What is it?   Satellite Reign is a “real-time, class-based strategy game, set in an open world cyberpunk city” (source). It is not a sequel, but a spiritual successor to Syndicate and Syndicate Wars, which were published by Bullfrog in 1993 and 1996, respectively.

In the game, the player will control four agents from an isometric perspective. The gameplay includes combat as well as more stealthy elements like hacking, espionage and making use of propaganda. Unlike in Syndicate Wars, the isometric perspective is going to be fixed. There will be four agent classes: Support, Hacker, Soldier and Assassin. The game will also include aspects of base management, like equipping and upgrading agents and performing research. There will be no levels but instead one large city where the missions have to be discovered by the player.

The studio   The studio behind the game is the newly founded 5 Lives Studios, based in Brisbane, Australia. The team consists of Dean Ferguson, Chris Conte, Mitchell Clifford, Brent Waller and Mike Diskett. Mike Diskett is credited as a programmer on the original Syndicate and was the Game Director on Syndicate Wars. The composer Russell Shaw, who also worked on the Syndicate games, will be brought on to do music and audio design.

The funding   The game has been successfully funded on Kickstarter on July 29th 2013. Paypal-Pledging was still possible after the campaign through the Satellite Reign website, but has ended in July 2014. Three stretch goals have been reached during the Kickstarter campaign: Russell Shaw as the composer, Localisation/Translation to 6 major non-English languages, and Environmental Destruction.

Release date   The preproduction for the game has finished in early 2014 and it is currently in the production phase. It is expected to take ca. one and a half years to be made in total, with an estimated release date given on Kickstarter as December 2014. In an update in July 2014, the team announced that they are aiming for a Steam Early Access release by the end of the year 2014, with α- and β-releases before that.

Engine and Platforms   The game is being made using the Unity engine and will be released on Windows, Linux and Mac. Linux users should be aware that Unity’s Linux support is currently a “preview” and “work-in-progress” according to their webpage. There are currently no plans for a release on other platforms.

Distribution   The developers are targeting GOG and Steam, where the game is currently in the process of being upvoted (GOG) and greenlit (Steam). All backers will have the option of a DRM-free version. It is not known at this time whether any other publisher/distributor will be involved.