Some bad news for fans of the classic 90s Blade Runner video game as developer Nightdive confirms that the remastered titles release will be delayed.
Blade Runner is a classic 90s video game title produced by developer Westwood, set in the futuristic and dystopian world inhabited by replicant hunter Deckard in Ridley Scotts 1982 film of the same name, which starred a young Harrison Ford as Deckard.
The film was, in turn, based on a book by Phillip K Dick entitled Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep?.
It is frequently hailed as one of the most influential science fiction films of all time. When the game version of the film was released in 1997, it too was celebrated in a major success for developer Westwood, also behind beloved PC game Command and Conquer at the time.
Nightdive, a company known for trying its hand at re-vamping classic titles for the next generation to enjoy, announced plans to release a Enhanced Edition of the game that would be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC in March of this year.
The remastered version promised to be a polished and premium restoration, as revealed to The Hollywood Reporter, featuring updated models and cutscenes.
Excited gamers, however, may be disappointed to hear that the promised 2020 release is not going to pass, after Nightdive revealed that they have deferred the release to some point in 2021 and designated the games premiere as TBD.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick detailed the various issues the company were having with the remaster, which has proven to be more difficult and complex than developers had originally anticipated.
He explained that when EA bought gaming company Westwood, who produced the original Blade Runner game, in August 1998, the company then moved offices and the source code for the title was lost in the process.
Furthermore, Kick alleges that EA have been evasive in their responses when the developers at Nightdive have asked about what original code the company has on hand for the Blade Runner game.
Kick said: Even if there was something, it's very unlikely they would release it to us for legal reasons, mostly, which is a bit of a disappointment, because we were hoping to at least get the original audio recordings.
So we're basically working off what was in the original game at this point and not having access to any original stuff.
As a result, Nightdive has had to reverse-engineer the code for the game, an arduous and time-consuming process that has led to the lead time for the games release being farther out than the company had initially hoped.
Also, the original 1997 game was a huge, sprawling open-world that was released on multiple compressed disks at the time. In order to create the remastered game, Nightdive has had to fill in the blanks, so to speak, to render the animation and make the beautiful scenes and backgrounds flow as smoothly as possible.
In a year defined by the word delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, fans of cinema, gaming and TV have probably become resigned to things not being delivered on-time. For once, however, the pandemic has nothing to do with it.