Citing myriad technical obstacles and a heaping pile of lost source code, Nightdive Studios CEO Stephen Kick recently confirmed with Eurogamer that Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition will miss its planned 2020 release date. The game is instead firmly in “TBD” territory.
Nightdive Studios, who has previously remastered titles like System Shock and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, is running into all sorts of trouble crafting Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition, and working with what they’ve got hasn’t quite cut it for fans so far – consider, for example, the lukewarm reception to the definitive edition’s opening cinematic (fans were concerned that the graphical updates of the remaster sacrificed some of the original’s charm). You can see the video below and decide for yourself.
Much of the trouble with the game stems from lost source code. Nightdive Studios nabbed a license to make Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition from current owner Alcon Entertainment, but the source code – if any of it is left – apparently belongs to EA, who bought and relocated original developer Westwood Studios all the way back in 1998. Kick states that, if the source code is ever found, it’s still unlikely that EA would be able to give it to them for a host of legal reasons.
As far as Nightdive is concerned, then, there’s a lot of reverse engineering necessary to make Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition shine. That’s especially tough given the original game’s heavy compression and overwhelming number of models. As such, while the game isn’t quite a full remake, it’s certainly getting a bit more attention than a standard remaster would.
As such, Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition is missing in action. It’s disappointing news, but hopefully Nightdive can make it work. For more on the delay, the challenges of making the game, and some very skeptical community members, check out the full interview over on Eurogamer, and then tell us your thoughts in the comments.