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Experience Shadowrun with your friends and plenty of enemies in an action strategy game and determine the future of the 6th world!
Experience Shadowrun with your friends and plenty of enemies in an action strategy game and determine the future of the 6th world!
6,003 backers pledged $558,863 to help bring this project to life.

A game by any other name ...

Posted by Cliffhanger Productions (Creator)

Hoi chummers,

It has been a few weeks since we gave you an update on the development process, so we are going to make this one count – brace for wall of text! There are a number of topics today, so let’s get things rolling!

Naming Game

We have had repeated comments and complaints from people who are expecting our game to be a full-scale, open world MMO. Now we have made it (hopefully) clear from the beginning that this is not the case with our limited budget, but a lot of folks don’t really read past the name tag and then go berserk on us for not delivering. As we approach launch, we want to prevent negative comments heaped on us for something we did not commit to in the first place (there is enough things we really did mess up…). So we want to change the name of the game, to make it more apparent what it is about. With our friends at Harebrained moving from Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall to Shadowrun: Dragonfall (and Hong Kong – Wohooo Kickstarter backers! :) ), basically calling their games “Shadowrun ‘Episode name’”, there is further confusion added to the mix. This is why we decided to rename our game.

We are currently considering renaming the game to Shadowrun 2076. This title distinguishes the game from the 2050’s Returns setting, it says “modern” in a nice way and does not mislead people into associating an MMO. Now it does not say what exactly it is about (other than Shadowrun), but that means people will have to dig a bit deeper for the intel…and it never hurts to read. Let us know what you think of this and if you have suggestions for a cool name, don’t hesitate to come back to us. Not all the people out there are as well informed about development as our backers, so we have to make sure they don’t go in with false expectations and then are disappointed.


We have already mentioned this would happen post-launch – we want to focus on the game for now and not on packing boxes and fiddling with t-shirt sizes :). However things are moving forward on that end as well. Our partners at Catalyst are almost ready to get the Boston Lockdown Campaign book out to print (from then it still takes a good long while to print and ship) and we are about to partner with a local company to create the special collector’s edition boxes for our backers. We are talking to people about the minis as well, though these are a pain to ship without getting damaged, so we are still trying to figure out how to do this without it costing us an arm and a leg.

As you may have seen in our dev diaries, the production of backer NPC/PC images has also commenced again, so we are good on this end. T-Shirts have been looked for and we are trying to get organic fabric at an affordable price, but we need to figure out the logistics (print and ship from the US and Europe separately or print in a third place and ship from there?). All this without postage and packing killing us from a cost point of view…since we did the kickstarter, shipping prices have gone up considerably. Anyway, we ARE working on it and will keep you updated. Oh and by the way – for all of you, who will get the cool pdf version of the campaign book, we will throw in a little extra if things go well…we will let you know ;).


Some people complained about game updates being too sparse – up to now, we tried to stay away from publishing “dev only” versions due to bugs and instability that plague so many other Early Access versions. But we are confident enough in the technical side of things to offer you the EXCLUSIVE BACKER ONLY LIVE DEVELOPMENT version as of the end of next week.

The live dev version is exactly what it says – it is the very same game version we are working on and it updates regularly. Now sometimes this may mean the version is down and it will mean you will have to download the game repeatedly, may lose any progress you have made and things explode when you touch them. It is the uncooked, raw and bloody piece of software that we are using ourselves and if you have never experienced before what live dev versions look like, beware! If you want to go for this and be a part of the wild ride that is Shadowrun game development, here is your chance now! But don’t come crying to us about broken balancing and repeated death ;).

To access it, you need to join the appropriate Steam Beta version (no worries, you can always switch back to the regular version). We will send an update which will explain how to do this when everything is ready. Please do not post this key to the public – it is only usable if you already have the Early Access version, so it isn’t a free version and due to its nature, we don’t want it to fall in the wrong hands. Of course let us know your feedback to things you discover and like or dislike! We won’t send out lists of updated content or features each time, but we are sure you will notice them :).  

Overpainted concept for the final player hub
Overpainted concept for the final player hub

Things to come

We are working on a number of features currently around improving the co-op experience and adding Character Creation. But the immediate future will bring the missing parts of the RPG experience: Items/Shops/Rewards, Armor, Grenades, Medkits and the like – so stock up on that SOTA gear, chummer! Based on feedback from you, we are also planning to separate non-combat interactions into a separate skill tree that includes a number of stat-like abilities. Finally, we have also improved our Combat UI and of course added more content, but you will be able to see this evolving in the live build!

So, things are pretty busy and exciting round here now and we are eager to see what you think of the development! See you in the Shadows, Chummers!

Stuart, Peter Andersson, and 26 more people like this update.


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    1. KazuyaDarklight on

      2076 is fine. I saw Shadowrun Connected, could also be good.

    2. Laurent Maire on

      Shadowrun: Awakening is fine, if a little generic. My concern is that it follows the same naming conventions as the HBS series and will likely create further confusion between the 2 IPs amongst newcomers.

      Shadowrun - Runner Chronicles isn't bad but a little long maybe. With expansion/module titles appended Shadowrun - Runner Chronicles: Lockdown becomes pretty unwieldy. I understand you need to establish a base IP name that identifies it clearly from other games, have you considered cropping out the extra word here and simply going with Shadowrunner Chronicles?

    3. Missing avatar

      snon on

      Shadowrun - Runner Chronicles:
      good idea as new name and every new DLC will get a "special name"?
      So you start for the release with

      Maybe you'll add also "Boston" before that

    4. Gabriel Rotar

      I like "Shadowrun - Runner Chronicles: Lockdown".

    5. Cliffhanger Productions Creator on

      Thank you for all your feedback again - you've given us a lot to think about and consider. Since Shadowrun 2076 received very little positive feedback, we dropped that idea. However we've recently had two new ideas we haven't heard before - what would you think of "Shadowrun Awakening" or "Shadowrun - Runner Chronicles" (both of course postfixed with the name of the current scenario, so it would be something like Shadowrun Awakening/Runner Chronicles: Lockdown for launch)

    6. Michael Campbell on

      I'm suprised how few people seem to realise how broad the term "MMO" is. MMO does not mean "World of Warcraft", not all MMOs are MMORPGs (and not all MMORPGS are open world). Heck, Sims Online and Stronghold Online are both MMOs.

    7. Cliffhanger Productions Creator on

      Dear Backers,

      We're sorry to announce that we'll have to postpone the release of the Live Development Version. This is due to the fact that the next update is still in heavy development and while we hoped to have a well playable (though not finalized) version by the end of the week, this didn't work out. We know we did announce that the game might not work properly in the Development version due to recent changes regularly, but we didn't want to start the experience with such a version. Thus we decided to postpone the launch of the live development version to the end of next week.

      On a more positive note: Also next week we're providing a look at the new version and are going to answer YOUR questions in the 8th LIVE Q&A with the devs. Join us on Tuesday, February 10th at 6pm CET / 9 am PST on See you there!

    8. Eric Lemay on

      Shadowrun : team ops... or team something. it show that it's not only a single player game.

    9. Geoff Doty on

      Shadowrun Connected: 2076

    10. Laurent Maire on

      I quite like Shadowrun-Ops. Especially written like that - punchy. Distinguishes it nicely from HBS's narrative and location-based franshise by focusing on the hard graft, or 'the pointy end', so to speak. Now just need to underline the team aspect of it somehow and it would be perfect.

    11. Tubbster on

      The more I think about it the more I would prefere something with "Shadowrun - Fixed Term: Variable Topic"

      For example: Shadowrun-Missions: Boston (But Mission already exists...), Shadowrun-Assets: Lockdown!, Shadowrun-Ops: Project CFD, Shadowrun-Objectives: Deniable Assets.

      Combine it in any way ;-)

    12. Cliffhanger Productions Creator on

      Thank you all for your comments and great title suggestions - this is exactly the kind of discussion we were looking for! (and no, it's not over yet - so if you have great ideas, keep them coming!)

    13. Laurent Maire on

      As to the name change I have to agree with others that it bears a striking similarity to the upcoming Cyberpunk title and fairplay would dictate you select something else. Personally, I always found the current title a bit functional even if it is a completely reasonable and representative one. Certainly 'Shadowrun-colon-noun' would be the obvious choice, but I'd steer clear of dates. It's a little cold and doesn't really say anything about the game.

      Something in the vein of the previously suggested 'Missions' is a better idea. 'Contracts'? 'Mercs'? 'Takedown'? 'Crusade'? 'Heat'? 'Shadowwar'? 'Corporate Espionage'? 'The Professionals'? Or alternatively, use some of the comprehensive Shadowrun slang: 'Aces'; 'Cleaners'; 'Edgerunners'; 'Insertion' or my personal fav 'Funderwear'!

      (seriously guys, if you can find a way to incorporate funderwear I'll be forever in your debt)

    14. Missing avatar

      Ben W on

      lol at everyone that thought they would get an open world, full-featured MMO for over half a million in backings (plus other capital).

    15. Laurent Maire on

      As others have, I completely sympathise with anyone who has taken the game for a full-on open world MMORPG, only to discover that it is, something of far smaller scope and ambition. I can imagine that reduction in scope would be an incredible disappointment. That said, I've difficulty comprehending how anyone could have reached the point of paying for the game without understanding what it actually is. I can't point to exactly what item or update or project description(s) shaped my particular understanding of the game but I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that when I backed I had a clear understanding of what the devs were hoping to achieve. Apart from the changes made to the server structure and payment model during the campaign, I haven't seen any real changes in their ambitions for it (server merging notwithstanding).

      Personally, the concept was never really my cup of tea, the co-op mission structure didn't seem all that compelling. I certainly spent a lot more money on it than I should have, mainly to support developers who were clearly fans of the franchise and had held a candle for it for a good long while before the funding campaign. I have no regrets, as I was completely in control of my expenditure and senses when I backed and the responsibility to investigate my purchases is mine alone. To this day I believe they have the skill and integrity to bring it to completion and have seen nothing to imply otherwise.

      Ultimately 'Online' is a far more ubiquitous term than some are implying - almost as meaningless as 'nice' - in the internet age. To suggest intentional, or negligent, falsehood is disingenuous at best. From co-op shooters, arena battlers, mobas and fighting games, to farmville clones, all of these use the term 'Online' without hesitation or the least thought of blame. There is a difference, is all I'm saying, between misrepresentation and not actively defending the use of perfectly ordinary, non-specific terms against those who may not investigate the project thoroughly before putting their money down.

    16. Space Monkey on

      OK, I was going to say that "Shadowrun Online" was still the best title in my opinion, but as I read the comments section here I realise that indeed some people make very strong assumptions about the meaning "online". I thought that "online" was still the best name for this game as it definitely establishes in one word how this is different from the Shadowrun Returns games, ie you can play with friends or people you meet online. I would have thought that this simple fact, quite important to me, would be enough to justify the "online" tag. I never assumed that the KS would be an open world, it was quite clear that it was going to be hubs to form teams + instances to play turn based runs. Obviously, bigger hubs with lots of things to see and do would be nicer, but I'm happy for the game to take small steps, and I'm currently happy with what we're seeing.

      If it's not going to be Shadowrun Online, then I would still suggest a title which reflects the coop nature of the game better than Shadowrun 2076 - I don't have any suggestion as to what it could be though.

    17. J.R. Riedel on

      Now that I know about Cyberpunk 2077 I agree, Shadowrun 2076 is NOT a good idea.

      How about Shadowrun - Cliffhanger ;) Joking.

      The name should probably reflect the episodic nature you have planned...

      How about Living World Shadowrun. Its a living world campaign, you said our actions will dictate how the metaplot goes... So something to that effect...

    18. Missing avatar

      Zinc on

      Regarding the name change, I also think Shadowrun 2076 is too similar to the Cyberpunk naming convention, especially CP 2077.

      A nice alternative would be something that conjours up working with others, although I'm not sure what that would be. Maybe Shadowrun: Prime Runners, Shadowrun: Nexus or Shadowrun: Contacts?

      Although if we're being honest, the most appropriate name would be Shadowrun: Dragon Food ;)

    19. Tubbster on

      It's truly sad, that the phrase "Shadowrun Online" can mislead players into the direction that they think it's WoW-Style or something similar to that.

      All you have to do is read more than two or three lines of the game description and you will figure out, what it's NOT. The term "Online" means to me, that I can do something online. What I can do with the product and its online feature, I should read, before I buy it.

      If I read "milk" on a product and drink it just find out it's not the expected pasteurised cow-milk, then I should blame myself for not reading the further description instead of blaming someone else...

      As for the name change: Placing a year into the name is in my opinion wrong, because we are facing a propgress in time. So you constantly have to rename it to prevent later confusions...

      Shadowrun: Lockdown is a nice term, but it will implement, that the lockdown will always be a part of the concept...

      I liked the "Shadowrun - Target: " series. So you have a consistent theme with possible variation of changing or expanding the details.

      For example - Shadowrun Target: Boston can change into Shadowrun Target: East Coast if you expand the universe. Something like that...

    20. Gabriel Rotar

      @BigGunsNeverTire That's why it sounded weird to me. Yeah Shadowrun 2076 is just not descriptive enough, and I know you want to do expand it as much as you can but don't tie it to a single year. How about gathering some of the community suggestions and punting it to a vote ?

    21. Gabriel Rotar

      @Sleet, but it still is a MMORPG just instanced+hub based instead of openworld. Lot's of MMORPGs do this, think Dungeons & Dragons online, Neverwinter, Path of Exile, Startrek online they all rely on instanced gameplay with Hub areas of varying sizes.

    22. Missing avatar


      I'm very sorry for those people who were confused about what they were backing, I can imagine how much of a disappointment it would be if I was expecting an MMORPG all this time (and it explains why some people sounded disappointed with the game in general).

      Thanks for the update, and I hope the name change helps avoid that kind of confusion from here on out!

    23. Adam Taylor on

      So, basically this is Shadowrun Returns, but with multiplayer?

      That's not a terrible thing. Not what I was expecting, but it could be worse.
      But does that mean you just make a runner and do infinite missions just grinding up and maxing out stats and buying the best gear?
      Will there be established events to take part in? Will such have rewards?

    24. Beelzebubba on

      I have no strong opinion on the name change, though I disagree with the cause for this decision.

      Sorry, I'm sure this is going to piss off someone ... I've tried to find a way to be sympathetic to those who mistakenly backed the game, but I don't understand how people came to the conclusion this was going to be a WoW-like MMO. From the beginning Cliffhanger made it abundantly clear that "online" simply meant the game would be played over the internet to facilitate co-op missions using turn-based combat. It was *never* misrepresented as an open world MMO. So I can't understand how people would mistakenly back this project ... unless they pledged simply based on the name of the project and didn't bother reading about it.

      If that's the case, should Cliffhanger be punished for a mistake that clearly wasn't their fault? IMHO, the answer is a definitive "no". And while I understand the requests of some backers to have their contributions refunded, I think it's kinda rude to ask for one's money back when Cliffhanger is blameless in the situation. This puts the company in an unfair position: return much-needed funds to sustain the project (and the company), or keep the money and potentially (and unfairly) get a bad rep from complainers. For Cliffhanger, it's a lose-lose situation.

      If you're going to lose either way, you may as well keep the money.

    25. Julien Pirou on

      Why not call it Shadowrun: Lockdown, like the upcoming campaign book?
      Anyway this hub sure looks sweet :)

    26. Jalister on

      The first thing that came to my mind when I read "Shadowrun 2076" was the other game in development "Cyberpunk 2077".

      It's a shame people have misunderstood the concept of this game. I understood, and I like the actual concept for this game.

    27. J.R. Riedel on

      I think the renaming is an excellent idea.

      There are too many different meanings associated with Online. As with others my initial expectations had been something WoW style.

      I will say various posts have made it clear (to me at least) what you intend and have done so for a while. My current expectations are simply chatroom-esque hubs with instanced gameplay with up to two teams of players.

      I'm not as happy as I could be, but I will say you are delivering what I expected... Then again my expectations from the beginning had been a reskinned JA.

      I have been pleased with the recent improvements. I look forward to joining the dev version.

    28. Warren Blyth on

      re: naming - I think "Shadowrun:2076" is closer to "Shadowrun:3862554175326" than to "Shadowrun: 216". That is, i think 4 numbers suggests nonsense to the unitiated, rather than suggesting a year difference that you could look into as a consumer.
      I'd recommend something with tangible mystery, like "Shadowrun: Spirit of '76" or "Shadowrun: Year 2076" or even "Shadowrun: On 2076 Line"

    29. lokiracer on

      So it's still an MMO just with a name change to stop people from thinking "Online" meant "World of." That makes......sense I guess.

      Ultima Online was a good game title I thought. It created an image of playing

    30. Matt M. on

      On the naming thing, the current SRO gameplay model seems a lot like a digital version of the tabletop Shadowrun Missions persistent campaign system, being about having your runner team up with random teams for runs that all generally relate to an overarching story in a set part of the world. From the official Missions intro blurb:

      "Shadowrun Missions (SRM) is the official dynamic Sixth World campaign setting sponsored by Catalyst Game Labs. In SRM, players create a character and participate in sanctioned events throughout the world. This gives players the unique opportunity to play a Shadowrun character of their own design with different people and different perspectives, and affect the storyline of the campaign."

      Obviously you probably can't just call it the same name without jumping through a lot of hoops and creating confusion, but I think a name in the *style* of "Shadowrun Missions" (even something like "Shadowrun Online: Missions") would work, since I think it gets across the compartmentalized pick-up-and-play nature of the gameplay pretty well compared to the sprawling Harebrained experiences, while still separating it from the "Ultima Online, LotR Online, Ragnarok Online, Anarchy Online etc" MMORPG naming standard. I can't get behind "Shadowrun 2076" because that's been the naming convention of Cyberpunk (Shadowrun's main tabletop competitor) since before Shadowrun existed, and with their video game already on its way, seeing Shadowrun 2076 alongside Cyberpunk 2077 is just going to be asking for straight-up comparisons and claims of plagiarism.

    31. Gabriel Rotar

      This is the exact system that Path of exile employs replacing the diablo2 style combat with the tactical combat, and Path of exile is a MMO and it certainly isn't what you would call open world instead going for an instanced world. And though I don't really like the new name it will bring a bit more clarity.

    32. Cliffhanger Productions Creator on

      Hi everyone,

      The name change is not meant as a change of the gameplay systems we envisioned and described on the Kickstarter pages and we still want to create that experience. It just became very clear to us that most people imagine that a game with the title Shadowrun Online is a massive open world Shadowrun MMO - which our game never intended to be and which cannot be created under the current budget. However those features we planned and described - for example Online Coop and Multiplayer Hubs, so you meet other players - are still core parts of the gameplay experience. So no matter what name it will release under, it will still be an tactical online coop game. The city will evolve and the world our campaign is set in will as well.

      While technically we remain an MMO (as in many people play online, you can meet them and play with them), the association a lot of people had was World of Shadowrun - though neither our videos nor any of our texts have advertised this - and we have repeatedly in the past tried to mention the scope of our project and tried to communicate this with updates, Q&As and in the forums.

      We do hope the final (and continously expanded) game will be something you like, even if it isn't what you imagined or hoped for.
      -Cliffhanger Productions

    33. Licktoren on

      i hope that you are willing to give refunds to your backers. as Lokiracer pointed out, i backed an MMO like you were selling. and i put a good chunk of money into it so that i would be in the premium (paid) side of things. what you are now talking about and what you have shown gives me NOTHING for the extra money. i backed Shadowrun returns because i know what it was and expected that. i backed Shadowrun online because it was going to be a shadowrun tactical MMO; which you are not making any more it seems. so again, show me the link for where to get a refund.

    34. Doktor Jones

      WRT to the keys falling into the wrong hands... may I suggest watermarking the early access version? This way if people (proper backers or otherwise) post screenshots or videos saying "OMG this is terribad!!!!1!one", the screenshot/video has "early access dev version" or whatever plastered right across it so it's clear what the judgement is being based on.

    35. lokiracer on

      I backed this campaign so long ago I can't even remember why I backed.

      You guys are full of it. You never "we have made it (hopefully) clear from the beginning that this is not the case with our limited budget, but a lot of folks don’t really read past the name tag and then go berserk on us for not delivering."

      Check this image (which I made a copy of in case it tried to go missing):

      That image is on your campaign page.

      It clearly states "Shadowrun Online is a tactical MMO for PC.....persistent world..."

      So, either backers misunderstood when you clearly stated it would be an MMO, or you're changing your store and the campaign. If you are changing the rewards, Kickstarter's terms of use require that you provide refunds.

      If this is the case, please issue me a refund. It's very easy to do via the Kickstarter campaign management area.


    36. Ed Mayhall on

      The name was confusing at the beginning and I thought it would be like playing WoW but in a SR setting. Then I read more...and I followed along and saw what was planned and said "Oh this is more like their JA Online game. Ok cool." So yeah I may have thought one thing at the beginning from the name but quickly realized what the game would really be like.

    37. Sam Brougher on

      Shadowrun Online - like the pen & paper version - is all about experiencing the awesome world and gritty atmosphere of Shadowrun together with friends. Fluid co-op gameplay and intense player vs player faction wars set in a persistent and evolving world - this is what Shadowrun Online is about!

      At its core SRO is a full Unity3D online game...

      In Shadowrun Online players take on missions alone or together in the dystopian world of the 2070s, ranging from hustling a local Ork gang, to stealing valuable cargo from a ghoul-infested warehouse, through infiltrating a remote megacorp research lab to sabotage a top-secret project…

      Players will meet and mingle in cities and (in)famous establishments in real-time, to form runner teams, meet Fixers and Johnsons and pick up missions. Runs will take place on beautifully detailed 3D maps, involving combat, stealth, and strategy.

      Key statements:

      * experiencing the awesome world and gritty atmosphere
      * set in a persistent and evolving world
      * Players will meet and mingle in cities and (in)famous establishments in real-time

      I don't know, man, the pitch sounds like an open world MMO...

    38. ThatGuy on

      I completely agree with William Arndt. This was sold as a Shadowrun MMO. It turns out well after the fact that it won't be.

      Why did I spend so much money up front then? I spent it because I wanted a Shadowrun MMO, which is what this project appeared to be, and I wanted to have permanent VIP/Premuim/whatever access and all the stuff that comes with that. I expected to be meeting people and playing in groups and all that for a long time to come.

      At this point, I'm completely disappointed in what I've seen of the Beta - which could have just been a user creation in SRR for all it showed off. And now I'm finding out that the MMO I thought I was buying into doesn't even exist anymore. Yes, I would rather have spent the money on something else. Regret backing this at all, let alone at the level I did.

    39. William Arndt on

      You weren't clear that this wasn't an Open World MMO. Mentioning Co-op is common to all MMO's running with your friends is common as well. To an Online game. The reason to change it from that is if you're delivering something dramatically different. And you sold people on this, by not being clear up front.

      No where on that Opening page for the game or IN the FAQ's does it ever mention this is a multiplayer game but not a real MMO. You mentioned at one point that it would be contained solely to Boston, but that doesn't preclude an open world to explore, like you know MMO's have.

      You even mention Guild Wars for purposes of purchasing style, but don't mention that we won't see more than a handful of players... EVER.

      I'm frankly very disappointed in this new expectation of trying to say well we "HOPE" you didn't want the game you are hoping for, because we're not making it.

      I accepted the need to push the launch date. I accepted that you needed to go back and redesign things for some reason or another. I even accepted that the development of another property that you owned was being used to help this game. I get that.

      But now, two years and five months later. You're basically codifying your worst case scenario because it's taking too long, and has cost too much to create what amounts to a multiplayer interpretation of Shadowrun 2076. But not too many players, and definitely have to get rid of the "Online" part because... in this day and age.. when you include the word Online, after a title name it implies it's a MMO, (Even if it's "Turn based" combat.). (Anarchy Online, Everquest Online 1 & 2, Lord of the Rings Online, and so on and so on...)

      Hard comments on my part but based upon presentation. You've got to do what you have to, even if you have to reinvision it as some barely interactive place. But as it stands, your kickstarter out of the 22 I've successfully backed is the one in retrospect that I have "Supporter's Remorse".

      I'll give it a spin when you guys finish it, and all your incredibly hard work. But this kickstarter has been the one that if I could take it back, I would.

      Good luck with the rest of the game, and I hope only the best, though history hasn't shown much in that way with this one.

    40. Chad Mercer

      I think that renaming the game makes total sense, and would eliminate a lot of questions. 2076 is fine...the most important name is that it doesn't include "Online". :)