Game developer Warren Spector, the influential designer of games such as “Deus Ex,” “Epic Mickey” and “System Shock” is leaving academia to head up development of “System Shock 3” for Boston-based OtherSide Entertainment, according to multiple reports.
OtherSide previously announced “System Shock 3” as well as “Underworld Ascendant,” both based on beloved PC-gaming franchises Spector originated at Austin’s Origin Studios. Spector will leave his post as director of the University of Texas Denius-Sams Gaming Academy at the end of the current semester to work with OtherSide.
Spector is not planning to move to Boston, apparently. He said in a Facebook post that he will be building an Austin studio to work on the game. He’s long been a fixture in Austin’s gaming scene, even refusing to move to California when he was working for Disney on two “Epic Mickey” video games as head of Junction Point Studios.
This is the second year Spector has served as director at the UT Gaming Academy. Last year, the group of hand-picked students created a game called “The Calm Before.” He was hired in 2013 to launch the Academy and was making $93,000 as of mid-2015, according to the Texas Tribune Government Salary Database.
“System Shock 3” was teased back in December by OtherSide, which had already raised more than $860,000 for its “Ultima Ascendant” project on Kickstarter.
In a statement in OtherSide’s press release, Spector said:
“I’ve loved working with students as Director of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy in the University of Texas’ Moody College of Communication,” says Warren. “But when the opportunity to have a bigger role in bringing Underworld Ascendant to life, as well as playing in the System Shock universe once again, helping to bring these games to a 21st century audience, I just couldn’t say no. Working on System Shock was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in my career and it’s hard to describe how much I’m looking forward to sharing with players what SHODAN has been up to since the last game was released.”
Nick Hundley, director of communications at UT’s Moody College of Communication said in an email, “Warren Spector will stay on as director of the academy through the end of May when the current class is finished. Though, he will remain involved as chair of the academy’s advisory board, a guest lecturer and advisor. The Moody College thanks him for his visionary leadership that launched the academy. The Moody College remains committed to excellence in gaming training and research. In the coming months, we will be adapting our programs to advance and expand our work in these areas.”