The writing is on the wall for Swedish developer and publisher Starbreeze, who quite dramatically filed financial reconstruction and faced government raids over insider trading at the end of last year, following on from the flop of Overkill’s The Walking Dead.
While the company may not survive, reconstruction in Sweden is akin to administration in the UK, allowing them to try and save themselves. Ironically, Starbreeze are in the somewhat fortunate position now of having had fingers in a few too many pies, after ambitiously branching into VR hardware development and game publishing.
One of the games they acquired the publishing rights to was System Shock 3 from OtherSide Entertainment, and the two companies have now mutually agreed to return the publishing rights back to OtherSide. The press release states that “Starbreeze expects to be fully reimbursed for costs the company has had in connection with development of the game.” In other words, they want their $12 million back.
Whether this return of rights was instigated by Starbreeze or OtherSide isn’t known, but for the development of System Shock 3 it makes a lot of sense for the game’s future. Starbreeze also invested in the development and publishing rights to Psychonauts 2 and Ten Crowns, so you can expect that they’re holding similar discussions with Double Fine and Mohawk Games.
Source: press release