes the most sense to me. I don't think it makes things better, but it might explain why their update on the Shadowrun IP comes across as such a struggle to inform us. Either way, those who are getting upset over the phrasing of the update, are jumping to conclusions with far less information at hand to base their judgements on (which granted, isn't their fault), than the 10 months of interaction I've had with HBS. If you wonder why I defend them in this, it's not just a matter of my being a Shadowrun fan, it's more a matter of having a better vantage point than the rest of the community and seeing that HBS is being unfairly judged, while I believe they aren't in a position to provide the details that would, not change the fact future DLC will be on Steam, but at least explain why they didn't see this coming sooner, and more importantly, why they didn't see this coming in time to warn us. I'm sure my enthusiasm for the game and volunteering as a forum mod will continue to offset some chummers desire to accept my viewpoint. But I hope at least some of you are willing to have a more open mind, and a little more compassion for a team of people that for 10 months have been working hard to develop a game they hope we'd love, and from what I can tell, previously had no intention of going with Steam as their only distribution route. If I turn out to be wrong, I will certainly admit to it, and likely be just as frustrated as you. And I can tell you this, they're just as frustrated about this as we are.


    6. Chris Patterson on April 15, 2013

      Personally, I still think it's pretty shitty that you guys knew that you were going to have to go with DRM to fulfill your obligations to M$, but "failed" to mention that in your DRM-free pledge to us, the people that trusted you with our money.

    7. RC on April 15, 2013

      Hoi Noe & Andre!

      HBS said if you e-mail them for the shirt sizes they can send you the chart. ^_^

      Ja Mata!


    8. Noe Ridgway on April 13, 2013

      Going to second (kind of) Andrew Bowen's request for measurement sizes. Need to know this before the 22nd so I can get my order in on time.

    9. Andrew Tyler Bowen on April 13, 2013

      Any chance on getting measurements for shirt sizes or failing that the make of the shirts?

    10. Missing avatar

      JM - Boorish Weresheep of Sin (deleted) on April 12, 2013

      Although my point of view remains the same, and ALWAYS WILL, regardless of the mess that has been caused, and I have made my feelings perfectly and unflinchingly clear on the unjustifiability of the matter both to Mitch and on the forums, Mitch/HBS have ultimately been VERY surprisingly responsible in the matter of my refund and I feel that this at least MUST be acknowledged.

      I am expecting it soon.

      Although I am still CONSIDERABLY angry at being treated in the manner that WE have, I am no longer as blind with rage as I was with the release of this horrible development and with time I might even develop a more even temperament towards HBS.

      To those unhappy with the developments, I feel it with you and am in your corner every step of the way.

      To those happy with the developments, enjoy the game I have been on tenterhooks for for over a year, I am envious, but I WILL NOT sacrifice my principals.

      I acknowledge all this as being a regretful bloody mess and that the time has come for me to move on to bigger and better things.

    11. drow on April 12, 2013

      @Matt Seidl we can play that... there are seven billion people NOT logged into steam right now, which means its a huge smelly flop and nobody likes it.

    12. Missing avatar

      Nevill on April 12, 2013

      @Matt Seidl
      "There are 3,710,817 people logged into Steam right now... so yeah, Steam haters are definitely in the minority."
      I love when people use fallasious logic with a straight face. The only thing that fact about 3,710,817 people means is that there are 6 billions other people who aren't logged into it, for whatever reasons. And the real question was how much of the, y'know, actual backers were in it for the promise of a DRM-free game, which of course you have no way of knowing. Fully functional DRM-free game for everyone willing to pay for it, mind you (god, I never thought I would ever need to make that distinction). Even if the majority of the gamers are fine with Steam (which is just your speculation), said majority did not fund this Kickstarter.

      For all I know, we, the backers, are going to be the minority of the customers total, since there are barely 40000 of us. I guess they can start ignoring us now.

    13. Veav on April 12, 2013

      @Bryan Why, you're right. The update is up.

      Hey guys, the update is up.

      So... the update is up. You should probably stop posting here. :3

    14. Missing avatar

      Japol on April 12, 2013

      I personally do not hate steam.I barely ''hate'' EA or Activision.
      I just don't like asking for the permission to install and/or update the game i bought full price or even on sale.
      Nothing more and nothing less really.

    15. Indoclone on April 12, 2013

      I own over 300 games on steam, I don't get why people hate Steam so much.
      People now like to hate on everything. As long as it's a great game and it's looking like it will be, I don't mind if it's on Steam.

    16. Missing avatar

      Japol on April 12, 2013

      I haven't activated steam for over 1,5 year.Can't tell exactly.
      Before that it was every 2 months approximatelly.
      Last games i activated was in Ubisoft's Uplay (unfortunatelly).

    17. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on April 12, 2013

      Thanks for the clarification - "I connect to the internet only when i want to activate a game." does sound like you reconnect periodically with Steam (how often roughly?) which is presumably why things seem to keep working for you.

    18. Missing avatar

      Japol on April 12, 2013

      I do not argue with what you are saying but yes,i actually mean there is no cable or Wi-fi connected to my gaming pc and i run the games i have in offline mode normally with no problems.
      I connect to the internet only when i want to activate a game.
      I guess i might have missed a ''crucial'' update ;)

    19. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on April 12, 2013

      @Japol: "My gaming pc is always offline..."
      When you say offline, do you really mean offline? (i.e. as in "not connected to the Internet at all"). Because if what you're doing is running Steam in offline mode only (and not using software like a third-party firewall to deny the Steam Client Internet access) then how do you know it isn't still connecting regularly and verifying your status? (which would mean it not being really "offline" at all).
      A quick look at the Steam forums shows problems still being reported like or so there is clearly still a dependency. And since online activation includes a hardware check (to stop copying to another system), I'll hazard a guess that you've not upgraded your gaming system during that time.

    20. Missing avatar

      Japol on April 12, 2013

      @Matt Seidl
      I meant ''i am NOT saying you are one of those people''Sorry:)

    21. Missing avatar

      Japol on April 12, 2013

      I wouldn't know about these issues,since i have not updated Steam for over 1,5 year exactly because of fear of such changes.My gaming pc is always offline and i haven't had any problem launching my already activated steam games though.

    22. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on April 12, 2013

      @Japol: "It's true that Steam is the lightest DRM that includes online activation of some kind..."
      Comments like this beg the question, how many Steam users actually know how Steam's DRM works? With the exception of those (few) programs that don't require Steam's client to be running, anything using Steam requires activation *every time* you start the program (don't take my word for this - unplug your computer's Internet connection, then try playing a Steam-purchased game and see how far you get). That makes it the second most restrictive form of DRM available - only the "constant connection" DRM used by Activision/Blizzard and (until most recently) Ubisoft can be said to be more restrictive.
      And before anyone says "offline mode", I would point out that:
      (1) According to Valve's FAQ at… offline mode has to be enabled for *each* game separately;
      (2) Offline mode requires you to connect to your Steam account, so cannot help in the case of an (unplanned) Internet outage or Steam account suspension;
      (3) Offline mode is temporary - posts in the Steam forums have reported that "offline" games required reconnection after as little as 3 days.

    23. Missing avatar

      Japol on April 12, 2013

      @Matt Seidl
      It's true that Steam is the lightest DRM that includes online activation of some kind and it also comes with various benefits such as the workshop.It is also true that it has done some good for PC game development.
      It is true that many people don't mind that light DRM of Steam although we can't say if they are the majority,since we don't really define a population.They make for a big market nonetheless.
      I myself ''own'' several games that require steamworks but i don't really own them not only legally but practically too,since i always need to take their permission to install and update them.
      The problem is that some people make this an issue about Steam and not about HBS and the DRM-Free copy that was promised.(I am saying that you are one of those people)

    24. Veav on April 12, 2013

      @Matt I certainly don't, and if this had been presented as a Steamworks game day one I would've pledged just the same. I honestly wouldn't have thought anything of it. But the scenario here is the Kickstarter was clearly presented - marketed, even - as a DRM-free product. If they turn it around now, play coy with those expectations and actively discriminate against those gamers by explicitly declaring their version will be feature-incomplete, I don't need to be impacted by the act to recognize it's a dick move.

    25. zdsdead - Gimp of the WOM on April 12, 2013

      I hope this Update is titled" The Word Of The Day Is... Sorry!"

    26. zdsdead - Gimp of the WOM on April 12, 2013

      This whole thing is a total PR disaster, and now this wait for a so called friday faq? its almost like they are dragging it out on purpose....

    27. Matt on April 12, 2013

      It's OK to be in the minority, you can still be right...they do need to do a better job on this. But you can't look at the success of Skyrim or Bioshock Infinite and say that the majority cares about light, customer-friendly DRM like Steam. They just don't.

    28. Missing avatar

      Thomas on April 12, 2013

      @Jacob, shut up, we were promised a DRM free game, and we're being given one that's outright inferior to the DRM version. It doesn't matter whether we're in the minority or not, I'm not likely to buy any more games from HBS if they don't make this right.

      What's more, I think we should at bare minimum be offered refunds seeing as they aren't giving us the product we backed. As great as the game looks to be, I don't want to encourage this sort of thing. inXile isn't having any trouble keeping it DRM free.

    29. Missing avatar

      Japol on April 12, 2013

      I have an even better idea.They should not give the game to let's say 20% of the backers,including you,so that they can make the game better for the majority of their backers.
      How would you like that?

    30. Missing avatar

      Japol on April 12, 2013

      @Matt Seidl
      NO ONE IS ANTI STEAM,we just want a DRM-Free ,fully functional copy of the game.Jeez...

    31. Missing avatar

      vamp1r0 on April 12, 2013

      In the meantime it's officially Saturday in europe and 5pm in Seatle and still no update. Insert any joke about the importance of public relations here.

    32. Matt on April 12, 2013

      There are 3,710,817 people logged into Steam right now... so yeah, Steam haters are definitely in the minority. Doesn't mean HBS doesn't need to do a better job of living up to their commitments, they do... but let's not pretend the anti-Steam crowd represents the majority of gamers.

    33. Torment- The Enduring Exile on April 12, 2013

      The tragedy of all of this is how the backers are now considered a whining minority. Only last year we were amazing, and they thanked us.

      HBS is so changeable. I won't trust them again.

    34. Missing avatar

      Japol on April 12, 2013

      Who gives you the right to tell them it's OK to back out of what they promised and how the hell do you know we are the minority?

    35. Lee Sweeney on April 12, 2013

      What type of account system/DRM can we expect?
      While the details are still being worked out, we hate draconian DRM as much as the next guy. We expect there will be an account system but it would be primarily used to enable the social elements of the game like mission and character sharing--not to restrict access to the game itself.

      Last updated: Monday Apr 23, 6:38pm EDT

    36. Jazz on April 12, 2013

      Good evening everyone! I see we're all here for the pre-FAQpost barbeque! I brought soft drinks and sweet potato casserole.

    37. Veav on April 12, 2013

      Well, don't worry about it. Sure, send everyone that link. Maybe it'll do some good!

    38. Veav on April 12, 2013

      @Nameless/Mark Isn't that song mocking those who beg for updates?

    39. Veav on April 12, 2013

      My Little Dronie: Rigging Is Magic

    40. Jacob on April 12, 2013

      Good job so far HBS!! It's smart to not waste resources on systems that have already been figured out. Unfortunately convenience and drm is packaged into one bundle with steam, I agree with the decision to go for convenience, no need to re-invent the wheel to please a vocal minority of backers.

    41. Missing avatar

      Mark McKinnon on April 12, 2013

      @Nameless Knightshark
      I really think we should all be sending them that message and I will +1 you for this link…

    42. drow on April 12, 2013

      i heard that ponies can ride on drones, drones can ride on ponies, but ponies can't *be* drones, even with cybernetics.

    43. Missing avatar

      mbpopolano24 on April 12, 2013

      Funny how some people here are so insecure that the feel the need to defend those poor people at HBS. You will have your game, the way you want it, the way you like it. Isn't that wonderful? Good for you. I hope you will have a great time playing it.

      Also funny how some of them will even try to 'answer' directly to someone else who disagree with their values, their sense of 'community', and their goals. Once again, that is really wonderful.

      Now, HBS, what about my money?

    44. Siilk on April 12, 2013

      @HBS: Oh, BTW. In the light of recent thoughts, posted in this thread regarding user-created content for Shadowrun Returns(UCC), I have a couple more questions for your FAQ and I really hope to have them answered.

      * Do players retain the rights for their UCC?

      * Do players have to submit UCC to the HBS online storage as a part of saving it?

      * Does SR editor ToS allow HBS the rights to sell any UCC without asking for the permission from the player, that created it?

      * Does aforementioned ToS allow HBS to legally pursue people, distributing UCC by means, other than HBS provided services, or 3rd party services, associated with HBS?

      Thanks in advance for your answers.

    45. Darkangel on April 12, 2013

      Just received the email to register with hbs, number 16000 ish, almost halfway, but still a long while til all are covered.

    46. Zebulon Pi on April 12, 2013

      @Siilk - Yeah, Veronica, who was totally going out with Shawn, until he broke up with her to go out with that slut Brittney, who TOtally shouldn't have ever made the cheerleading team? She said she overheard her brother talking to his friend about seeing someone mention on a fan site about ponies being in the game. So it's, like, totally confirmed.

    47. Torment- The Enduring Exile on April 12, 2013

      From now on I'll stick to KS campaigns like the ones Inxile runs. They won't use any funds for anything other than development, and post release sales are just icing for them. Since January HBS has been busy running their marketing machine, and this latest move to Steam only for DLC and player created content is just their way of padding their bottom line.

      We're an afterthought.