Shadowrun Returns brings with it an adventurous and speculative look at the future, just as the series always has. However, the future, as envisioned by the 90's versions of Shadowrun is very different from the future envisioned today. So how does developer HareBrained Schemes' vision of Shadowrun reconcile the evolving views of what the future is?
"The prognostication that I did 25 years ago got some things right and some things really wrong," game designer and HB chief Jordan Weisman told Shacknews. "Even those wrong things are part of the Shadowrun canon and, for some players and readers, those things still have an emotional resonance to them. So it's been an interesting process of updating the absolutely minimal possible that we felt would be a suspension-of-disbelief breaker for a new audience. It came down to a handful of little things that we changed and tweaked slightly to avoid that breaking of suspension of disbelief for new players."
Interestingly, in trying to tweak some of the series lore, Weisman had what he calls his "Han shot first" moment. He started to realize that trying to fix too many aspects of the Shadowrun narrative could upset fans that had grown up with the series.
"The vast majority has really tried to be respectful to the original vision of the future from 25 years ago." he said. "I, like many people, was upset with George [Lucas] for going back and messing with his movies. Then I was working on [Shadowrun Returns], I found myself tempted to go back and fix things that I didn't like, but I realized, 'I know what the feels like from a fan's point-of-view...don't do that.' So we restricted ourselves to the barest minimum that wouldn't disenfranchise new players."