In re-reading the interview I conducted with bluealien.org at GenCon, I realized that I made a comment regarding RedBrick's upcoming Equinox game that could be misinterpreted due to my poor wording. Such is the nature of interviews.
As I was trying to explain, some of the original ideas for Eclipse Phase started back when I was working as the line developer for Shadowrun, which is actually part of the same universe as Earthdawn. Both games were originally published by FASA Corporation. According to their shared cosmology, magic flows in and out of the world, and each magic-rich or magic-poor cycle is counted as a different age. Earthdawn represented the Fourth World, at the peak of its magic cycle, while Shadowrun represents the beginning of the Sixth World, when magic is just returning.
In Earthdawn, when the level of magic reached a certain point, it allowed creatures known as Horrors to enter the world from another dimension and wreak havoc, a time known as the Scourge. In Shadowrun, magic won't reach that level for centuries to come, but when it does, presumably the same thing would happen. Naturally, this leads to thoughts of a sci-fi setting during that time, when extra-dimensional monsters pop in to eat people -- who fight back with magic and high-tech.
The idea had some appeal, because it could potentially include characters from Shadowrun (or even from Earthdawn!) who were still living and allow for some fun interconnections. For various reasons -- the major one being that we didn't want to mess around with an IP property that we didn't own -- Brian and I took a different route that underwent various permutations over the years and eventually became Eclipse Phase. There are no links to those original ideas in the game anymore, other than sci-fi + horror -- it's just an anecdote about how the ball got rolling with us.
Quite naturally, RedBrick came up with a similar idea around the same time, but with a different approach, and they are pursuing it with their upcoming game Equinox. Earthdawn and Shadowrun are no longer owned by the same company, though, as they were split apart when FASA essentially closed down. Earthdawn is still owned by (what remains of) FASA, who license it to RedBrick. Shadowrun is owned by WizKids, however, who license it to Catalyst Game Labs.
RedBrick is working with FASA in their presentation of Equinox as the far future of the Earthdawn universe, known as the Eighth World. Even though Shadowrun is part of that same universe, however, RedBrick will presumably play it safe and not make any references to entities or events from that part of its history, so as to avoid any legal entanglements with WizKids (and this is what I referred to in my interview comments).
Anyway, I just wanted to clarify that situation, messy as it is. Equinox looks like it will be a fun game, and I'm looking forward to seeing what RedBrick does with it. And I really can't wait to see someone do an Eclipse Phase + Equinox + CthulhuTech hybrid game 🙂