System Shock 3 developer OtherSide is currently speaking with "interested" publishing partners in hopes of getting picked up after a previous publishing deal with Starbreeze Studios fell through. While there are no deals currently in place, OtherSide creative director Warren Spector is hopeful of the prospects.
Swedish video game company Starbreeze is currently in dire straits financially. In an effort to offload some costs the company sold the publishing rights to System Shock 3 back to its developer OtherSide back in February. Since then OtherSide and Spector have been talking to other publishers looking to help release the sci-fi sequel.
Speaking with VGC, Spector said that discussions to sell System Shock 3 publishing rights are smooth. "We're talking to a lot of partners and we have a lot of interest. We don't have a deal right now, but luckily OtherSide is flush enough that we're funding ourselves and can continue to do that for quite a while. Let's see what happens."
Though Spector says OtherSide has the cash to self-publish, that's not particularly appealing to Spector or OtherSide founder Paul Neurath. "The reality is, OtherSide is a company of developers who want to develop games," Spector says. "We don't particularly want to be a publisher. Paul Neurath and I have worked with publishers before, Origin self-published when I was there, and we don't want to get into the market of distributing stuff."
Spector says that self-publishing will require additional costs like hiring staff with knowledge of publishing. "I think it would be a huge distraction. We would have to hire staff to do that because we don't currently have the expertise. I hope we don't go that way. I'll probably get in trouble for saying that if we do."
Self-publishing sounds like a last resort for System Shock 3, and luckily talks with interested publishing partners appear to be progressing. This episode highlights the tumultuous nature of the video games industry and what happens when a publisher and partner like Starbreeze suddenly hits financial difficulties.
System Shock 3 currently doesn't have a release date, but is expected to come out on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.