Shadowrun Returns

A long time ago, the SEGA Genesis version of Shadowrun introduced me to the Sixth World. A few weeks later, my pay for babysitting my young nephew was a copy of Shadowrun, Second Edition. Good games, bad games, fandom, fanzines, being published, working for the publishers, and the 20th Anniversary Edition all followed. My nephew is nineteen years old now. The Sixth World has been dear to my heart for a long time.

I wouldn’t be here, doing what I do, without Shadowrun. As I once said to Jim Nelson: “I blame you.”

And now, Shadowrun is returning to the computer/video gaming world, with Shadowrun Returns from Jordan Weismann’s Harebrained Schemes. And I’d be remiss to say that this is really, really awesome. In just over a day, the Kickstarter project has been fully-funded, and it will surely go much higher with 23 days to go.

Harebrained’s approach is interesting: they’re rolling back the setting to 2050 and moving on from there. On an initial level, that kind of hurts—my work on Shadowrun appears to be in no way integrated into what they want to do. But on logical reflection, I’m fine with that. I think rolling back the world to 2050 gives Harebrained tons of room to tell stories that weave in-and-out of the existing metaplot that Shadowrun fans are familiar with. And on the personal side, I fell in love with that 2053 datajacks-and-rockers Shadowrun, so playing through a computer game set in it appeals to my tastes as well. I know I have some fresh stories to tell in the setting.

A fresh start for a game in a completely different medium sounds like a good move to me. Keep it familiar to old fans and accessible to new ones, and take the best of the existing canon material while sliding the rest under the rug.

What great news for Shadowrun fans, and what an amazing show of support by them!


  1. I was/am part of the ShadowRun community on LiveJournal, when I saw the link for this and the name it reminded me of that community. I haven’t checked it in forever. How goes it man?

  2. Seeing news yesterday that this was a possibility blew me away, and I was very excited to check earlier today and see that they had funded. Great to see how big a crowd I’m amongst for wanting this to become real!

  3. I’m excited about this, both because of what it means for Shadowrun but also because of what it means for similar crowdfunded ideas. I also felt the little tinge of initial sadness that none of the material I worked on would be part of this, but I would have made the same decision on setting it at Shadowrun’s roots. I’m not really surprised at how successful the Kickstarter campaign has been; Shadowrun has a really deep fanbase, especially the traditional, old-school Shadowrun that has a nostalgic place in a lot of people’s hearts.

  4. I almost didn’t learn about this, but am so glad I did. It will be so good gaming SR in its first IC decade again. Bug City, The Laughing Man, Captain Chaos, etc. Also, I’m sure working with the decker’s matrix is a lot easier for the designers than trying to work AR into the 3rd person iso view they’re going to use.

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