The Word of the Day is. . . Information!

Here we go…

This update is full of information about Backer Rewards, distribution plans, pre-orders, and more. No sexy behind the scenes look at how we’re making the game this time. Just good, clean process. This is important stuff (like deadlines) that everyone needs to know, so make sure you read it!

How long do I have to pre-order the Collector’s Edition of the game?

The last chance to get the Shadowrun Returns Collector’s Edition is Sunday, April 28th, 2013. Please tell your friends! (More on pre-orders later.)

When can I give you my information for my Backer Rewards?

We are happy to announce that the Harebrained Account Website is now open for business! It’s not pretty but it’ll get the job done! Starting today, Backers will begin to receive emails from us (as you’re imported into the system) containing a link to the website and a password. If you haven’t heard from us by Friday, April 12th, drop us a line at (Preorder folk will receive separate emails later.)

If you’re a Backer, please log in as soon as possible to enter your mailing address and (based on your Backer Level) upload your picture for your DocWagon card, tell us which shirt and size you want, and all the other information we’ll need to get you your much-deserved rewards.

IMPORTANT: In order to get your rewards on time, you must log in and fill in your information by Monday, April 22nd, 2013. Otherwise, your rewards may be left out of the shipment, get shipped to the wrong address or other, more heinous horrors.

When do I get my rewards?

  • Your DIGITAL rewards (the game, the editor, the wallpaper, special ability, the soundtrack, the short story anthology PDF, etc) will all be available on the Harebrained Account Website on launch day.

  • Your PHYSICAL rewards (the t-shirts, the DocWagon cards, the hardcover short story anthology, the USB dog tags, the deluxe box edition (which contains a bunch of stuff), will ship about 3 weeks after launch day. (We’ll explain why below.)

  • People who pre-ordered the Shadowrun Returns Deluxe and Collector’s Editions will get their digital and physical goodies in the same timeframe as above. (And will download their digital goodies from the Harebrained Account Website too.)

  • Early access to the Shadowrun Returns EDITOR will be available to eligible Backers at the end of April.

  • Backers eligible to have their photo turned into an NPC or CUSTOM PC have already been contacted and work has already begun!

Here’s some examples!


Why do I have to wait until after the game releases to get my physical rewards?

First, picking, packing, and shipping your physical rewards is an expensive proposition. If we send out physical rewards in more than one batch, the cost will be prohibitively expensive (like twice as much!). That would be a considerable percentage of our total budget and that money could go into the game. Our focus is (and always will be) on using the funding you’ve generously provided to make Shadowrun Returns great. So we’re doing one big shipment of all physical rewards at the same time.

Second, in order to press the discs containing the game and the soundtrack, the game and the soundtrack actually have to be done! So, because we’re shipping everything in one batch and because we can’t press discs until the game is done, the physical rewards will ship about 3 weeks after the game is released.

Unfortunately, this also means we can’t put the game and other stuff on the USB Dog Tags as we said we would during the Kickstarter. If we did, we’d first have to wait for the game to be done, then we’d have to wait for the manufacturing of the flash drives, and then wait again for them to arrive from China, adding at least a month to the wait.

On the plus side, we’ve already received and approved functional prototypes of the dog tags, so we know they’re going to be awesome. (If you were at Emerald City Comic Con or SXSW, you got a chance to see them yourselves.)


And here’s a picture of the Doc Wagon card.


When will the game be released?

Shadowrun Returns will release in June.

How will I download the game when it’s released?

After a lot of prototyping and research, we decided that our best delivery option for OSX/Windows/Linux is to go the route that great games (like Skyrim!) have taken and embrace Steam and the Steam Workshop. Steam allows us to provide up-to-date downloads and patching along with a vibrant ecosystem for developing community-created content and file sharing.

So, we’re happy to announce that all Backers will receive a Steam Key for the game and will be able to contribute and browse community-created content using Steam Workshop.

We realize that for some of you, releasing on Steam isn’t your first choice but there are a lot of really great things we get from this decision that allow us to focus on the game rather than on making things like backend servers to deploy and manage shared content. From the start, we’ve had to make practical decisions like this one to ensure we get the most out of the support you’ve given us. We consider this to be the best option for everyone.

Now, that may prompt the question, “What about DRM-free?” To honor our original promise of a DRM-free version of the game, the Harebrained Account Website will also contain a downloadable version of Shadowrun Returns that does not include Steam integration. While this version will include the Seattle story (and Berlin, via a one-time update), without Steam integration, it will be unable to browse and play community-created stories from within the game. Any future DLC will only be available through Steam.

Will people be able to pre-order the game on Steam?

Yes. Pre-orders for Shadowrun Returns and the Shadowrun Returns Deluxe Edition will be available on Steam Monday, April 29th 2013. Again, the last chance to pre-order the Collectors Edition or get the pre-order discounts on is Sunday, April 28th 2013. Please spread the word.

When do I get the Linux version of the game?

As we said during the Kickstarter, we will release the Linux version in a reasonable timeframe after launch. We’ve done a few test builds in house but there are a fair number of issues remaining to be fixed. Rather than delay the entire release of the game to everyone, we’re going to focus on the non-Linux platforms first as they have the most support and are the furthest along in development.

What about the iOS and Android tablet versions of the game?

Tablet versions of Shadowrun Returns are not part of any Backer reward levels and will be available for purchase from the Apple and Android App Stores. Tablet versions will not include the Editor or have the ability to browse and play community-created content. We hope to bundle and add the best community-created content to the tablet versions of the game in the future.

What about the German, French, and Italian versions of the game?

We plan to release translated versions of the game around the same time as the Linux version.

What sort of DLC can we expect?

Here’s what we’re planning to make available for paid download after launch:

  • Berlin Campaign (new campaigns also allow you to build with an expanded set of tiles)

  • Map Packs (new terrain tiles and props for you to use in your own campaigns)

  • All New Shadowrun Stories (created by HBS)

  • Additional Outfits and Portraits for your character

Now to be clear, our Backers and Collector’s Edition Pre-orderers will get the Berlin Campaign at no charge. Any DLC developed after launch will require payment.

Do I have to pay for Community Created Content?

Stories created by the community will be available through Steam Workshop at no charge. However, if you download a story created with optional DLC (such as Berlin) that you don’t have yet, you’ll need to purchase that DLC before you play it.

What type of modding support will there be?

While we have not spent a lot of time creating hooks for modding in the core game code, we’re confident that clever Shadowrun GMs will manage to do some amazing and creative things that we haven’t even dreamed of yet! We don’t plan on getting in your way but we also don’t have the resources to officially support a modding community beyond what the Editor is able to create (which is already a lot – it’s powerful and flexible).

So that’s a big ol’ info dump! (Hmm, could be a cool band name – Info Dump.)

If you have questions, please send them to


72 Responses to “The Word of the Day is. . . Information!”

  1. Sharna
    April 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Only discouragement is the look of the dog tags – I was greatly hoping for the tribal ‘S’ on the USB to be on the full tag itself, as was indicated during the kickstarter. Maybe it’s on the flip side?
    Everything else looks like it’s coming along wonderfully, and I really like the looks of the NPC portraits – I’m sure those backers will be quite happy!

  2. Risingsun
    April 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I pre-ordered the game. Will I have access to a DRM-Free version as well? I pre-ordered thinking that it would be DRM-free.

    • Risingsun
      April 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

      Also, Will pre-order customers be able to change their shipping address? By the time the dog tags ship I wont be anywhere near the address I entered when I ordered in january.

  3. Quizmaster
    April 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Your answer is in the text:

    Now, that may prompt the question, “What about DRM-free?” To honor our original promise of a DRM-free version of the game, the Harebrained Account Website will also contain a downloadable version of Shadowrun Returns that does not include Steam integration. While this version will include the Seattle story (and Berlin, via a one-time update), without Steam integration, it will be unable to browse and play community-created stories from within the game. Any future DLC will only be available through Steam.[/quote]

    I guess the thing is that once you start to play without steam and new updates come out so you decide to go to steam, all your progress will be lost, desu ne?

    MAybe you will be the ones that get me to steam eventually…

  4. Quizmaster
    April 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    read the thing, my friend…

    If you’re a Backer, please log in as soon as possible to enter your mailing address and (based on your Backer Level) upload your picture for your DocWagon card, tell us which shirt and size you want, and all the other information we’ll need to get you your much-deserved rewards.

  5. Robin
    April 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Hey Everyone,

    We want you to know that the team is reading your comments (intently) and we’re compiling a FAQ that we’ll put in another update on Friday. That will allow time for more questions and comments to bubble up and give everyone one place they can easily go for the answers.

    Thanks for the patience while we put the FAQ together. We appreciate it.


  6. McDougle
    April 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    “We don’t plan on getting in your way” I´ll take that as “our files won´t be encrypted or hidden away in strange containers”. 😛
    *lucky chap if this really turns out true*

  7. Bill
    April 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    I pre-ordered the collector’s edition. though the collectors edition isn’t available on steam will we be getting a compatible version for steam? The standard or deluxe maybe? I really wanted this game mostly for the mod aspects and DLC and would actually prefer to have a steam version.

  8. Babaganoosh13
    April 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Will there be anything done to keep us from creating a different community, to allow those of us with DRM-free versions from sharing stories.

    As in, you aren’t going to remove features that will not allow us to make local saves, so we can upload them to different site to share, and download others to load into ours, are you?

  9. Babaganoosh13
    April 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Oh, and how about letting the Steam community to upload/download to/from it too.

  10. John
    April 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    I’m confused a little bit. Just pre-ordering the game itself, with the game being run through Steam, is it a digital download, or is there an actual game disc?

    Also, with the Steam issue, does that mean that I need to have two versions of the game installed? A Steam version and a DRM free version? Sorry, I’m not up to date on all the tech lingo for these things.

    • Bill
      April 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

      people who pre-ordered standard and Deluxe will get a DRM free version but can also get a steam key for their game. But basically only the steam version will be updated and get the community features.

      The game itself is a digital download you can get from their website when it comes out or a disc if you were one of the backers that got the boxed edition on the kickstarter. I really hope that collectors edition people will get some kind of steam version, really if they plan to go full steam workshop I’d prefer they just give me steam keys to the game. Steam really isn’t as confining to me as other DRM and I’m ok with it… but eh, the future will tell.

  11. Huscurian
    April 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm #


    Definitely looking forward to all of this! It’s too bad I’m not a backer but it would have been awesome! There is no doubt I’m putting toward the Collector’s Edition before the end of April! :)

    Thank you, HBS, for designing this game! Really looking forward to it!

  12. JIB
    April 9, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    I am very disappointed in your decision to make full access to the game and DLC after Berlin Steam exclusive. This is unlikely to stop me from buying future Shadowrun Games and DLC, but if you sell your game DRM-free I will buy every game and DLC you make day 1 and I will probably even buy any Collectors Editions for any future games, if you keep your games and DLC Steam exclusives I will buy it for $5-$10 when it goes on sale, like I do with all Steam exclusives. I understand that developing a Steam and a DRM-free version of the game is expensive, but I am not the only one who only buys Steam exclusives on sale so you may be loosing more money than you save. Also realize that many people will not back a Steam excursive Kickstarter so this decision may negatively effect any future attempt to fund your projects.

  13. RavenXavier
    April 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    I pre-ordered last week. So far the only conformation I’ve gotten is a charge on my credit card and a pay-pal Transaction ID# . How and when can we tie this to our accounts so you know who has paid for the pre-order?

  14. Robin
    April 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    RavenXavier –
    We’ll be sending out account information for pre-orders after April 28 when pre-orders through the HBS website are closed. At this point, you should have received a paypal confirmation, like you have, so it looks like you’re all good!

  15. RavenXavier
    April 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Thank you, Robin :) . I’ll be keeping an eye on my email then. Much appreciated.

  16. Brent
    April 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    I took the opportunity to boost my pledge last month to the level at which I get my portrait included as an NPC. I see on today’s update that the portraits are already being worked on, but I still haven’t been contacted for my photo. I haven’t been forgotten, have I?

  17. Robin
    April 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I’m so glad you said something – I’ve been looking for you! I sent two different emails – one on 3/20 and the second on 4/1 – but didn’t hear anything back. Please email me at and we can get it figured out. Thanks!

  18. SpiritWolf448
    April 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    Mh. :-/
    Colour me a tad surprised and felling let down a bit in regards to the whole Steam thing.

    I don’t know the internals at HBS or how Steam integration works on a code level, but would it really have been too difficult/expensive to partner up with GoG (for example) and let them handle the DRM free distribution? Patches, DLC packs etc. could easily be distributed via them as well.

    And as for community and sharing of stories/missions, I bet something akin to the Nexus series of modding sites would have been a plausible way to go for sharing content between players.

    It could have worked like this: content created by players gets exported from the editor to an archive of some sort (example: Never_deal_with_an_Exec.Version0823d.7z) , which could then have been distributed via such a fansite as aforementioned Nexus, and people who downloaded it would just have to drop that to a specific directory (example …/Shadowrun Returns/Content/Custom ) from which the game automatically reads it.
    But as said, that’s what I thought how it could have worked.
    Guess not. Too bad.

    I’ll be straight up and honest here. If I had known this back when I pledged, you can bet I would have gone with a way lesser tier, not the 250$ one. *shrugs*

    But okay, your show, your rules, chummers. And lesson learned. Don’t let nostalgia blind you.

  19. Moj
    April 9, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Are those the pre-order or backer dogtags?, they were supposed to be different weren’t they?.. and it would be pretty shoddy if you just turned around and sold items that were supposed to be backer only… You haven’t just done that have you?

  20. llothos
    April 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    When will the steam keys be giving out? It won’t hurt to give us prior to launch so they are activated.

  21. Adauli
    April 9, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    I also find it bad that the DRM free version complet left out from the player created content and future expansions.
    With the many DRM free stores we have by now GoG, Humble Store or Desura just to name a vew its suprising to still see such strong bounds to steam.
    But its you buisiness decision to never be able to sell the DLCs to people like me.

  22. Daniel
    April 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Will pre-order people be able to access only the extra goodies from your site or will they also get a DRM-free copy of the game from there?
    I quote:
    “People who pre-ordered the Shadowrun Returns Deluxe and Collector’s Editions will get their digital and physical goodies in the same timeframe as above. (And will download their digital goodies from the Harebrained Account Website too.)”
    It has no mention of the game itself, which is instead mentioned only in the “rewards” bullet point related to (I assume) backers only.

    I must join my voice to the crowd and say that while Steam only is, after all, understandable, making the game updates and DLCs Steam exclusive is a bit of a sad point for me. There are great distribution services out there that deal with DRM-free multi-platform games, in particular Humble Bundle (which on top of their bundles also offer a store front – see for example FTL-Faster Than Light). I’d love to see SRR come to one of those other distributors as well (also taking into consideration at least one DRM-free that includes a Linux version), or at the least to see it completely supported by you on your site seeing as it will be downloadable there as well for Backers (where with completely supported I mean updates, DLCs and the possibility for everyone to buy it DRM-free). It would also be quite interesting to know if, in case you’ll actually change your stance, pre-orders and backers will have the option to choose one of those DRM-free distributors instead of Steam or if they’ll be stuck with it and will have to purchase a second copy of the game on their preferred store.

    As for a reason some people dislike Steam, please see this post:
    I think it explains fairly well the situation and why a DRM-free option would be a great choice for those of us who actually *wants* you to have our money for your product, but aren’t happy with being forced on those kind of systems.


    • Daniel
      April 10, 2013 at 10:15 am #

      Given the huge backlash this update caused (mostly on Kickstarter) I felt the need to clarify my position a little, in the hopes HBS will read it.
      I stand by what I wrote in my previous comment, of course, but I think it’s important to underline how the issue isn’t in using Steam, rather it’s in using Steam as an exclusive.
      One can’t not recognize Steam is a great distribution service and many people actually likes it, so it’s a very good choice to make use of it. However, as with everything else, giving the possibility of choosing which services to use and where to purchase a game is in my opinion rather important and should always be present. The ideal setup would of course include as many distributors as possible, but appreciating the difficulties and costs that that solution would bring another possible way could be pairing a service like Steam (DRM, cloud saving, social options) with a multi-platform DRM-free “plain” store. This would give the option to choose between two very different services at the least, if not one’s personal preferred distributor – will it be DRM and extra services, or DRM-free without cloud saving/etcetera?

      I of course left out the current option of a DRM-free copy downloadable from HBS’ own site as it appears to be crippled at best (possibly no updates, possibly no user generated content, no DLCs) and unusable at the worst (if it won’t receive updates and will be found to be bugged). Please note the “appears to be”. Anyway, I expect some clarifications about this option will be given in this Friday’s update.

      TL;DR version is: choice is important. Steam is fine as long as there are other multi-platform DRM-free choices. I have nothing personal against Steam but I’d very much prefer using DRM-free distributors as I’ve had several problems with DRM-protected, lawfully purchased products already – one of them purchased on Steam, as well (in this case issues were minor, but I was unable to play the title several times due to Steam procedures and protections).
      In addition to choice by principle and troubles DRM in general can give, the link I posted in my previous comment shows another reason why choice would be welcome.


  23. MotorM
    April 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    I am very disapointed that you decide to sell the future DLC only via Steam.
    i pre orderd the Game because of DRM free and the Mod Support , i dont use Steam and i dont want to in the future. So now Players left out from created content and expansions. Players that supported you from the Beginning and told others about the Game to support it.
    Well its your decision i rather spend my Money on GoG:com then for any DLC that you put out on Steam exclusive. And i will tell everyone to do the same thing ….

  24. Wang
    April 9, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    Hello. I’m a backer.

    Just wanted to say that I’m surprised. I didn’t really care that HBS was exploring how to distribute SRR; in fact I saw that as a good way to get SRR to as many people as possible.

    But (and I think it’s a large but) HBS had said, in videos and in emails, that they were intending to release SRR through *multiple* distribution platforms. I know 2 is a multiple (Steam & HBS website), but still..

    The other thing, which in my mind is a way bigger issue, is that community-created campaigns will *only* be available to those who use the Steam version. I think a great many people will want to know why you’re caging your canary, when all it wants to be is free.

    The line I’m referring to is from the most recent email, #49: “While this version will include the Seattle story (and Berlin, via a one-time update), without Steam integration, it will be unable to browse and play community-created stories from within the game.” (to paraphrase – All your base are belong to Steam. You have no chance to create & share, make your time. Ha ha ha)

    Please listen to the words of Sting: free free, set them free! Thanks for reading.

  25. Eli
    April 10, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    I for one welcome our steam SRR masters.

    I know that there are other ways to handle updates, DLCs, mods and such, but as a not-so-techy guy I find the steam updates, workshop, etc much more convenient that I’m willing to forget my DRM grudge this time.

  26. Eli
    April 10, 2013 at 12:55 am #

    And as a backer I totally support HBS to spend as less time as possible on non-game issues (and I hope that you all agree that non-DRM is nice but not a “main feature” of the game).

    We have waited years for this game. Steam can have my soul for this one.

  27. Michal
    April 10, 2013 at 2:09 am #

    I (almost) never write comments, but I have to speak up this time. I am super disappointed, to be honest (I feel a bit cheated, actually) by your decision in basically locking the modding community into Steam cage. I’m sure modding will *not* thrive as much as if everything was set free.

  28. Stormbride
    April 10, 2013 at 2:32 am #

    I have a steam account but I’m not really happy about the Steam decision either.
    Especially after reading that article.

    Why not use Desura? It is made for indie developers.

    On another point, for some reason the links for the pictures won’t open for me.

  29. Manuel
    April 10, 2013 at 3:00 am #

    120 % ACK with Michal here.

    Please use some other platform like Desura!


  30. ET3D
    April 10, 2013 at 3:36 am #

    I think that you should at least treat the DRM-free version the same way you treat the tablet version, i.e., sell it (preferably at GOG, perhaps at a reduced price due to lack of functionality) and update it with good community creations, as promised for the tablets. If the DRM-free game sells decently, you’ll have an incentive to provide DLC for it.

    I can understand the technical reason to concentrate on Steam, but I think it’s a mistake to make that the only version, especially when you already plan a non-Steam version for mobile.

  31. Gillian Seed
    April 10, 2013 at 3:46 am #

    “What about the German, French, and Italian versions of the game?”

    What about spanish language? :-/

    • Ordek
      April 11, 2013 at 1:56 am #

      Yes, what about spanish language????.

  32. Yves
    April 10, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    I have also let my enthusiasm for DRM free stuff blind me and preordered. Didn’t anticipate being treated as a second-class citizen.

  33. Mark
    April 10, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    I find it hilarious that so many are complaining about Steam. Do any of you think that the other options available will not eventually have some sort of DRM? GoG, for example, will almost inevitably have to enact some sort of DRM if they want access to more AAA titles. Otherwise they will never rise above the level they are at now.

    Not to mention the fact that Steam has pretty much singlehandedly saved PC gaming from extinction AND provided huge amounts of support for indie gaming. Maybe some of you don’t recall but there was a period when PC games were basically going the way of the Dodo, except for the Sims and WoW. Having a service like Steam has made it feasible for companies to release titles on PC that may have ended up console only.

    That being said, Harebrained should simply offer to refund the donations of those who feel they cannot stand the thought of playing the game on Steam. It shouldn’t be that big of an amount and the profits rolling in from pre-orders should easily cover it. Then they can play whatever cool games they want from GoG, Humble, or Desura without troubling themselves over possibly being sullied by Steam.

    • Bless
      April 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      “Harebrained should simply offer to refund the donations of those who feel they cannot stand the thought of playing the game on Steam.”

      I second that. If HBS stated from the very beginning of Kickstarter campaign requirement of Steam for playing user made content and future DLC, I wouldn’t back Shadowrun Returns.

  34. Al
    April 10, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Being required to open a DRM client if you want to get the full experience of SRR deviates from the DRM-free promise which was made. I’d really urge you to take another look at true DRM free distribution again. I have nothing but respect for the Steam service but it’s not something feel I should be forced to use to play the full game.

    I appreciate resources are finite and additional money spent on distribution is money taken away from the game – DRM free distribution would be a real positive aspect of SRR.

    @ Mark, no-one is disputing the success of Steam, however GoG is doing pretty well for itself and alongside this they have the respect of pretty much all of their users. This is due to their integrity and the fact that they really do appear to care for the gamers rather than just for profits. Distribution through GoG lends credence to the developer for not simply choosing an easy option and truly wanting to be DRM free.

  35. Alpha
    April 10, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Where should i login for my backer rewards ? and where should i upload my DocWagon Pic ?

  36. Alm
    April 10, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    I’m a Linux user. I won’t be given the editor at all. I don’t want “Steam” no matter what. I guess my disappointment is understandable. Well, as it was said earlier: it is your show and your choise (I could add remark about dropping MacOS X as well as WINDOWS is waaaaaaaaay more support and no doubt is the most further in development, but I won’t). Other than that: well, I didn’t invest that much so I’m fairly content with this as long as it will not turn into another “Epic Games and Unreal Tournament 3 for Linux” story. After all, Epic also said that they make Linux version “in reasonable amount of time.” In other words: “Good luck, Harebrained Schemes! And we are watching you.”

  37. Domy
    April 10, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    I’m upset with the information that you have posted in this update concerning, of course, Steam. I’m willing to wait until Friday to see a more detailed answer on this issue, which has already generated a lot of comments, mostly negative.

    Since you say that you intently listen to what we have to say, I have a few concerns/questions:

    1. If I get the non-Steam version, will I be able to get future patches for my (already named “crippled”) version ? I absolutely hate what Skyrim has done with their patches (updates), don’t make the same mistake. They’re not even protected If that is a concern, as soon as their update is on Steam, it’s also promptly cracked.

    2. There should be an alternative way to share mods within the community. Nexus mods is already very popular, I don’t think there would be any problem to have a Shadowrun Nexus for user-created content. Skyrim has it. Of course, this implies there is a way to manually install mods.

    3. If future DLC is distributed “only through Steam”, what happens to user-mods that use assets from those “exclusive” updates?

    I realize that you don’t have the resources for your own servers, but please follow the example of other prominent kickstarter projects and work out a deal with GOG, at least.

  38. PartyMarty710
    April 10, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    We have waited so long for this game. Please enjoy the Steam support and trust that HBS knows exactly what they’re doing. Don’t let you pride get in the way of enjoying an incredible game coming our way. This is our beginning.

    • Bill
      April 10, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      That’s all well in good, but like I said I have a concern for those with the collectors edition. on another page it says the Collectors edition isn’t transferable and that’s some major bullshit. so I hope they change this. a person that paid more than regular orders shouldn’t be treated like second class citizens.

      Otherwise I have no problem with steam. I can see exactly how it would help them with the game. But people that paid for the game, all the people that paid for the game have the right to the full benefits of its release.

  39. COFzDeep
    April 10, 2013 at 9:55 am #


    I’m a backer. I backed SRR because
    a) the Shadowrun Universe is totally awesome and
    b) a nice RPG/strategic combat game (something like Jagged Alliance) is something I’m always longing for, since I already spent too many hours playing Jagged Alliance 2 😉

    I can somehow understand that people are concerned about Steam, and I think you should ry to make DLCs and updates somehow accessable for the DRM free version. But I also want to say – I love Steam, and I can totally understand why you choose Steam to distribute your game. So – I don’t want to be refunded, I just want the best SRR possible. And spending more money on the game and less money on the distribution is totally fine with me :) But as I said – I can understand chummers that don’t like Steam (although – come on guys, it’s really not that bad. Give it a try… there are so many nice and cheap games in there… :)).

    So, of course I’m looking forward to the game. And I hope you get this DRM/update/DLC thing settled and everybody stays calm and is happy in the end :)

  40. sadpanda
    April 10, 2013 at 11:16 am #


    If I must go through steam I need some questions answered. Is it a one time download/check then I can play offline? This is important because if it requires steam/internet connection every time I’m not buying..

    I travel on the sea and internet isn’t something I constantly have. Again..if its “connect to steam to update/get dlc then never need connect again to play” I can deal… NEEDS TO RUN OFFLINE WHENEVER I WANT TO PLAY..go to steam for new stuff/content downloads OK.

  41. Bryan
    April 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Wow, this is pretty lame. You have just gone and watered down your whole DRM-free promise! :( If you want me to buy any of the future DLC, then it must be DRM free just like the game.

  42. Crip
    April 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Sometimes I think I’m the only one who really has no problem with Steam. I understand the people that feel “Any DRM is too much DRM,” but I’ve never run into issues with Steam. I get that it makes things a LOT easier for the developer to maintain and with the Workshop, mod-sharing is also infinitely easier.

    • ET3D
      April 11, 2013 at 2:47 am #

      Most people are perfectly fine with Steam. However it’s only natural to expect that those who aren’t will be pretty vocal given the decision made.

  43. Robin
    April 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Hey Everyone,

    This is posted up above but we want to make sure that you know that we’re compiling a FAQ that we’ll put in another update on Friday. We want to be sure to address the many issues that have come up.

    Thanks for the patience while we put the FAQ together. We appreciate it.


  44. Tilly
    April 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    Soo… if I pre-ordered the standard edition, I’ll be able to get DRM-free version of the core game? And the ability to buy the Berlin expansion pack later, DRM-free?

    Well -_- that will have to be enough.

    If you can find a DRM-free distributor, that’d be great. If not, I’ll be fine so long as there aren’t major bugs in the game on launch day (that can’t be patched DRM-free?) — ‘cuz I’m afraid I won’t touch Steam with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole. :c

  45. Drizzt
    April 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    I must say, I’m really surprised by the Steam-only move. The game was promoted as DRM-free and while Steam is probably the least-annoying DRM available, it’s still DRM (no, a DRM-free download without access to patches and other promised core-features is not a fulfilment of the promise). Even as one of those who suggested Steam (Greenlight) as another sales-channel. I do have a Steam account (thanks to HL2 and Portal), but I thought HBS would be going with something like the Humble Widget or a custom solution. I’m especially surprised, since the engine (Moai) has a feature called “Moai Direct Services” built in, which would offer content distribution and such too (only thing missing might have been a Workshop equivalent).

    Anyway, personally I can live with the Steam solution. But it’d would have been better, if you said, that this was a serious option earlier on. Preferably during the campaign. This just leads to people not going to back future projects of yours (I know I won’t, at least not on the level I backed SRR on) because the trust has been broken (which is basically your most important asset, if you want to do any kind of campaign on Kickstarter or similar services).

  46. RenegadeHavoc
    April 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    I’m thinking of ordering the collector’s ed – I’m currently living in the States but my paypal account is based in another country. Will I be able to get it sent to my current address as well as avoid the 10$ surcharge for out-of-country delivery?

  47. Gustovness
    April 11, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I’m very upset that we won’t be able to play user created stories on the tablet version. This will destroy the replay value of the game on that platform. Was it REALLY that much of a technical limitation? I understand that maybe the editor would be too much to ask for, but the missions? Really?

    I really hope you guys at least patch this later on down the road. This was a huge let down. Everything seemed to be coming along so great and you had promised seamless transitioning from tablet to pc and back… Come on, figure something out so we can play custom missions on the tablets, please! That’s what I’m REALLY looking forward to with SR:R!

  48. Gustovness
    April 11, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    I feel your pain, although probably not as deeply as you do! I do feel a bit “cheated” especially with the whole not being able to play custom stories on tablets, but from the attitude that I’ve seen HBS show us up through today, I feel that we at least owe them a bit of decency. They’ve shown that they’ve cared about our opinions and I hardly think anyone is trying to give us the finger. Just express your discontent at today’s announcements like I did. No need to bash them and threaten them with never giving them your business again…

    • Shevek
      April 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      How would the US government judge HBS’s actions?

      “The FTC looks at both “express” and “implied” claims. An express claim is literally made in the ad. For example, “ABC Mouthwash prevents colds” is an express claim that the product will prevent colds. An implied claim is one made indirectly or by inference. “ABC Mouthwash kills the germs that cause colds” contains an implied claim that the product will prevent colds. Although the ad doesn’t literally say that the product prevents colds, it would be reasonable for a consumer to conclude from the statement “kills the germs that cause colds” that the product will prevent colds. Under the law, advertisers must have proof to back up express and implied claims that consumers take from an ad.

      The FTC looks at what the ad does not say – that is, if the failure to include information leaves consumers with a misimpression about the product. For example, if a company advertised a collection of books, the ad would be deceptive if it did not disclose that consumers actually would receive abridged versions of the books.”

      You say they are not giving us the finger? Think about, what did they imply when they said there would be a DRM-free solution? They never said it would be inferior did they? No, they failed to include key information about their product AND they allowed customers to hold true false implications. Our money was taken in good faith and yet the product we are being sold is not given to us in that same spirit.

      This is wrong. I am not sure how HBS can come out with all of this and expect their customers to simply accept it. I demand a refund. HBS has yet to return my email.

  49. Robin
    April 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Hi, Gustovness –

    The issue with community created stories on tablets is that the Apple and Android stores are very reluctant to allow unmoderated content into their stores. It is not a technical issue on our end.

    In order to make UGC available, we will need to carefully select any content that is made available to their customers and then bundle it so it can be for sale in the store. We are hoping to be able to do this.

    • Gustovness
      April 12, 2013 at 11:22 am #


      Thank you for your reply. However, I’m wondering why you can’t distribute the client through the marketplace/store and then download the missions via a website? I DL’ed my SNES emulator for my tablet through the store and get all my ROMs via my tablet’s web browser. I don’t see the technical limitations that you guys are claiming.

  50. Terry
    April 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    I too have a question as to why it’s an either/or situation with DRM/community participation. I also, was under the impression that it was to be DRM free with community support, not DRM free OR community support. this for seems kinda… ironic for the entire form of Shadowrun, in that a franchise based on the free flow of information and fighting “the man” is using DRM :p

    Aside from that, I do believe that those working on this project deserve every bit of rewards that they sow. I was just wondering why the move to DRM in the first place? Surely there are other ways to distribute user content other than steam (SimCity 4/The Sims, Skyrim/Morrowind, Freelancer comes to mind at the moment). Other than that, I believe that SR:R will be a good game and hopefully last a long time. Been a while since a good game has come out that I am really looking forward to.

  51. Stratos
    April 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I am playing Shadowrun for about 20 years now.When i heard about Shadowrun Returns i nearly cried. All those years waiting and waiting for this to be done.i have about 250 sourcebooks of all Editions ….Creating my own Runs with the Editor…OMG…Wonderful…
    And now some People are complaining about Steam?????You must be joking guys….this couldnt be true….Come on….i will create an unforgettable Epic Run for all those “No Steam ” guys.

    I love you all……Chummers

    • Gustovness
      April 12, 2013 at 11:24 am #


      The problem that I, for one, have, is that the DRM/Steam issues won’t let me play SR:R custom missions (like yours) on my tablet!

  52. Veav
    April 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    I have no problems with Steam – love it, big fan, spend way too much on the sales. Steam Workshop is perfectly fine as a repository and delivery system for mods/levels that can be found elsewhere.

    That said: the update implies mods/levels will ONLY be implemented this way; no directory drops, no command-line arguments, no unpackers/repackers. This is troubling in several ways. It cuts out segments of the gaming community, it hamstrings group/forked projects, it gives the Workshop editorial control, it prevents being able to internally distribute things among friends, and (most of all to me) it’s blatantly disingenuous to pretend that going through the Workshop requires cutting out other methods of distribution. I’m REALLY hoping tomorrow’s update clarifies this; I could see this just being poorly worded, saying that community content is available directly through an in-game browser via the Workshop, but can still be enjoyed on the DRM-free version via more manual methods. I hope that’s the case.

    The update also states future DLC will only be available through Steam. Steam-exclusive bits are one thing (TF2 hats and GlaDOS tile art, I’m sure), and even a particular city/portrait/story pack TBD, sure. I don’t like it, I don’t like Gamestop exclusives vs Amazon exclusives vs Steam-direct exclusives either but I get where it’s coming from. Whatevs. But… ALL future DLC, again, is troubling. No “after an exclusive period”, no “to be packaged together in a larger expansion”, just a complete lockout? If Steam is demanding this, say so, and take the fallout.

    NWN did fine with hefty expansion packs, but these days, I have to also worry about being nickel-and-dimed with a constant stream of petty bits and pieces – especially with the admission that community content will lock you out unless you own it. (“This project file requires STEAM-EXCLUSIVE CONTENT #74! Please insert $1.99 to play!”) It would be the DRM of a thousand cuts.

    This all feels like concessions were made to the great god of commerce, like the LAST Shadowrun game. We crowdfunded this thing to circumvent that. But as above… I want to be wrong about all this! It could just be a big ball of badly-phrased infodump and Friday will set everyone’s fears to rest. Looking forward to that.

  53. Gears
    April 12, 2013 at 1:53 am #

    Hi people,

    I’ve been watching the argument here for some time now and somehow it feels that everyone is jumping to the same conclusions: The game will become a steam only game with no possibility to play user generated content.
    But the article can also tell us another story if we look for it.

    […]While this version will include the Seattle story (and Berlin, via a one-time update), without Steam integration, it will be unable to browse and play community-created stories from >>within the game.<< […]

    I read this in a way that there will be no ingame-browser/installer for UGC and you will have to install it 'the hard way' by putting the files in the right directories.

    I hope that it will be this way, but I'll wait for the FAQ to prove me right or wrong.

    Cheers Folks

  54. Stavras
    April 12, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    Awesome! I love you guys =)

  55. Broken_Lynx
    April 13, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    What the complainers are missing is that steam is a quick, easy and very efficient means by which someone can easily distribute.

    By using Steam Harebrained gets a ready made distribution network, without steam they would still have to use someone or something as a means to distribute the game. In the past that meant going through one of the large game producers. Steam has actually made it possible for small producers (not necessarily in this case) to get their stuff out.

    As for DRM at least steam’s version is stable and tends not to destroy everything else on a system. If it is an evil it is small and necessary one. It could be a lot worse, I have seem at least two single player games in recent years that require one to log on to server just to play your game.

    As for distributing content, without some sort or central repository it becomes a nightmare, bits and pieces end up on forums and source pages and so forth. One week a file is available, next week it is gone and then it comes back and so forth.

    It is easy to complain but the distribution of software is a very difficult logistical hurdle and this what I think is probably the best of the options.

    I have steam games that also have user generated content that did not come via steam so I fail to see how that would be such a big hurdle either.

  56. Broken_Lynx
    April 13, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    Sorry missed something, the comment […]While this version will include the Seattle story (and Berlin, via a one-time update), without Steam integration, it will be unable to browse and play community-created stories from >>within the game.<< […] means that if you want to play something created with the tiles/game elements that are a part of the Berlin update you will need the update. This is no different that any other game ever made and is only logical.

  57. Grindir
    April 14, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    I am disappointed to learn that I´ll be getting steam-version, when I pre-ordered the game. I was preoredering it it specifically for that purpose – to get DRM-free verison of the game + to support you guys :(

    I´d trade the steam-version for the DRM-free version any time.

  58. Daniel
    April 16, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    I love that the little story blurb on the preorder page mentions organs implying that organleggers may be involved in the story.
    This excites me because organlegging doesn’t really seem like much of a thing in the 2070’s shadowrun universe, which bums me out. Organleggers to me get my creative juices flowing for shadowrun story ideas.

  59. Piper
    April 26, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    What’s DRM actually? 😀

  60. Maxx
    April 28, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Yeah, was all excited for the game. Now that I see I have to use Steam. I’m not even ever going to play it. Way to mess it up guys…