×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition Was A Disaster

Video game remakes and remasters certainly seem to be in vogue right now, but not every title gets the treatment it deserves. Ridley Scott's classic sci-fi noir film, "Blade Runner," recently reached its 40th anniversary, and to celebrate this, Nightdive Studios released an Enhanced Edition of the 1997 game of the same name. This makes perfect sense as the original version, a PC-exclusive point-and-click adventure made by Westwood Studios, is set in the same world as the film. It was generally well received, with a user score of 8.7 on Metacritic and is fondly remembered by many fans. Unfortunately, Nightdive Studios' remaster was not received nearly so well.

Fans were in an uproar when the Enhanced Edition was released. Not only was the game absolutely riddled with bugs, it also reportedly suffered blurred textures, wonky aspect ratios, and generally poor production quality. Many players who reviewed the game on Steam claimed that these numerous flaws were apparent within just the first few minutes of gameplay. It ultimately received a disastrous user score of 2.2 on Metacritic

So how did it go so wrong? Nightdive Studios' director of business development, Larry Kuperman, recently came forward with new information regarding the game's troubled production in a new interview.

Rushed development on a complex project

Speaking with PCGamesN, Kuperman opened by taking full ownership of the decision not to delay the game's release, in spite of it still being in an incomplete state. "The responsibility for the ship date and, in retrospect, the failure to change the ship date resides 100% with me," he said. "The ship date was picked because it aligned with the 40th anniversary of the movie." It makes sense that the team would want to tie into such a monumental date, but that still begs the question: Why was the game so far behind schedule?

Kuperman went on to explain that the project was a lot more complicated than anyone had originally anticipated. Nightdive Studios has a lot of experience remastering games and has generally been well regarded in the field. Unfortunately, it seems that "Blade Runner" was an entirely different animal. There was no usable source code available from the original game, forcing the team to essentially rebuild the title from scratch. Kuperman claimed that this process took the team thousands of hours, and the game's randomly-generated events also apparently made it difficult to quality test certain aspects of the game. The team faced additional complications when key members of Nightdive's staff had to recuperaate from Covid-19 during the final stages of production.

Nightdive has since issued a patch to fix several of the issues in the game, but fans are still feeling the sting of that botched launch.