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Thread: What about System Shock 3?

  1. #1

    What about System Shock 3?

    Well, I've heard lot of stuff of why SS3 can't be developed. If what I heard is true, EA has the rights of the name, but not the rights for coding, so nobody can do anything because you need two.

    The thing is, why you guys don't buy System Shock name rights? is it too expensive or what?

    I think lot of people have asked themselves this, but don't think about an answer. If any manager from the Irrational Games PERFECT team would read this, it would be kind to answer me with a solid answer because I only see divagations out there in the web.

    If you would do a web of donnations for purchasing SS trademark or whatever they call it, I think of much people who would make pretty donations.

    We really want System Shock 3, we really want the franchise to come back, we really want those new bastards who are alien to this game to fall on his knees, I know it would be that way.

    Bye and congrats for Bioshock.

  2. #2
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    Yes, I also heard these phrases like "EA keeps the franchise" or "EA doesn't give a ☺☺☺☺". Well, do YOU give a ☺☺☺☺? What have YOU done to revive the franchise? Have you tried to buy the copyrights? Have you tried to make some kind of agreement with EA? Have you talked with your fans about some money help if you really need it? Just some complaints, few words from Ken, and that's all you've got for us. Thanks! I really respect you guys and all your recent projects are perfect. But it seems like you don't care about Shock and its fans any more, its just some far past for you. I might be wrong and I want it to be so. But unfortunately I can't think another way...
    Last edited by japester; 08-28-2012 at 04:04 PM. Reason: language (allowing filter to do it's job)

  3. #3
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    I'm curious if you've played BioShock? Because, in many ways, it was the spiritual successor to System Shock 2. Sure, it wasn't a direct sequel, set in space with a hacker as the protagonist, but the atmosphere, story, and gameplay were similar.

    And looking at some cold hard facts, the first two "Shocks" didn't sell all that well. The original is reported to have sold 170k copies. The sequel sold less, I believe. Nobody has the sales figures, but everyone (including Irrational) agrees that it underperformed. Meanwhile, BioShock sold north of 4 million. Irrational was able to bring the "Shock" to a much, much wider audience. Seems to me that they do indeed care about Shock and its fans.

  4. #4
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    When the game was made Warren Spector split the rights to create a partnership. Looking Glass got the development rights and EA got the trademark. Looking Glass closed around 2000 I think...and an insurance company picked up the development right. While those rights are up for sale, or a deal could be forged to share profits - one still must get EA's trademark, or prove that they've abandoned it (far harder than it sounds) --

    So it's a complex issue. First - A company would probably be reluctant to enter a deal with the insurance company to split profits unless it was a generous deal for them, since the insurance company assume no risk at all. Second - EA wouldn't just let someone have the trademark if they believed there was good money to be made. And Third --japester is right. The games didn't sell outstandingly well. It was considered to have sold decent numbers (original) but the second game was not much of a success, if at all.

    While players like you and myself would love to see that franchise continue -- I'm not sure the financial will is there. And Japester is correct that Bioshock really does carry many of the themes forward - so a new System Shock may just not be needed.

  5. #5
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    Well, indeed, System Shock 2 had no commercial success, but obviously there were significant reasons for it. As a game, with its atmosphere, with its plot and action, the title succeeded - that time and even now positive reviews appear, critics just enjoy it. And as a commercial title - there was no success: low graphics, low presentation, ugly monsters. Also if one want to get succeeded commercially with the title - advertise it, let people know about your product (especially when such strong titles as Half-life has been recently released). And you know - Bioshock had all this features. It was advertised, it had great graphics and visual effects, and people knew this title and so not only critics and small fan community enjoyed this game. I'm not going to teach anyone business, but I'm sure that in this case commercial success was just that thing that wasn't properly cared of.
    As for Bioshock, to my mind, it is just another game with its own specific atmosphere. When I was walking along the corridors in Bioshock I thought something like "Wow! What amazing views!", and usually enjoyed this game just to relax after my work day. In system shock 2, everything is different. This game is mostly horror, and it gives just another atmosphere. It makes you care about your life, it scares, and gives just a little chance to survive. That what I was feeling.
    Too sad if such conclusions (one game to replace another one) were made by Irrational. You know, many titles are revived nowadays, and people buy and play it with pleasure. And it is too sad that there is no System Shock among them.

  6. #6
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    Well, as others have pointed out, reviving System Shock is next to impossible because of the way the rights have been split up. So choosing not to pursue a direct sequel or remake isn't about giving up so much as about being practical. Irrational Games took some of those core elements and built upon them to create something new. That seems to have been their only option. If they didn't care at all about System Shock, then I imagine they would have gone in a completely different direction. Look at how diverse their other titles are. BioShock is clearly a nod to System Shock.

  7. #7
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    Well, I agree. The rights have been split up and it doesn't really have sense to share profits. But what about the idea to buy this rights? Is it for sale? What may be the price? EA can't do anything with the title, I'm sure they would be glad to earn at least some money on it - and to sell it isn't just such a bad idea. I'm sure there is a fixed number, and who knows - may be there are enough fans to buy it with donations.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, I really would love to see a System Shock 3. I played the original (first on floppy and then bought the CD version). I then bought System Shock 2 as soon as it came out and played that too. I also played BioShock last year, and also bought BioShock 2 around the same time I bought the first one. I beat the first one, but I haven't yet installed the second one (just too busy with work/school). But what I really want is more Shodan.

    I'll keep hoping and waiting...

    Sometimes it happens... I got my wish with X-Com.. two new X-Com games were released. And I got my wish with Starflight 3...

    I just need the guys from the old System Shock days to create a System Shock 3.

    I'd like to see something where Shodan takes over an entire planet... I can't remember if that was in the end sequence of 2 or not...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 73VWTODD View Post
    I'd like to see something where Shodan takes over an entire planet... I can't remember if that was in the end sequence of 2 or not...
    SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

    Almost...she took on an appearance of one woman from UNN Von Braun...so player is shocked at the end to realize that character was dead long ago (actually, you can hear two conflicting logs on a certain deck, where in one this person is dying and in the other is all good and well, continuing in her journey, and you´re like "☺☺☺?"), and all this time it was Shodan posing as her.

    And she´s on her way back to Von Braun

    SPOILERS END

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Systemaddict View Post
    When the game was made Warren Spector split the rights to create a partnership. Looking Glass got the development rights and EA got the trademark. Looking Glass closed around 2000 I think...and an insurance company picked up the development right. While those rights are up for sale, or a deal could be forged to share profits - one still must get EA's trademark, or prove that they've abandoned it (far harder than it sounds) --
    I think it was even more complicated than that. when LG went under many of the trademarks were given to creditors during the bankruptcy. Levine spent tons of money on lawyers trying to piece it all together, but to no avail (he has post about it over at TTLG). he finally gave up and made bioshock instead. as for EA, they have no intention of letting the trademark go. in fact, they renewed it a few years back, and speculation is that the deadspace games were originally planed as a SS3.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd10013 View Post
    I think it was even more complicated than that. when LG went under many of the trademarks were given to creditors during the bankruptcy. Levine spent tons of money on lawyers trying to piece it all together, but to no avail (he has post about it over at TTLG). he finally gave up and made bioshock instead. as for EA, they have no intention of letting the trademark go. in fact, they renewed it a few years back, and speculation is that the deadspace games were originally planed as a SS3.
    Given the current state of affairs at EA, I'm glad they are not touching System Shock any time soon. I don't think they could pull of something which lives up to the original game the way, say, Deus Ex:HR sortof-kindof did. Even Bioshock felt too linear, absurd, not-really-science-fiction and streamlined to be, err, "worthy" imho.

    Also, Good Old Games/gog.com managed to at least get System Shock 2 re-released, how does that fit into the picture?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cointoss View Post
    Given the current state of affairs at EA, I'm glad they are not touching System Shock any time soon. I don't think they could pull of something which lives up to the original game the way, say, Deus Ex:HR sortof-kindof did. Even Bioshock felt too linear, absurd, not-really-science-fiction and streamlined to be, err, "worthy" imho.

    Also, Good Old Games/gog.com managed to at least get System Shock 2 re-released, how does that fit into the picture?
    Alright there's only so much absurdity I can deal with before I have to log in.

    Dead Space was an awesome game. The themes and spirit of the gameplay were not exactly like System Shock, but it was an extremely good game. EA Redwood (Visceral) deserves massive credit for that game and for Dead Space 2, IDK about 3 because I haven't played it yet.

    Visceral does not make bad games unless EA forces them to work on things they shouldn't be working on, like Devil's Cartel, although allegedly they screwed the pooch on DS3 on their own, in the same way Capcom broke Resident Evil. Ao2 did not afford them any creative luxury, you can be sure of that. Dante's Inferno, for example, was brilliant. Obviously the story has barely more than a passing relevance to the divine comedy but the art and gameplay and story were great. Similarly, Dead Space was absolutely wonderful. If you played the game correctly, with a nice TV and recommended brightness settings, oh my god was it a great experience. I literally was afraid to play the game for a while and so I didn't.

    But, as you said, EA is in a ☺☺☺☺ state. They have always been a horrible company that has unfortunately made a lot of good games over the past three generations. I would risk a life in prison to sabotage them permanently if it meant them not ruining System Shock with an actual sequel. Well, maybe, probably not.

    Anyway the reason I posted. Deus Ex HR was a horrid game. It didn't live up to the original at all - I regret every last cent I spent on that game and it was utterly soulless and boring and unentertaining. Also, Steam did a lot more to bring System Shock 2 to people's attention than GoG - simply because GoG is still very low-key and new. Plus SS2 was cheaper on Steam when they added it, by about 2 dollars, than GoG.

  13. #13
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    You know, with Nintendo's Wii U console out and about, I think that Irrational Games could potentially use its touch-screen mechanics to make a System Shock game for the platform and use the touch-screen in a similar way to the "Use Mode" in System Shock 2. System Shock 3 would be a fantastic addition to both the Wii U's library and the System Shock series, along with a potential revival of the Survival Horror genre. Sure, Bioshock was great and all, but I think Irrational Games should revive System Shock and trap us once again in SHODAN's cybernetic realm of darkness. I miss her so much.

    And I would like SHODAN to have the appearance she had in System Shock 2. I think it was the perfect look for her. However, feel free to have her "face" move as she speaks on screens.

  14. #14
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    You can already read the article about SystemShock 3 in SHODANpedia, the SystemShock wiki.
    Also, there is a mod called SystemShock Infinite, probably a reference to BioShock infinite, that should be an entire alternate story to SystemShock and SystemShock 2.
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