The official System Shock 3 website is now owned by Tencent Holdings, not developer OtherSide Entertainment, sparking speculation that the project has been acquired by the megacorporation (via Video Games Chronicle).
The report states the SystemShock3.com and SystemShock4.com domains are now possessed by Tencent Holdings, but they were registered to OtherSide Entertainment director Paul Neurath before then. The studio and the project have been through the ringer, beginning with the separation from publisher Starbreeze in early 2019. However, OtherSide Entertainment creative director Warren Spector claimed that the studio had enough capital to be independent for “quite a while,” and there were “a lot” of interested partners.
Then, in late 2019, reports arose of a problematic working culture at OtherSide Entertainment. A former community manager stated that the entire development team had been made redundant, and another anonymous employee confirmed this and added that the game was “critically behind” where it needed to be. Furthermore, OtherSide Entertainment’s social channels have not been active for some time, and LinkedIn shows that only four people are employed by the studio right now.
If the studio has received investment from Tencent Holdings, this may be a lifeline for the sequel and the people who are still attached to OtherSide Entertainment. The aforementioned anonymous employee said that scope was a serious problem for the team, and “expensive experimentation” may have caused a fair few of the losses over the course of 2019. It is also hoped that the extra funding would allow those who left the studio to return, if they have not already found employment elsewhere.
At the moment, neither OtherSide Entertainment nor Tencent Holdings have commented on the report. We’ll keep you updated once we know more.