Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition, an improved version of the point and click game that Nightdive Studios is working on, is no longer released this year. The game has been delayed until an unknown date, partly because of the source code and original assets are missing.
Stephen Kick, CEO of developer Nightdive Studios, says in an interview with Eurogamer that there are “obstacles that need to be overcome because of the old technique the game uses.” He also says that the search for the game’s original source code and assets has so far yielded nothing.
Blade Runner was released in 1997 and was made by Westwood. When EA took over that studio in 1998 and moved the office, the game’s source code was lost. During the development of the Command & Conquer remaster, old Westwood material has surfaced again. Kick is in contact with EA, but says he has not received a clear answer about the presence of Blade Runner source material. Although EA would have, the CEO expects that his studio probably won’t get it, for legal reasons.
It was already known that Nightdive Studios has to rebuild the game. The studio plans to make the new version in its own KEX engine. It was previously used for remasters of System Shock in Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. However, the interview shows that reverse engineering the code takes more time than expected. “It’s a time-consuming task that requires us to create special tools to extract the original assets,” says Kick.
In september the developer showed images from Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition, but that was a polished cinematic scene from the game. At the time, the studio said the remaster would be released in 2020, for the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. It is not yet known when the game will be released.
Introductory video of the Blade Runner game from 1997