It’s safe to say that Nightdive’s initial release of Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition didn’t go so well. Delays aside, the game sported some questionable design decisions and technical issues. Not to mention that it was plagued with new bugs. So much so that Nightdive offered up the original version of Westwood’s classic point-and-click adventure for those who purchased the Enhanced Edition as compensation.
So why was the game released in such an unfinished state? In a recent interview with PCGamesN, Nightdive’s director of business development, Larry Kuperman, and Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition‘s lead producer, Dimitris Giannakis explain why.
It turns out that the game’s release was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s classic. “The responsibility for the ship date and, in retrospect, the failure to change the ship date resides 100% with me,” explains Kuperman. “The ship date was picked because it aligned with the 40th anniversary of the movie – that seemed that it would be something that would be a really cool thing to do for the fans.”
While the idea was a solid one, the fact that the Nightdive team was forced to pivot after members of its QA team had caught COVID-19, and coupled with Giannakis’ move across the country at the time, resulted in a “perfect storm” for Blade Runner.
“Anyone who knows me knows I have a strong personality,” says Kuperman. “Maybe Dimitris, if he’d been on board, would have been the one that said, ‘hey, we’re not ready.’ Maybe it was because of my personality, because of who I am, that nobody told us we weren’t ready.”
Complicating matters was the fact that Nightdive had to reverse-engineer Blade Runner in order to do a remaster, as Westwood’s original source code for the game couldn’t be located.
Nevertheless, Nightdive are working to get the game to where it was supposed to be at launch. The developer released a patch last month that fixes several of the bugs, and also detailed what the next patch will include.
Currently, you can pick up Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition on PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.