Troubled Starbreeze sells System Shock 3 publishing rights back to developer Otherside

Date Type Companies involved Size
February 12th, 2019 other OtherSide Entertainment
Starbreeze Studios
Troubled Starbreeze sells System Shock 3 publishing rights back to developer Otherside

Troubled games firm Starbreeze Studios has sold the publishing rights for the forthcoming System Shock 3 back to Otherside Entertainment.

In a post on its website, the Swedish publisher and developer said that not only has it returned the publishing rights to the Boston-based studio, but it is also recouping all cash that it has spent in connection with the cyberpunk RPG.

Starbreeze acquired these publishing rights back in 2017 and committed $12m to the project, promising to bring the title to PC in addition to other platforms. While developer Otherside kept the IP, the agreement had Starbreeze receiving 120 of its investment back, with revenue being split 50-50 after that point.

“I believe this is the best solution for us, although it is sad that we cannot complete the project with OtherSide," Starbreeze's acting CEO Mikael Nermark said.

"System Shock 3 is a fantastic title developed in cooperation with the industry legend Warren Spector and I am looking forward to seeing the game released."

This isn't the first time that Starbreeze has sold publishing rights back to a game's creators. In March 2018, the Swedish firm made $16m selling Dead by Daylight's publishing rights to Behaviour Interactive.

That is just one chapter in the sad recent history of Starbreeze; a story that is characterised by poor investments and technical difficulties.

The company had to file for bankruptcy in December 2018, with local authorities raiding its Stockholm offices days later.

We caught up with Otherside Entertainment's Warren Spector back in 2017 to discuss the development vet's esteemed career.

Development on System Shock 3 was made public in December 2015. The sci-fi RPG currently doesn't have a release date

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.