A mysterious countdown has seemingly revealed System Shock 3, a new instalment in the legendary FPS franchise being developed by some of the team behind the highly praised second game.

1999 saw the release of System Shock 2, a groundbreaking FPS that is today largely overlooked in favour of its spiritual successor, BioShock. However, there’s good news for fans of the original game, as it seems that a sequel is in the works at Otherside Entertainment.

This news comes from a mysterious countdown on the studio’s website set to expire in five days, at which point users have discovered that it will be replaced by a simple logo for System Shock 3. At present, there’s no other information being offered, but we can piece together some of the project’s backstory for ourselves.

Otherside Entertainment was founded last year by Paul Neurath, who formed the studio to produce a crowdfunded follow-up to PC classic Ultima Underworld. Neurath also assembled the development team responsible for the original game and System Shock 2, the now-legendary Looking Glass Studios.

As such, it seems likely that System Shock 3 will be Otherside Entertainment’s next order of business after Underworld Ascendant is completed. Given the crowdfunding success of that title, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the prospect System Shock continuation also hit Kickstarter ahead of release.

HD Remasters - System Shock

It’s safe to say that System Shock 2 is one of the most influential video games of all time, even if it’s rarely given the proper credit for the fact. BioShock is the game most would associate with its legacy, but there are plenty of other examples, particularly where the genres of horror and sci-fi intersect.

The character of GLaDOS in Portal owes a significant debt to the antagonistic AI SHODAN, who is often mentioned among the very best villains in all of gaming. Meanwhile, EA’s smash hit Dead Space is thought to have started out as an attempt at developing System Shock 3 in its earliest development history.

Fans will no doubt be excited to see what Otherside Entertainment can come up with for this unexpected sequel. While there’s long been demand for a third game in the series, it always seemed unlikely that the project would come to fruition — much like Shenmue 3 or a remake of Final Fantasy VII.

However, as we’re seeing more and more often, there are no impossible projects in the world of video games — so long as there’s a paying audience waiting in the wings. Hopefully, System Shock 3 will turn out to be more than a mere cash grab, and manage to uphold the reputation of a much-loved classic.