So it’s probably worth floating a few recent examples of remakes that haven’t gone over well.
Square-Enix put out a remake of Secret of Mana a little while ago. The reviews have not been kind. Then in a “hold my beer” moment, they topped that today with a surprise port of Chrono Trigger on Steam … that turned out to be a port of their incredibly ugly mobile version.
Square-Enix has been doing weird re-releases of their NES and SNES-era stuff forever, usually split between 2D and 3D remakes with no rhyme or reason as to why they chose one over the other. Some of their 2D remakes are considered to be the definitive versions of those games, thanks to improved mechanics and new content. However, their mobile ports are almost universally panned – and it’s the mobile stuff that’s being ported to other platforms now. (Yes, they’re so lazy that they’re literally porting a port.)
Nightdive, a studio famous for releasing remasters of System Shock 1 and 2 (and Harvester … which we will pretend never happened), Kickstarted a remake of System Shock 1 back in 2016 to the tune of 1.3 million dollars. Things have not gone well since.
The CEO’s statement makes it sound like the team were uncertain of the direction of the project, and ultimately hit pause because they felt they were betraying their backers. The Polygon article makes it clear that they actually blew through their entire KS budget, went to publishers for more money, and got rejected.
It’s worthwhile to take a step back, and ask exactly how is a team supposed to remake or reboot System Shock, with 2018-level production quality, on a budget of a little more than a million. I’m frankly not sure how that game even gets out of the wishful thinking phase, without a team like Arkane and the backing of a major publisher – and given Prey’s underperformance, it’s not that surprising that publishers refused to care.