Syndicate Wars Creator Making Cyberpunk Spiritual Successor, Satellite Reign

By Ishaan . June 28, 2013 . 11:30am



Electronic Arts’ recent Syndicate FPS was nothing like the original Syndicate series of tactical games. Disappointed by the title, the producer of the second game in the series, Syndicate Wars, has been working on a spiritual successor to the series, titled Satellite Reign.


Satellite Reign is described as a “real-time, class-based strategy game” and is being developed by 5 Lives Studios. The game takes place in a dystopian, cyberpunk setting, and you control four agents—each with their own unique abilities—battling for control of the city, and hoping to overthrow the mega-corporation in charge.


What makes Satellite Reign unique, they say, is that the city “actually functions like a city,” which is something the development team hopes will give rise to emergent gameplay. The streets are bustling with people, information and finances make their way across different parts of the city, power grids control the flow of power, and so on. The studio hopes to create a game that will allow you to use all of this to your advantage, by hacking, modifying, fighting and so on.


There’s no linear structure to the game either, they claim. “The city is huge and you can move around and tackle objectives however you want to,” the studio’s description of the choices you’ll be afforded reads. “You won’t be spoon-fed one mission after another, you’ll be able to use whatever means you can to get to your final goal. Bribe scientists to advance your technologies, and kidnap doctors to augment your agents. Steal money from the banks to fund your war against the corporations, and exploit neural implants to bend the will of others.”


Mike Diskett, who served as producer and lead programmer on Syndicate Wars, is spearheading the game. Says Diskett: “A lot of Syndicate fans, including myself, got our hopes up when we a heard a new Syndicate game in development. But in the end, it turned out to be nothing like the original games. So I decided to take it upon myself to deliver what the fans really wanted.”


5 Lives Studios have erected a Kickstarter campaign to ask for support for Satellite Reign, with a goal of £350,000 over the next month. You can watch their Kickstarter pitch above and find more information on the game here. Satellite Reign is being developed using Unity for PC, Mac and Linux.


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  • malek86

    The thing that bothers me with Kickstarter, is that while it was initially thought to help get backing for fresh ideas that publishers wouldn’t allow, it just ended up getting backing for old ideas that publishers wouldn’t allow anymore. Neverhood successor? Planescape sequel? Leisure Suit Larry remake? I like sequels to old games too, but where is the creativity?

    Publishers are playing it safe, but sometimes I think that industry veterans who rely on Kickstarter are playing it even safer.

    • Godmars

      Still, there’s the further development of game mechanics and forms which the contemporary industry have largely abandoned chasing after COD.

      • malek86

        Haven’t seen many of those from Kickstarter yet. In fact, it’s easier to see them from one-man devs who make their games by themselves (think Lone Survivor, Gunpoint, VVVVVV, which were not kickstarted).

        It seems like creativity is actually discouraged on Kickstarter right now, because to get a lot of backers you need to give them what they want… and paradoxally, despite all their whining against publishers, they still don’t actually want new things: they want more of the same (just more of the “old same”, not the “new same” which publishers prefer).

    • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

      I think those are more of the well known developers/industry veterans. I’d say most of the smaller/start-up devs are experimenting with new game concepts (or revisions to existing concepts). Sometimes well known devs do something new, with most recently Brad Muir of Double Fine starting a tactical RPG game.

      But you’d have to search through the Kickstarter (and IndieGogo) pages to find those. Game sites rarely pick up news on the small guys, unless they blow through their goals with a ton of crowd support.

    • TrevHead

      It might seem that all KS is doing is bringing a few old IPs back to life but it’s more than that.

      Just consider that practically the only genres AAAs bother with is FPS shooters, KS is prooving to publishers that there is still money to be made in more niche genres.

      God Sim’s, 2D WRPGs, Space Sims are just 3 genres off the top of my head that KS has breathed life into. And then there’s my personal favorites Skullgirls & FTL both are great new IPs.

      There’s also the issue of free marketing for all these niche games which is all important for any game to be a success nowadays.

      Let’s see KS establish itself and the first round of games are finished before we start expecting monumental things from it. Better this first wave be proven fan favorites that have more chance of making backers happy than lots of risky unproven concepts that scare ppl away for good.

      • malek86

        I just hope that you are right and the second wave won’t be like this again. Because I know full well that if for example Geoff Crammond suddenly arrived and said “I’m making an awesome new game”, it won’t get people nearly as excited as if he instead said “I’m making Grand Prix 5”.

        I fear that industry veterans will eventually start acting almost like publishers themselves – relying on old IPs and nostalgia so as to shun any possible risks.

        In other words – what makes us think the second wave will be any better? Because in the end, small developers dislike risk as much as publishers. Possibly even more, since their own possible career is on the line. Why would they want to go for new concepts when they can attract fans with old concepts instead?

  • Pombar

    Looks right up my alley. I hope it hits its funding and more!

  • firstarioch

    This is what I have been waiting for all along …cant wait ….

  • GGear0323

    i am looking forward to this but i will admit, i really enjoyed the FPS Syndicate as well. tons of hours of great co-op fun.

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