Harebrained Schemes is an American video game studio based in Seattle, Washington. It was co-founded in 2011 by FASA founder Jordan Weisman and Mitch Gitelman. Prior to founding Harebrained Schemes, Weisman and Gitelman worked together on the MechCommander and Crimson Skies franchises at FASA Interactive, and many of the games developed by HBS have been based on IP developed by Weisman at FASA such as Crimson Skies, Shadowrun and BattleTech.
In 2011, Weisman and Gitelman reunited to work on the mobile game Crimson: Steam Pirates, set in a universe strongly themed upon Crimson Skies, which became Harebrained Schemes' first game. The following year, the studio released a second mobile game, Strikefleet Omega. Both games were well received, but in 2012 Hairbrained would then embark revival of classic titles funded by nostalgia driven Kickstarter campaigns.
While curiously interested in Kickstarter as an alternate means of funding outside of the publisher system, the success of Broken Age in raising over US$3 million convinced Harebrained Schemes that it was a viable means of funding the kind of games they wished to produce. Also seeking to revive a now-niche game style that fans clamored for, the company first chose to produce Shadowrun Returns, a game in the same isometric style as the classic Super Nintendo Shadowrun game. The campaign was highly successful with Harebrained Schemes becoming only the third studio to raise $1 million on Kickstarter. Released in mid-2013, one of the campaign's stretch goals was a second city, which became the expansion campaign Shadowrun: Dragonfall. Dragonfall was released free to backers of Shadowrun Returns, and in September 2014 was re-released (still free to backers) as a stand-alone game, Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director's Cut.
The studio returned to Kickstarter to fund Shadowrun: Hong Kong in early 2015. Work on Shadowrun: Hong Kong had already begun using the studio's own funds by the time that the Kickstarter campaign was launched; the money raised through Kickstarter instead went towards expanding the amount of content that they would be able to put into the game, the campaign would go on to raise $1.2 million. In addition to its Shadowrun titles, Harebrained Schemes also funded the development of the board game Golem Arcana through Kickstarter. In 2014 the studio also announced that they were developing Necropolis, an action-roguelike set for release in 2016.
In early 2015 Harebrained Schemes discussed in interviews that that studio would soon start work on a game of another of Weisman's "children", many speculating that it would be a revival of BattleTech. In mid-2015 the studio announced that they were indeed preparing to hold a fourth Kickstarter to fund a new game in the BattleTech franchise to be titled merely BattleTech.
The Kickstarter campaign for BattleTech was launched on September 29, 2015. Like Shadowrun: Hong Kong, Harebrained Schemes already allocated $1 million funding for BattleTech, and the intention of the Kickstarter was to raise funds for additional features. The major goals for the Kickstarter were a single-player campaign if $1 million was raised, an expanded campaign if $1.85 million was raised, and multiplayer if $2.5 million was raised. The Kickstarter's initial goal was $250,000, which it reached in under an hour, with the campaign ultimately reaching $2.7 million.
- Crimson: Steam Pirates (2011)
- Strikefleet Omega (2012)
- Shadowrun Returns (2013)
- Shadowrun: Dragonfall (2014)
- Golem Arcana (2014)
- Shadowrun: Hong Kong (2015)
- Necropolis (2016)
- BattleTech (April 2018)
- ↑ Harebrained Schemes Hints At Another Classic IP Reboot, Could Be BattleTech Or Crimson Skies
- ↑ Harebrained Schemes hints at something new from an old franchise
- ↑ "BattleTech" Revived: Creator Returns With Kickstarter That's Already Hitting Goals For PC Release
- ↑ BattleTech Kickstarter begins, immediately secures funding for "stage 1"
- ↑ BATTLETECH - Tactical 'Mech Combat Returns to the PC