System Shock Franchise is Now in the Hands of Tencent

The System Shock IP is again swapping hands it seems, with the property now falling to Tencent.

The status of the System Shock franchise, and most notably that of System Shock 3, has been in limbo for a few months now. Earlier this year, it was reported that the development team behind the third entry in the series at OtherSide Entertainment was laid off in droves. Now, it seems as though the developer is bailing on the IP altogether.

Essentially out of nowhere, OtherSide today took to Twitter today and announced that Tencent will “taking the System Shock franchise forward.” The wording in this message is a bit strange, but it seems to imply that the license for the IP now belongs to Tencent, which is a Chinese tech conglomerate. Tencent is most notable for having stakes in companies like Riot Games and video games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

As for why OtherSide is now giving up System Shock to another company, the developer acknowledged that the scope of the project was seemingly a bit too much. “As a smaller Indie studio, it had been challenging for us to carry the project on our own,” OtherSide said in a follow-up tweet. “We believe Tencent’s deep capabilities and expertise as a leading game company will bring the franchise to new heights.”

Strangely enough, this is the second time within 18 months that the System Shock rights have changed hands. Just last year, publisher Starbreeze sold the publishing rights to OtherSide Entertainment after having a string of troublesome financial quarters. Jump forward barely one full calendar year and the license is again being passed off.

What continues to make this situation so frustrating is that the early looks at System Shock 3 that we saw seemed to be quite promising. Even though the game was still very much early into development, it looked as though OtherSide was finally going to do the franchise justice and create a proper sequel to 1999’s System Shock 2. Unfortunately, we’ll have to keep waiting to see if a fully-realized sequel can come about.

While it remains to be seen what Tencent ends up doing with System Shock, one thing is for sure: the company has very deep pockets. If they intend to start again new or pick up where OtherSide left off when it comes to making a third System Shock game, hopefully, the project won’t run into the same issues that have transpired previously.

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