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.
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.

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