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.
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.
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.
@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.
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?
@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.
@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.
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
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.
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.
@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.
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.
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.
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).
@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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
@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 :)
@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.
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
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.
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
@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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
Content you might like…
Users who looked at this article also looked at these content items.
Avalanche Studios co-founder says developer's ambition is for action, not moments that make players cry; steampunk-style game on hold. Full Story
- Posted May 15, 2013 6:33 am PT
4A Games creative director Andrew Prokhorov thanks Jason Rubin for telling the studio's story, but says, "We deserve the ratings we get." Full Story
- Posted May 16, 2013 12:44 pm PT