Nightdive Studios lead would like an XCOM-like prequel to System Shock

With the System Shock remake out and System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition around the corner, Nightdive has been kicking around other ideas for what to do with the IP.

Image via Nightdive Studios

The System Shock remake has released, and System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition is already well in the works, but that leaves the question of what happens next with the IP for Nightdive Studios. System Shock 3, System Shock 2 remake, or something else? Well, according to CEO Stephen Kick, the studio has been kicking around a few ideas, many of which seem to be spinoffs. In particular, Kick likes the idea of a strategy and tactics prequel similar to XCOM in which players take up the arms of the Citadel space station staff as they try in vain to fight against SHODAN’s hostile takeover.

Stephen Kick shared this musing in a recent interview with TechRadar discussing the future of System Shock. According to Kick, the team isn’t exactly in a rush to make a System Shock 2 remake immediately after the Enhanced Edition releases. He mentions that a concern among the team is that it would like to “let the Enhanced Edition breathe on its own for a bit,” but then that means exploring other angles to the franchise.

System Shock remake view of a mutant.
A System Shock prequel would explore the time in which SHODAN takes over Citadel Space Station and the staff attempt to form a resistance and fight back. It does not go well.
Source: Nightdive Studios

In particular, Kick shared that one of the ideas going around at Nightdive Studios he’s most fond of is the concept of an XCOM-like System Shock game that would serve as a prequel to System Shock. For those who don’t know, the story of System Shock has a hacker remove ethical restraints and restrictions from Citadel Space Station AI SHODAN. The hacker is then put into a coma to have a cyber implant installed which keeps them out of the picture for six months while everything on Citadel goes to heck. This would likely end up being a tragic game because, spoiler, the Citadel staff are unable to stop SHODAN before the hacker wakes up. Nonetheless, a story that explored that six months where SHODAN begins killing staff and morphing them into cyborgs and mutants could be quite interesting, especially in an XCOM-like setup.

The System Shock remake was an absolute blast, bringing horror and immersive action and exploration together in a solid re-imagining of the original game. It will remain to be seen if the XCOM-like prequel pitch ever goes beyond a musing, but we’ll follow this story for further updates as they happen.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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