Shadowrun’s New Content Will Take Place In Hong Kong

By Chris Priestman . January 10, 2015 . 12:29pm

After announcing that it will be returning to Kickstarter in January 2015 to crowdfund more Shadowrun content, Harebrained Schemes has now revealed that the new setting for this content will be a futuristic Hong Kong.

 

Unfortunately, the studio has not yet detailed what format this new content will take. What seems most likely is that it’s a new campaign for 2013’s reboot of the tactical sci-fi RPG.

 

However, it’s quite possible that it’s an entirely new sequel of sorts. But it’s more likely another campaign, which may be released as a standalone game, just as the Dragonfall campaign got its own director’s cut standalone in September 2014.

 

In any case, whatever Shadowrun Hong Kong is, Harebrained Schemes will be asking for crowdfunding support this month to make it happen. It’s worth noting that Shadowrun Returns was originally Kickstarted back in 2012, smashing its $400,000 funding goal by raising $1,836, 447 in total.


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  • Darkraiders

    Sound like they are just greedy.

    They got nearly 1.9 millions(including paypal) on their first kickstarter and most likely made a lot of money with Shadowrun return and now they are still asking for more money…

    • Trotmeister

      Seems to be the case. They’re a small studio, but they definitely aren’t struggling. Just recently they boasted on the official blog how much the studio has grown in the past year. And yet…

      • UGE_plex

        A studio growing means they used revenue/profit to hire more bodies to develop, do art, handle accounting, perhaps pay more rent for larger workspace, acquire more computers, servers, development resource licenses, pay the electric bill…it doesn’t mean after operational expenses they have mad loot to throw around. A good business keeps some reinvestment capital, but it doesn’t ensure their revenues outweighed operational expenses sufficiently enough to tackle new or larger projects. However, It does mean that a larger studio has more operational costs. Also, they may have grown, but they’re still a relatively small indie game studio. They just aren’t garage-developers.

    • Derek E Nay

      It shouldn’t roll over though. The people who paid crap loads on the first gave their money for the first. If they ran the budget over with crap loads of money, it’s more or less a bonus to them and that game (Not future games unless they said it would go towards future games).

      Though I understand what you are talking about; they are still a business. It’s not everyday creators get to choose what game they can make and make good money for it.

    • ProfoundBadness

      That could be the case. Or it could be that developing the first cost them 1.9 million (not a high amount at all for modern game development). Could also be that they want to release it themselves instead of running the gauntlet of a) attracting a publisher and b) getting a publisher who doesn’t control the project, attempt to cannibalize the company and isn’t tight-fisted with the money. As far as I’m concerned, they delivered on their first Kickstarter’s promises with the best RPG in over a decade, so I’ll support them on this one.

      • Darkraiders

        That game didn’t cost 1.9 million to make for sure.
        Just look at the graphic and it’s not a almost 2 millions games, also i didn’t play the game myself, but i heard is was really linear and quite short.

        And even if by chance it did cost them the 1.9 millions to make the game, they sold at least 250k copies of their games which make them at least $25 millions in profit and that’s only on steam.

        They should have the money to make the additional content without needing to rely on a publisher or on kickstarter.

        • ProfoundBadness

          I can’t speak as to the first game, but they also released Dragonfall and Dragonfall: Director’s Cut off the back of that. Content patches out the wazoo + balancing. Dragonfall Director’s Cut is what I was talking about when I said ‘best RPG in a decade’ because that game is far from linear. Main plot follows a general line, but the amount of other content where your choices come into play make it a real game of role-playing. Besides, it’s not ‘graphics’ that cost money, it’s hiring developers, musicians, artists (even if you don’t think the illustrated environments are impressive (gotta disagree here), there’s a lot of them and they most definitely took a lot of time to make. Take a look at the cost breakdown for Skullgirls Encore to get an idea of how much individual aspects of development can cost. Greed could definitely still be a factor, but I highly doubt it’s the only one.

    • UGE_plex

      Instead of making assumptions, do a little of the overhead math. They didn’t have $1.83 million for development. The devs stated in interviews that Kickstarter physical rewards production/picking/packing/shipping/support ran them at least 1/3rd of that money. Plus they had to pay out ~10% to Kickstarter and Amazon(payment processing), plus it’s a heavily limited IP license from Microsoft on which they have to pay licensing fees despite Jordan creating Shadowrun in 1989, he sold the IP looong ago, and we found out during the Kickstarter that drek happened and his license reverted back to Microsoft. And heavily limited licensing means they weren’t allowed to develop for consoles, they weren’t allowed to sell retail merchandise (Kickstarter swag was an exception) which many studios use for side-revenue. And, they promised to do a lot, like translations in to 4 other languages (expensive), contract the composers of the original 16-bit Sega Genesis AND SNES Shadowrun titles, and co-develop a game editor for Shadowrun Returns. In additional to all this, they also promised the Berlin expansion, which released as Dragonfall…and it turned out to be larger and showed a lot more studio investment than the core Shadowrun Returns game, with the same Kickstarter funds. And then they established a support wiki, posted game-relevant stories on tumblr, provided developer-direct game support to the community via Shadowrun.com, Steam, and other venues. So yeah, I’d say we can see where the money went, no matter how much you want to ignore the reality of video game development being fraggin expensive. Especially when development isn’t offshored and developers, artists, staff are paid US salaries. And then, they still have to pay taxes on that money. Yep, fraggin taxes. On top of all that, Kickstarter is a great way to get community feedback and to provide insight to backers on where a game is going and see if folks want what the developers are thinking of working on. Not to mention, a lot of fans and previous backers on Kickstarter repeatedly asked the devs to run another Kickstarter to support further Shadowrun game development. Oh,. and then they went and outdid themselves by putting even more work in to the Dragonfall Developer’s Cut, which they also gave for free to their Kickstarter backers, AND for free to every retail customer that had already bought the Dragonfall DLC (remember the DLC was bigger than the core game!) Greed? No, I don’t think so.

      • Darkraiders

        And why do you assume kickstarter is their only source of revenue?

        • UGE_plex

          We do know from the first Kickstarter that they spent a couple of years looking for financial backing/publisher support for a Shadowrun game. It never worked out, and they were prepared to drop it when Kickstarter began to appear to be a possibility, hence we got the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter. Mitch Gitelman from HBS tells a story about their decision to crowdfund Shadowrun Returns, and let’s say…it took some convincing internally for them to do it. Also, with Microsoft showing no apparent interest in funding a Shadowrun title again, but owning the IP and taking a piece of the pie, while adding restrictions on how others can partake, it doesn’t seem to make for a very attractive investment for 3rd parties when there are so many other lucrative opportunities with fewer strings and fingers in the pie. Now, with some measure of success that ‘Returns, and more-so Dragonfall Director’s Cut have had, keeping in mind how success doesn’t indicate bundles of loot and in this case breaking even is considered success as they have very positive reviews and have grown their studio somewhat, I would guess some publishers might be willing to take the risk. None of this means they don’t have other sources of revenue, but it does indicate that as an indie studio, Kickstarter may be the most viable and least creatively limiting path for them to remain indie, and acquire the funds to develop another good game. So, I’m not assuming Kickstarter is *now* their only source of revenue, but I am assuming it’s the one that makes the most sense for both the developers, and their fans…who have been asking them to do another Kickstarter project for over a year. ^_^

          • Darkraiders

            What about the game they are selling?

            From what i saw they must have sold over 500K copies of Shadowrun return by now and even if we say microsoft take 50% of all profit and another 10% for Steam, GOG and any other platform that game is sold at and let’s say another 10% gone because of sales and other small cost, they still should have made over 2 millions in profit.

            I”m sure they took some of that money to develops dragonfall, but then they must have got their money back by selling dragonfall after.
            So yeah, by now they must already have a few millions in their pockets, so why do they need to ask for more?

          • UGE_plex

            What about it?

            “From what I saw they must have…”…”They should have”? Source, please. We have no details on their revenue vs operational expenses other than their public commentary on their Kickstarter experiences. You’re just making wild assumptions. For all we know, they did reinvest sales in to the director’s cut. Or perhaps they want to make something better than what they can afford to do now? Game development is expensive. Millions of dollars expensive. Studios don’t have to be garage developers to be indie and need crowdfunding support. Success of one project is not indicative of sufficient profits to fully fund another project. Whatever the case, they’ll likely have to provide reasoning for why they’re going back to Kickstarter, because a few people will ask. Your own pessimism is just shitholing something good. If folks want to fund a project, and they get best efforts for their pledges, that’s a good thing. HBS has proven they follow up with best efforts, and good games…both on ShadowrunReturns/Dragonfall and Golem Arcana. And, Chummers like myself absolutely do want another Shadowrun Kickstarter. Forums, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit…we’ve been saying so for over a year. I’m looking forward to it, and if you’re not, then find something else to fund. Not every project is for everyone. That’s cool. What other people choose to back with their money is their prerogative. Trying to put a project creator in a bad light when you have zero facts on which to base your assumptions, is not very wiz. That HBS is running a Kickstarter for another Shadowrun title, is preggy fraggin awesome to me. ^_^

  • Hong Kong? Why not Tokyo? Well, maybe next time…

    • Warboss Aohd

      Hong Kong has english speakers and chances are good the main character is from what used to be the United States (Half of the North American Continent is owned by the Native American tribes, whose shaman gained great power upon magic returning. Mexico is New Aztlan, etc. Mork knows what Asia looks like in Shadowrun.)

      • UGE_plex

        During the first Kickstarter, there was a vote for which city the expansion should be. Berlin won by a nose, and Hong Kong was a very close second. With that much Kickstarter interest in Hong Kong from backers and fans, it’s a reasonable move for their new project. ^_^

        • Warboss Aohd

          oh, well there you go.

          No one was interested in Tokyo, or at least, not as much as other places.

          • UGE_plex

            Well, not no one…I voted for Neo-Tokyo! I really wanted a ‘run through the Chiba cyber-clinics, aaaaand maybe Tokyo Disney, though with the potential brand/trademark/IP issues there…I don’t know how they’d pull that off without paying mega-nuyen ‘ta ‘da mouse.. ^_^

    • William Carpenter

      Well, there’s always that Japan-only Shadowrun game for the SEGA CD if you want some Shadowrun Tokyo…

  • They should be fixing their first game before begging for more money.

    • Derek E Nay

      The first game ran fine for me.

    • What is wrong with the first game exactly?

      • UGE_plex

        A lot of folks wank due to the game initially being released with checkpoint saves, which was later patched and updated with Save Anywhere due to player feedback. Also, ‘Returns is a little on-rails for some, which they addressed in Dragonfall, but It’s a great game worth playing for the story, writing, and atmosphere. And it’s fun. ^_^

        • The Linearity in the first one wasn’t that bad. I really liked it! Especially the cameos from the SNES game. But anyways, I understand that those things are old issues shouldn’t be brought back in conversations when they were already dealt with.

    • Warboss Aohd

      what are you talking about, the First one ran fine, even on my crappy rig.

      • I guess I should have been more clear. I really hated how saving worked and how there was only auto-saving instead of manual saving.

        • Warboss Aohd

          they fixed that i think.

        • UGE_plex

          The save system was fixed in Shadowrun Returns when they released the Dragonfall DLC (long before the Director’s Cut) with Save Anywhere. They provided a lot of the fixes to Shadowrun Returns that they developed for Dragonfall. Also, if you own both “Returns and the newer Dragonfall Director’s Cut, it’s possible to manually load the ‘Returns campaign (Dead Man’s Switch) in to the newer Dragonfall Director’s Cut engine and get even more updated benefits. The devs purposely didn’t block this. ^_^

          • Oh nice, I just got the Dragonfall DLC during the steam sale. Really hyped to play this again now!

          • UGE_plex

            If you got it during the Steam sale, you should have the Dragonfall Director’s Cut. Standalone, with a lot of extra content, like 5 new (fraggin amazing) missions exploring the team’s background, and other improvements. You’re gonna love it, Chummer. Game on! ^_^

      • William Carpenter

        Warboss! I was just thinking Siliconera needed more of your waaagh. Glad to see you.

  • CudaBiro

    I see a lot of people just don’t really understand a) how game publishing works and b) how Kickstarter works.

  • Setsu Oh

    ….. …. ow big will it be if tey need tat muc more?it didnt sell?

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