Blade Runner Remastered Gets Indefinitely Delayed

Earlier this year we received the excellent news that the Blade Runner PC game, originally released in 1997, was set to get the remaster treatment, and, all going well, it would be ready for release by the end of this year. – Well, if you (like me) have been hugely looking forward to this, then I’m afraid I have some bad news.

Coming in a report via TechSpot, Nightdive Studios, the team behind the remaster, have confirmed that progression on the remaster has been a lot slower than they anticipated and, as such, the game has now been indefinitely delayed.

Blade Runner Remastered

One of the biggest issues surrounding the remaster is the fact that the original source code for the 1997 release has been lost for years. Seemingly vanishing at some point around when EA acquired Westwood Studios (the developer of the original game). Without this key piece of information, the ‘source code’ is having to be reverse engineered which is clearly not an ideal or quick solution. Rather annoyingly, however, the source code was actually successfully recovered (using reverse engineering) by people working on the ScummVM a couple of years ago. Albeit, due to legal reasons (and complications surrounding open-source projects) they can’t simply ‘give’ this away. – In other words, Nightdive Studios is having to do this for themselves.

There were, however, hopes earlier in the year when, during the creation of the Command & Conquer Remaster, a lot of previously lost code turned up at EA’s HQ. Sadly, however, it does not (at the time of writing) appear that any of this information was relevant to Blade Runner. More so though, it’s well known that the Blade Runner franchise has long resided in IP hell and, as such, even if it did turn up, EA may not be legally allowed to release it.

What Happens Now?

Well, the short answer is, we don’t know. With the project now being ‘indefinitely delayed’, while I do sincerely hope that Blade Runner Remastered does still happen, it’s ultimate fate is still more than a little unclear.

Another major issue is that when Blade Runner originally released back in 1997, while it was hugely praised by critics, it wasn’t exactly a huge success that sold in vast quantities. As such, Nightdive Studios is going to have to weigh up the time and resources required here to remaster a game that may ultimately end up doing fairly tepidly (again) with consumers.

I sincerely hope Blade Runner Remastered happens. And I am more than willing to be patient for this. Call me a cynic though, but something tells me that this indefinite delay may end up being permanent unless a break-through is made in the relatively near future.

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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