Resident Evil Led To System Shock 3 Being Cancelled

Resident Evil Led To System Shock 3 Being Cancelled
Capcom | LookingGlass Technologies

Written by 

Tom Chapman


8th Aug 2022 11:34

While Capcom's Resident Evil series is still going strong to this day - and is set for big things with Resident Evil 9 - less can be said for System Shock. In 1994, LookingGlass Technologies released this outer space horror that helped define the genre, but in 2022, who is really talking about System Shock?

Much like Resident EvilSystem Shock has laid the groundwork for survival horrors that have come since, but did you know the success of the former led to the cancellation of System Shock 3? OtherSide Entertainment was once working on System Shock 3, but with each day, it looks less and less likely to happen. If only it'd happened like it was supposed to. 

How Did Resident Evil Cancel System Shock?

System Shock 3
Click to enlarge
Night Dive Studios

Heading back through the convoluted history of video games that never were, it turns out Resident Evil 4 directly led to a reshuffling that canned System Shock 3. On the plus side, it inadvertently led to the creation of Dead Space. Speaking to PC Gamer, Dead Space designers Ben Wanat and Wright Bagwell explained how the release of the 2005 GameCube classic led to them changing their plans around. 

"When Resident Evil 4 came out, we were just awestruck by it," said Wanat. "We were all playing it and we were like, 'Holy sh*t, this is a really awesome game. They're actually trying to tell a story; they've got some cool cinematics; the gameplay systems are fixing a lot of problems, bringing it into this action realm but keeping this intense horror feel to it. It was this amazing combination and, oh the enemies were so freakin' cool."

He continued, "To do a System Shock 3, you're really tackling a monumental task, to make people happy with a sequel that wasn't made by the same team as the original." Although System Shock 3 never happened, the pair managed to convince EA to take a gamble on a new IP that was inspired by the Resiverse. "It was like, 'Everybody, get your System Shock 2 copy, play it start to finish, and let's figure out what we're going to do.' Then Resident Evil 4 came out, and we were like, 'Oh. No, this is the sh*t.'"


What's Going On With System Shock 3?

These days, System Shock is known more for the fact it inspired the BioShock games. We know Night Dive Studios is working on a remake, while the long-mooted threequel is lost in limbo. OtherSide Entertainment had been working on System Shock 3 since 2015, but recently, the rights were given to Tencent. Sadly, this hasn't exactly helped System Shock 3

Earlier this year, Game Designer Warren Spector suggested to GamesBeat that OtherSide's game has been given the boot. "We released a statement last year. There's not much more to say at this point," said Spector. "Tencent is taking the franchise forward. It’ll be up to them to say what they want to say. There’s not much clarification I can give you." The worry is that by the time System Shock 3 releases, will anyone really care? While Dead Space went on to thrive, it came at the cost of System Shock... alas.

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