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Shadowrun Online hitting Steam Early Access next week

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An early version of Shadowrun Online will be available on Steam Early Access next week, according to developer Cliffhanger Productions, which has also released a video update for the project.

The company announced today that the turn-based multiplayer MMO will emerge as a PvP map featuring two characters and four missions on Monday, March 31. The Early Access release is called Lockdown and is being touted as a prequel to the full game.

Shadowrun Online, set in the tabletop RPG sci-fi universe, was funded on Kickstarter in 2012, raising more than half a million dollars. It was originally scheduled to be released last year.

"This limited, combat-focused approach will provide valuable feedback from Kickstarter backers and the Steam community and help guide development," the company explained in its announcement. Monthly updates offering new content and features, including character creation, skill progression and new missions, will be offered to players following the roll-out.

"Although we originally planned to begin our release schedule last year, it became apparent that our original code-base was too restricting, and we weren't willing to make compromises due to code limitations," said Cliffhanger co-Founder Jan Wagner. "Our backers and the Shadowrun community have been incredibly supportive, and more than anything we want to live up to their expectations."