Shadowrun Returns dev has “spent every penny”, hoping for further interest

Wednesday, 13th March 2013 09:30 GMT By Nick Akerman

Kickstarter can be highly unstable. That’s the view of Jordan Weisman, leader of Hairbrained Schemes, the team behind Shadowrun Returns.

The Kickstarter-funded project looks to make an impression alongside a plethora of big budgeted titles. In an interview with GI, Weisman suggests Kickstarter is an extremely exciting and risky platform to raise funds on.

“Shadowrun Returns is on lists right next to games that have 30-40 million dollar production budgets,” he said.

“When you look at the scope, it’s really small budget development. You have to have a project that is more design-focused than technology-focused. We have a lot of content in our game, but not compared to one of these giant epics.”

Weisman believes Shadowrun is exactly the type of series that can benefit from Kickstarter. He suggests that many contributors are struck with a sense of nostalgia when deciding to donate.

“There’s an overlap with the audience that’s on Kickstarter. It tends to be an older audience, ones you can afford to take a little risk, and who have an emotional attachment. I think the majority of games that have been funded there to large numbers are people or properties that have an emotional tie to the audience in some way. Certainly that’s the case with Double Fine, Wasteland, Shadowrun, the Obsidian guys… these are all examples of that.”

Even though the concept of backers may seem secure, Weisman discussed how easy it is to quickly spend the money received.

“We have 37,000 backers on Shadowrun Returns,” he continued. “Our hope is that there’s a lot more of them than just those 37,000, because if not then we lose the gamble. We’ve spent every penny and more that they gave us to make the game; we haven’t made any money.”

For Hairbrained Schemes, interest in Shadowrun Returns needs to ramp up as release draws closer. If so, it’s likely more people are willing to spend on the game.

“We’re definitely betting on that. I’m hoping it’s not just the nostalgia player, but that there’s an underserved market of people who really like depth of story, like depth of tactics. I’m sure they still enjoy a great first-person shooter, but they’re looking for this to be part of their gaming mix, and not finding a lot of it in the marketplace. It is historically considered to be too small of a niche over the last decade to be of interest to major publishers.”



  1. Imperius

    The game looks just real bad.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Kloudrunner

    The game looks just real good :)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Gnosis

    It’s always incredibly depressing to see talented developers like Thatgamecompany and awesome projects like Shadowrun Returns struggle for money. Way worse is to know that you can’t do anything to help them, since you already did all you could.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. livewired500

    This is my most anticipated game for the year. Man I hope they can pull it all together here in the final few months.

    @3 You can still pre-order the game from their website.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DSB

    If you haven’t already, check out Crimson: Steam Pirates by Harebrained Schemes on iOS. It’s great.

    Really makes you wish they had the money to do a sea-pirate themed follow-up to Crimson Skies.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Digital Bamboo

    I’m very interested. Unfortunately, I haven’t got a gaming PC to play it on. If they released some minimum requirements and I saw that it could run on my 4+ year old laptop, then I’d be on board.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ps3fanboy

    come on guys put down your money and let’s get this game rolling!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. The_Red

    Ok. I just read it twice and still feel kinda confused. Is he really implying that they need more money than what they asked? That their team has used all the money from Kickstarter but the game is yet not finished?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Gheritt White

    Proud backer right here!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. theevilaires

    I bought the last Shadow Run for 360 a few weeks ago. I wonder if the online servers are still working nit that I’m getting LIVE again anytime soon.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Gnosis

    @10: You don’t mean that terrible shooter, that was accidentally called Shadowrun, do you?

    @4: Already did. I’m really good at stuffing my money into the pockets of my favourite developers.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DSB

    @8 He’s saying that they’ve put everything towards making the game, so if those 37,000 backers are all there is, and the game ends up failing commercially, then they’re royally screwed.

    I didn’t back it (because I didn’t realize who Harebrained Schemes were) so I’ll be buying it once it’s out for sure.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. theevilaires

    @11 yea isn’t this from the same guys who made that? Or not it seems.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. livewired500

    @6 Since they are developing this game to run on tablets as well, I think your laptop should do just fine.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Gnosis

    @13: No, it’s not. But the X 360 servers are still online and running. And almost empty.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. naffgeek


    £10.36 seems to be the bargain of the century to me.

    I’ll definitely buy all the dlc if I like it just out of support if nothing else.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Cobra951

    @8: That was my impression too. If it’s fully funded (the only way Kickstarter funds) then expecting more money to be able to finish the job doesn’t sit well.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. rusty_shackleford

    I really want this game to come out, but WTF?

    They asked for 400,000 on kickstarter and got received OVER 1,800,000, over 4x what they asked for.

    AND they’ve gotten an unknown amount from preorders on their website.

    How on earth can they say they are broke?

    I hope this game doesn’t fail from a poor budget.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. The_Red

    Thanks for clarification. Still feel worried and kinda confused but If that was the intent (need for future buyers) and the final build looks as good as the recent vid, I’m also buying it.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. livewired500

    Shadowrun Returns on gamespot channel right now.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. YoungZer0;ShadowrunReturns;ShadowrunReturnsLive

    #21 2 years ago
  22. YoungZer0

    Is there player customization?

    #22 2 years ago

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