T his particular issue of PC Gamer was published in December of 1999. For those wet behind the ears, or the uninitiated of gaming culture, Duke Nukem Forever was not released until May of 2011. Almost 12 years later. I was twelve when it was announced, and 12 more years gave way before it ever hit store shelves. By the time we got Duke Nukem Forever, I was 24 years old and working at a K-Mart in Beaverton, OR. I was too busy for games. To this day, I still haven't played Duke Nukem Forever.
Now, of course, you may be asking yourself why I would compare Nightdive's System Shock to that of Duke Nukem Forever, or any vaporware. Duke Nukem took a total of 15 years to release, and by that point, many people had given up hope of DNF ever seeing the light of day. Nightdive's System Shock remake has had many tumultous turns and there were some that, akin to DNF, began to think the worst of SSR. That is until now.
If you've studied any bit of economics, then you have, at best; a basic understanding of volatility and risk. The stock market is marred with both of these. Kickstarter campaigns are no different. Like Philip Fry in Futurama, you see something you like, something that captivates you, and you throw your money at it, anxiously awaiting the payoff.
Wherein lies the risk. not all trades on the NASDAQ/DOW are profitable, some even destroying trading companies overnight if the risk and volatility are not measured correctly. It's a huge gamble. So what's the simalarity with Kickstarters? Risk and volatility. Circumstances can change, companies may go over budget, lose too many employees or befall unfortunate circumstances. In the worst case, it was all an affront to begin with; and they pulled an elaborate pump-and-dump over their backers.
What Nightdive has going for them, is that while they have had some troubles, they have been honest about it, and have continued to provide the community with reliable evidence that the project is still ongoing and is making progress. In the latest turn of events, a playable alpha of the game has been released on Steam, along with pre-orders being authorized, which seems a promising step towards completion if a studio feels pre-orders are ready to be taken.