System Shock 3 developer OtherSide Entertainment has broken its silence, just barely, after a series of major staff departures. OtherSide Entertainment marketing and business development vice president Walter Somol said on the company’s official forum (via VGC) that the company is “still here.” Somol is based out of the Massachusetts-based office and made no mention of System Shock 3, which was being made at a Texas studio. Instead, he referenced new work in development.
“We’re all working remotely right now, probably like most of you,” said Somol. “Our new concept is coming along nicely and we are really excited about it. We have cool and we think distinctive art style for it and we have that and gameplay coming together in UE4. I know it’s a tease, but I just can’t really say anything about it at this point.”
It was noticed earlier this year that many key members including System Shock 3‘s writer, lead programmer, and design director had exited OtherSide Entertainment’s Texas office. Beyond Warren Spector, only three people list the location as their current workplace on LinkedIn. The studio has not issued a response on the matter publicly.
Former community manager Sam Luangkhot confirmed rumors of layoffs earlier this year. Luangkhot also vouched for an anonymous forum post by a developer that said content development was “critically behind” on System Shock 3 at the studio and that they spent too much time experimenting with ideas.
“Those high expectations drove a lot of expensive experimentation,” the anonymous developer said. “We were a small team and knew we couldn’t compete with current immersive sims in production quality and breadth, so we had to be creative and clever and weird. And we were on our way to make something unique and possibly fun, but probably not what the audience was hungry for.”