Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition launched this week to a very negative response, and the community developers who brought the game to modern PCs for free are unhappy to be replaced.
“For a number of years, along with friends, I lovingly reverse-engineered Westwood’s Blade Runner for ScummVM, reviving the game and helping GOG get it back on sale,” developer Thomas Fach-Pedersen said on Twitter (opens in a new tab). “For this we asked for nothing and received nothing other than the honor of the work.”
Nightdive Studios’ Enhanced Edition has taken over the GOG listing for Westwood’s 1997 classic Blade Runner adventure. The original version through ScummVM is still available as part of purchase for the same price, but Fach-Pedersen disputes that it’s “merely an attachment to someone else’s mediocre paid product.”
ScummVM is not an emulator, but from a gamer’s perspective it works the same way, allowing you to play classic games on modern hardware. Its support for Blade Runner was the result of a difficult community development process, and with the poor quality of the Enhanced Edition, it remains the only true remaster-style experience for the game today.
PC Gamer People (opens in a new tab) have a longer breakdown of what’s wrong with Enhanced Edition, but the list starts with messy visuals and bugs that disrupt gameplay. to correct (opens in a new tab).
The GOG Shop (opens in a new tab) is currently the only place to legally acquire the original version of Blade Runner. (The Enhanced Edition Steam version doesn’t include the original.) But to do that now, you have to buy a remaster that you might not want.
For its part, GOG defended the decision to merge the two games into a single package, telling Eurogamer (opens in a new tab) that “the decision to handle the release on GOG in this way, in what we believe will provide the greatest value for fans of this game, was made with input from multiple parties”.
Some Sonic Origins devs are also upset on how their remastering work was handled.