Publisher Starbreeze Studios Sells System Shock 3 Rights

The hits keep on coming for the studio after accusations of insider trading.

By L.B. Lubomski

Late last year, there were reports that Starbreeze Studios, publishers of such games as Overkill's The Walking Dead, Payday 2, and The Darkness, were raided by local police in Sweden over suspicion of illegal insider trading. This situation, combined with the company's ongoing financial woes after having filed for reconstruction with the Stockholm District Court, painted a bleak picture of their potential future. Now it would seem that in an attempt to inject some much needed cash back into the company, Starbreeze has agreed to sell the rights to the upcoming System Shock 3 back to the developer currently working on the game, OtherSide Entertainment.

System Shock 3 is a long-awaited sequel for the franchise, a series of first-person survival horror games that were popular in the '90s. The series, particularly the second entry, has been very influential to modern day horror gaming with the BioShock games specifically regarded as spiritual successors.

Starbreeze is reported to have put as much as $12 million into the development of System Shock 3, a sum in which they are expecting to be fully reimbursed for as a result of the sale of the publishing rights.The official statement from Starbreeze regarding the sale can be read in its entirety below.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (February 11, 2019) – Starbreeze and OtherSide Entertainment have mutually agreed to sell back the publishing rights to OtherSide Entertainment for “System Shock 3.” Starbreeze expects to be fully reimbursed for costs the company has had in connection with development of the game. 

Starbreeze acquired the publishing rights for “System Shock 3” in 2017 and has since then partly financed the development of the game. The title owner OtherSide Entertainment and Starbreeze have now reached an agreement whereby Starbreeze returns the publishing rights for the game to OtherSide and will be able to recoup the development costs. 

“I believe this is the best solution for us, although it is sad that we cannot complete the project with OtherSide. System Shock 3 is a fantastic title developed in cooperation with the industry legend Warren Spector and I am looking forward to seeing the game released”, said Mikael Nermark, acting CEO Starbreeze AB. 

As previously announced, Starbreeze will focus on its core business of games development and publishing. Starbreeze holds publishing titles for “Psychonauts 2” and “Ten Crowns”.

System Shock 3 has been in development since 2017, with little in the way of any updates or news. OtherSide Entertainment will likely have to continue development on their own while shopping the game around for a new publisher.

Starbreeze will continue to publish other games with its most high-profile game being another long-awaited sequel, Double Fine's Psychonauts 2. Only time will tell what the fate has in storre for both Starbreeze and System Shock 3, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that the game will still see the light of day.

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About the Author

L.B. Lubomski

Lawrence "L.B." Lubomski is an avid horror movie fan, gamer, musician, historian, and aspiring author. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, L.B. was exposed to the works of local filmmaker and godfather of zombie cinema George A. Romero early on. He has since developed a particular fondness for Italian zombie/cannibal and slasher films. This passion for horror extends into other media, from survival horror video games such as Resident Evil to horror-inspired musical artists. In his spare time, L.B. pursues many interests including building his collection of vinyl records, action figures, and vintage video games as well as drumming in various local bands.