Nightdive Studios recently drew some ire from fans of the franchise after pushing aside a popular restoration project, Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition. The game was released on GOG and Steam earlier this week. The original came out on November 17, 1997.
Players can currently only access Fan Recovery after purchasing the remaster. This newer version of the game was released to rocky reviews, leading many people in the community to favor the fan restoration.
When asked about his reasons for only offering the fan restoration as an add-on to the remaster, GOG defended its decision, telling Eurogamer that “You get two versions of the game, the new one and the original one, for the same price as the original was previously sold.” The company noted that “the now delisted original version is not included as an add-on with the purchase of Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition, but will appear in your GOG library as a separate game and will continue to fully support both versions This will allow GOG users to choose which version of the game they want to play.” Steam hasn’t released a statement yet.
Fan recovery was built using an open source program called ScummVM. The tool is described as a “program that allows you to run certain classic graphical adventure and role-playing games, provided you already have their data files”. ScummVM has been used to restore a total of more than 250 games including numerous classics such as The Secret of Monkey Island, Broken Sword and Myst.
“Over a number of years, along with friends, I have lovingly reverse engineered Westwood’s Blade Runner for ScummVM, revived the game and helped GOG put the game back for sale,” pointed out a member of the restoration team, Thomas Fach-Pedersen, a few days ago : “For this we have asked and received nothing but the honor of work.” Fach-Pedersen added: “Unfortunately, it is now no longer possible to buy and play a digital copy of Blade Runner in ScummVM without paying Nightdive Studios money to send.”
The reaction from the players was extremely judgmental. “Nightdive, seeing these precious chinyen slip right through their fingers, decide to flat out steal the ScummVM version and bundle it with their version on Steam without anyone’s knowledge or permission. They are now capitalizing on the 10+ years of hard work that the ScummVM people have put into creating a decent remaster of Blade Runner,” said one player. “I really don’t understand how Nightdive managed to mess this up like this,” observed another gamer, noting that “the ScummVM version runs almost flawlessly on GOG. This version actually removed some content and somehow introduced new bugs and glitches.”
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