Retro games shop Good Old Games will begin exclusively selling a downloadable version of System Shock 2 starting Feb. 14, the website announced today.
This news follows long and difficult rights and trademark issues stemming from the initial closure of developer Looking Glass Studios in 2000. While the System Shock trademark was first retained by Electronic Arts, rights to the game were passed to Meadowbrook Insurance Group following the closure of Looking Glass — without both the series could not be revived.
Rights were, however, secured by Night Dive Studios' Stephen Kick, who pitched to the rights-holder a digitally distributed version of System Shock 2.
"The rights are still held in a very complicated tangle and going into all of it makes for very dry reading," he told Rock, Paper, Shotgun. "The short version is that negotiations began in October of last year. I pitched the rights-holder with the focus being on the digital distribution of System Shock 2 and, as much to my surprise as anyone's, possibly, here we are today."
Kick states the Good Old Games digital version will be a "fantastic archive of System Shock 2 assets," including the soundtrack, concept art, maps of the Von Braun, an interview with Ken Levine, the first pitch document and more.
In addition to securing the rights, Night Dive made the initial modifications to allow for the game to run on most current operating systems. The game will run on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. In addition, fans of the game will be able to apply mods to the game developed by its community.