One of the big creative minds behind the cyberpunk action role-playing classic, System Shock, has returned to the fold for the upcoming System Shock 3. Otherworld Entertainment announced Warren Spector will officially be joining the studio full-time later this year to lead development on the long-awaited follow-up.
Spector currently oversees the Denuis-Sam Gaming Academy post-baccalaureate program at University of Texas in Austin as Program Director. He took charge of building the game development program at the school in January, 2013, following Disney Interactive’s closing of Junction Point Studios in 2013. He currently acts as a Creative Advisor to the Otherside, but will join the studio full time when the current semester of classes at UT Austin concludes this spring.
In addition to being the producer on the original System Shock, Spector also helped launch other groundbreaking franchises, including Deus Ex, Ultima Underworld, and Thief. His time at Junction Point was responsible for the release of Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2.
He will join other System Shock veterans working on the new installment, including Paul Neurath, who oversaw the original series’ development, senior artist Natewell, and concept artist Rob Waters. Spector will first help out with the development of Underworld Ascendant before leading the System Shock 3 development team when it is ready to ramp up later this year.
“I’m delighted to have Warren stepping up into a director role at OtherSide and helping lead the charge with our innovative approach to gaming,” says Paul. “I can think of no one better suited to take on this creative challenge. Warren has changed the industry before and will do so again.”
“I’ve loved working with students as Director of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy in the University of Texas’ Moody College of Communication,” says Warren. “But when the opportunity to have a bigger role in bringing Underworld Ascendant to life, as well as playing in the System Shock universe once again, helping to bring these games to a 21st century audience, I just couldn’t say no. Working on System Shock was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in my career and it’s hard to describe how much I’m looking forward to sharing with players what SHODAN has been up to since the last game was released.”
Otherworld announced System Shock 3 this past December with a teaser website and a survey. Details of the game are still unknown, but the survey asked individuals about their preferred gaming platform – PS4, Xbox One, Mac, PC, or other – and their interest in virtual reality gaming.
VR gaming is making a huge push this year, with multiple VR headsets being released. Pre-orders for Facebook’s Oculus Rift took off out of the gate, and initial shipments start later in March and will continue to run throughout the year. Meanwhile, the PlayStation VR for PS4 looks like a probable fall release, based on recent comments by GameStop’s CEO. There is also the HTC Vive virtual reality set developed to work with Valve’s Steam that is currently scheduled for an April, 2016, release.
System Shock and its sequel were originally developed at Looking Glass Technologies under publisher Origin Systems in the 1990s. The developer was known for its innovative work in gameplay and engaging stories, and is where some legendary game creators made their name. Doug Church and Warren Spector were tied to the original release while System Shock 2 was co-developed with Irrational Games and Ken Levine. Both games managed to cross elements of role-playing games, sci-fi, cyberpunk, and horror into a pair of incredibly influential titles.
What do you think of Warren Spector returning to lead development on System Shock 3? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Otherworld Entertainment]