One of the biggest publishers during the 1980s and early to mid 1990s was Sierra Online. It may not seem like it, but alongside Sega, Nintendo, LucasArts and Electronic Arts, a name that carried a lot of weight (and a lot of games) with it was Sierra Online. They published games that ranged from Police Quest and Quest for Glory, to Space Quest and Hunter Hunted. They had pinball games, they had Leisure Suit Larry, they had King's Quest, Earthsiege, The Incredible Machine and lots more. If you wanted quality PC gaming, you bought Sierra games. Well, Sierra is making a return to form under the Activision publishing license and the subsidiary will be getting back to the basics and publishing games that made them famous in the first place.
It's amazing that we're seeing history repeat itself all over again, only this time there's a far clearer direction and heading for Sierra as opposed to its late 1990s position that basically tanked the company.
Ken Williams, the original founder of Sierra Online, commented about the news saying...
“We’re very proud of what we created all those years ago with Sierra Online, and today’s news about carrying Sierra forward as an indie-specific brand is very encouraging,” ... “We look forward to seeing Sierra’s independent spirit live on, and are especially excited to see what The Odd Gentlemen will do with King’s Quest.”
That's right, Roberta Williams' famed King's Quest is being remade under The Odd Gentlemen, the same folk that brought you the quirky silent film-esque platformer, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. The studio will be remaking King's Quest for today's gamer, designed to bring the mischief and allure of a grand adventure from the old-school to the new-school.
The cool part about it is that Sierra will now only focus on indie and mid-budget games. It's the part of Activision that will handle the all the smaller, indie games. This is something that could really help expand the portfolio of the company without shareholders always flipping out over non-AAA titles being made under the major labels such as Activision or Blizzard.
Bob Loya, Sr. Director of External Development commented about the news, saying...
“Sierra’s goal is to find and work with talented indie developers working on their own amazing projects, or passionate about working on great Sierra IP, and leverage our expertise to aid them in bring these fun and exciting experiences to gamers with the level of visibility and awareness they deserve,” ... “In addition to Lucid Games and The Odd Gentlemen, we’re in talks with a large number of other indie devs, and can’t wait to share more details with fans in the near future.”
This is definitely exciting news for gamers who have been itching to play more traditional point-and-click adventure titles without having to rely on all the typical AAA fanfare.
With the Steam platform rapidly expanding and offering PC gamers easy access to unique and different games. Before the original Sierra caved in, it was competing in a landscape that had to deal with growing piracy, a shrinking retail market and the exploding console market after Sony got into the game.
Steam offers Activision a nice alternative of steady revenue flow so long as the games are good and the audience can see that they exist. This should also help bring in additional gamers who have been craving something that wasn't a typical indie or AAA action title, but wanted to experience something more casual, but not too casual. But not only that, Activision will be using Sierra to also port indie and mid-budget titles to the PlayStation and Xbox consoles, too. So gamers from all over and on multiple platforms will get to experience the new titles.
It'll be interesting to see what the new King's Quest looks like, and I'm sure there are plenty of fans excited about Geometry Wars 3. You can learn more aboutt he new Sierra by visiting the official website.