Why Nightdive Studios thinks remote game development is the future

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Game developers have left their offices behind and returned to where many of them started out—making games in their homes. It’s not been through choice, of course, but the pandemic has taught us that a lot of companies are capable of carrying on without making their employees work in a single location. 

It’s not been a big transformation for every company. Nightdive Studios, the developer behind the System Shock remake and a multitude of remasters, has always worked this way. While things may eventually return to some degree of normalcy, CEO Stephen Kick and business development director Larry Kuperman see working from home as a realistic model for future developers. 

Kick founded Nightdive in 2012 to bring System Shock 2 to modern PCs after acquiring the rights from an insurance company, of all things. From the outset, he tells me, it was a distributed company. 

Stephen Kick and Larry Kuperman (Image credit: Larry Kuperman)

“I just didn’t think to myself at the time, ‘Well, if there’s a pandemic and civil unrest and ecological disasters in 2020, we’ll be perfectly positioned.’ You know, it wasn’t part of the plan, but here we are. Among the many unexpected things that have happened this past year, Nightdive’s working model has become almost a universally accepted working model. Before 2020, that really wasn’t the case.”

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