You probably don’t know Night Dive by name, but you know their work—it’s the game development studio that, in the past few years, has resurrected PC gaming classics System Shock, System Shock 2, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, and a whole bunch of others for digital sale. If you’ve bought a game on GOG.com, there’s actually a fairly significant chance Night Dive had a hand in it.
But their plans are apparently getting more ambitious. My sometimes-compatriot here at PCWorld Jared Newman had a chance to interview Night Dive for Fast Company, and CEO Stephen Kick revealed that a System Shock remake is in the works. Not just a digital touch-up, like the one released in September. A full-fledged remake.
From the interview:
“With most of its current catalog, Night Dive merely licenses the rights for a rerelease, and splits the sales revenue with the rights holder. Night Dive is becoming more interested in acquiring rights in their entirety, as this gives the company much more flexibility.
One example: Night Dive is developing a full remake of the original System Shock, going well beyond the basic rerelease that launched a couple months ago. Night Dive has acquired the full rights to the franchise, and Kick says he’s been working with Robert Waters, the game’s original concept artist, to reimagine his designs from the early 1990s.”
It’s an interesting approach to game preservation. While a digital re-release of the source is always welcome, there’s often a certain amount of nostalgia you need to bring along. Playing System Shock for the first time in 2015 is a lot different than in 1994, whereas an actual remake could potentially rekindle those original feelings of awe in a newer generation.
On the other hand, you could “mess up” a classic. As far as video games go, the stakes are pretty high.
There’s no other information, as of yet. No expected release date or anything tangible. But there is this other tantalizing piece:
“We may even see a System Shock 3 someday, though Night Dive would need a larger publisher to take on the task. [Night Dive’s Larry] Kuperman says the company is ‘having some conversations’ on this front.”
Be still, my heart. While BioShock is pretty damn good, as far as spiritual successors go, I’d love to see a proper System Shock 3. Someday, maybe—probably when we get Baldur’s Gate 3 from Beamdog and Age of Empires IV from Hidden Path/SkyBox.