Shadowrun Returns with Kickstarter campaign

Series creator Jordan Weisman launches push to make 2D fantasy cyberpunk RPG for tablets and PC; executive producer of 2007 Shadowrun first-person shooter apologizes.

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Add Shadowrun to the list of cult favorite franchises looking for fan-funded revivals. Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman and his studio Harebrained Schemes today launched a Kickstarter project to raise $400,000 for development of a new game in the fantasy cyberpunk series.

This logo might bring back fond memories for fans of the 16-bit era.

The project got off to a fast start, collecting more than $109,000 from nearly 2,200 backers in its first morning. The game has until April 29 to reach its funding goal. Should it surpass that mark, the excess funds will be put toward a Mac version of the game, multiple translations, and additional game content.

As for the game itself, Shadowrun Returns will be a 2D turn-based role-playing game for a single player. Harebrained Schemes is also promising an interactive story, with narrative work provided by a host of experienced Shadowrun authors and designers.

One thing the game won't be is anything like 2007's Shadowrun first-person shooter from Microsoft. The game's Kickstarter pitch video featured that game's executive producer, Mitch Gitelman, holding up a sign of apology for his role in the project, which took liberties with the series' setting and tone.

"The game we want to make is very humble by modern blockbuster game standards but it is still way beyond the ability of a small start-up to fund by itself," Harebrained Schemes said on the Kickstarter page. "The restraints on the license from Microsoft made it impossible to get established publishers interested in Shadowrun and so it remained just a dream for a long time until Jordan saw the recent successes of some other veteran designers on Kickstarter."

Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions touched off the recent Kickstarter trend by funding an old-school adventure game. The studio sought $400,000 for that project, but ended up with $3.3 million from more than 87,000 contributors. Since then, Gabriel Knight designer Jane Jensen, Fallout and Wasteland executive producer Brian Fargo, Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe, and more have started their own projects on the crowdfunding site.

Discussion

55 comments
tommyd79
tommyd79

*fully* funded in 28 hours guys. nice job!

RogueShadow0618
RogueShadow0618

@thearkadefire: Think along the lines of Final Fantasy Tactics/Jeanne Darc/any other tactic type game. Or go find a group of actual Pen-and-Paper gamers and watch them a bit. Each of your characters takes has a turn to move/attack/cast spell or whatnot, and then the bad guys.

thearkadefire
thearkadefire

So for those of you who played the SNES or SEGA Genesis version, "Shadowrun Returns" isn't going to be anything like those versions? I see they mention 2D Turn Base game. Does that mean I have a turn, then wait for the computer to have a turn, then I have a turn, etc etc? If so, I don't know if I am as excited about it, actually kinda let down. I would much rather have the gameplay like the SNES/SEGA versions, that would be amazing. Can anyone shed some light if I'm understanding this 2D turn based gameplay correctly?

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@Kungfu_Kenobi Perhaps, but since major publishers don't make experimental software anymore, we're not going to lose anything. Which, I should add, is entirely OUR fault. Consumers keep buying the same 10 games every year; it's silly to blame Actiwhoever for not pushing the artistic envelope. We've put ourselves in this position, and now companies want the money up front for anything that doesn't involve Mario, Calling Of Duty, and professional sports. And I don't blame them.

Kungfu_Kenobi
Kungfu_Kenobi

@Rottenwood What troubles me most about the recent successes on Kickstarter is that it may make major publishers go in the other direction: insisting that anything remotely experimental be paid for in advance by fans.

RobertBowen
RobertBowen

Great to see more veteran developers turning to Kickstarter to fund projects that gamers really want. Of course, this could start to get expensive. I'm already backing two projects, now it looks like I'll be backing a third. Can my wallet take it? :o

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

To be fair, the Shadowrun guys concede that the recent FPS was actually a pretty good game, but strayed too far from the established canon. Die-hard fans want a 'classic' Shadowrun game, so they're going in that direction. Judging by how quickly they're reaching their goal (and will probably surpass it by 4 or 5 times the stated amount), publishers have severely underestimated the public demand for classic PC gaming. Of course, savvy publishers are undoubtedly watching this Kickstarter revolution closely, and will start cutting checks again for stuff besides Call Of Battlefield Of Honor.

DennisWZH
DennisWZH

@cdog21: those were pledged, you dont have to pay until the game starts development

rtdzign
rtdzign

I liked the Shadowrun FPS as well and like it as a team oriented FPS, but I do not think that it should have been called a Shadowrun game. Shadowrun is a pen and paper RPG and any Shadowrun game should stay true to that. I loved the SNES Shadowrun and would be perfectly happy to have a retro sequel to that game. I remember in the end credits they promised a sequel. The Genesis version, I liked but thought that it was too random and you randomly got killed. It was much harder.

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

Dang, everyone is jumping on the kickstarter bandwagon!

GunnyHath
GunnyHath

Super excited for this.. I may even donate.

megakick
megakick

Microsoft CHA-CHING! No wonder the company is so wealthy. Everybody pays them ROYALTIES.

DennisWZH
DennisWZH

i wonder how many actually paid the 10000$ that was pledged..

elbert_b_23
elbert_b_23

i loved the old super nintendo shadowrun game i hope this one will be as good

VixTain
VixTain

@Gelugon_baat That game "Jelly Love" you linked to appears to be a casual game for smart phones and Facebok. I'm sure it could turn out to be a fine game, but it's a mistake to suggest that the reason it isn't being funded is because it isn't popular and the makers are not well-known. Much more likely is that there's little reason for the average gamer to back a project like that, because we are absolutely drowning in casual mobile and Facebook games right now. What's the point of funding a project in a genre that is severely oversaturated? Shadowrun and Wasteland 2 are 2D, turn-based, DRM-free PC RPGs. This is a genre that has been virtually extinct for more than a decade. There is a lot of pent-up demand for those projects.

cloudmac
cloudmac

Can we get a Streets Of Rage 4/Remake kickstarter going... With all the iterations of Sonic and some of the older Sega games getting a remake/new game (Golden Axe, Shinobi and Altered beast spring to mind), Isn't it time the SOR franchise got some love. Even if it was just an arcade game like Afterburner I would be happy.

blackace
blackace

This is getting out of hand. I'm fine with making sequels and all, but some of these games don't really need to be made. There were some unfinished games that I wouldn't mind getting done. I'm surprised developers haven't started a Kickstarter project for that.

SLjimbolian
SLjimbolian

UGH, enough with these friggin' Kickstarters!!!!

tommyd79
tommyd79

Does this mean that pixel games are coming back because if so then that is ******* awesome! I have a list of games I'd like to see come back. FIRST - River City Ransom (Scott Pilgrim was a good start) Second - Toe-jam and Earl (JUST LIKE THE ORIGINAL PLEASE.. but you know, a little upgraded) Third - Baseball Stars (1st>2nd).

Decessus
Decessus

@Gelugon_baat I think it depends on how much you are asking for. Looking at the Kickstarter website, there are a few projects under $25,000 that get the money they are looking for.More than that though and you are probably right.

zyxomma100
zyxomma100

No apologies should be made for Shadowrun 360 unless it's to the developers by the gaming community for not supporting one of the most original and innovative FPS's ever created.

electroflame
electroflame

Shadowrun for the 360 was great. I'd love to see a true sequel to that. In fact, that'd be one of the few Kickstarters I'd say "Shut up and take my money!" to.

kozzy1234
kozzy1234

I must be one of the few fans of the original Shadowrun that was surprised and actually liked Shadowrun on 360/PC. Was more fun to me then COD or Halo personally. Sure I want a Shadowrun rpg but as an online shooter it was a fun game, should have just had a different name though is the bottomline.

psycho_chan13
psycho_chan13

@chuckchoder If they don't hit their goal, no money will be taken from anybodies accounts.

chuckchoder
chuckchoder

I wonder what happens to peoples money if they don't hit their goal

adamdiran
adamdiran

Forthe love of god will someone get toys for bob to crowdsource a Star Control game?

snxx
snxx

Lots of people are calling this Kickstarter trend "a fad". Myself? I'm a proud backer of six different projects. As long as established and amazing game designers like Jane Jansen and Jordan Weisman come up with great, often-overlooked-by-big-publishers, projects, I'm in!

baystatethrashr
baystatethrashr

The FPS wasn't horrible. It had good ideas like the money system and the different powers but as a Shadowrun game it was crap.

axlroselm
axlroselm

Dont forget isometric camera!

001011000101101
001011000101101

This whole kickstarter thing is getting out of hand.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

@Haasdude I liked MS Shadowrun, it could have been great if they kept backing it ,I had fun with the game. As for the old school Shadowrun I Loved it , this is the first Kickstarter campaign I will back up :)

Kungfu_Kenobi
Kungfu_Kenobi

@Haasdude Nah, it was alright. I just think there's a lot of Shadowrun fans that would have preferred something more like Deus Ex than Counterstrike.

bigg_p
bigg_p

If I have some funds left after these last purchases, they're coming your way!

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

I remember renting Shadowrun for the SNES but I never got very far but I always thought it was a cool game.... I tried the FPS Shadowrun demo when I first got a XBOX 360 and didn't care for it...... I'm all for a revival of the old game for PC.....but I need to buy a new PC first lol

gix47
gix47

awesome!!! love me some Shadowrun! well though some monies at them for this :D

nate1222
nate1222

I never played the FPS version of Shadowrun. By the time it came out, I was already pretty tired of FPSes. As far as the RPG...I'm all for it. I owned the old Sega Genesis Shadowrun and loved it.

vadicta
vadicta

The Shadowrun FPS was my favorite online shooter. I might be the only person who's sad that it turned out to be for the RPG :P @Haasdude You're not alone! :D

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

@Haasdude The Microsoft version of Shadowrun might have been a great game (I didn't actually play it), but it's NOT shadowrun. They used the name just to get free attention and then created a game nothing like Shadowrun. That's the upsetting part.

ziproy
ziproy

Yea you should be apologizing for that piece of crap you made

stimpy01
stimpy01

@TrueGB I believe that Smith & Tinker bought all the FASA licenses from Microsoft.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Dear freaking God this is an awesome idea. Although I always preferred the SNES version, anything that's a true Shadowrun sequel gets my support by default!

Haasdude
Haasdude

I guess I'm the only person who actually liked the Microsoft Shadowrun.

Kungfu_Kenobi
Kungfu_Kenobi

This could be bad news for my own plans to launch a kickstarter fund to make a modern RPG spiritually similar to Shadowrun for the Genesis. :( I'll still back this project though.

TrueGB
TrueGB

MS has restraints on the license? How sad. When will these publishers learn it's better to loosen the belt on these abandoned old licenses and allow anyone willing to work on them to do so? Leaving the franchise to languish because of 1 bad game and because the original property isn't an FPS is silly. If a guy can fund the project himself, and you've got the rights, let the game happen. What do publishers have to lose?

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

Shadowrun was my favorite RPG of all time (sega genesis). The FPS version on the Xbox is the worse possible thing to be developed. I would literally slap the person who made the decision to make that game. It was a disgusting rip-off of the Shadowrun name. I really hope this new Shadowrun game follows along the same path as the original Shadowrun from the Sega Genesis console generation. This would be a definite buy for me if it was actually set in the Shadowrun RPG (cyberpunk, etc) world.