So... what should Shadowitz really be about? Yeah, there's magic in a modern cyberpunk world gone wireless, and it needs good combat rules along with easy speed tracking and all that jazz, but none of that is what it's about. I remember reading Neuromancer only a few months ago and thinking how much Shadowrun wanted to be like this book, but shot well wide. Why? The why, the thing Shadowrun's missing is what I think Shadowitz should be about.
The game should be about characters living in a world populated in large part by mindless consumer drones drifting through a shallow pop culture that robs people of any individuality. The thing that keeps these characters separate and individual, however, is an inner demon that compels self-destructive behavior. Characters struggle between losing themselves to the wider world and the end their inner punk pushes them toward.
In a nutshell, I think that means the game is about struggling to maintain your identity through the use of an inner demon that might kill you. Everything else, the plethora of guns, the magic, the wireless matrix, the cyberware, the sorcery, the metahuman races, all of it, are irrelevant to the core of the game. All of that stuff is in there, and there will ultimately be rules for it, but first and foremost there must be a mechanical system that represents that core mission statement, and it must be at the forefront of the game. Shadowitz doesn't have that, and that's why it's a failure.