updated 03:40 pm EDT, Tue August 12, 2014
Teaser video turns ends up more than a rerelease of old titles, Sierra to be a publisher again
After some stirring on its website, and a new video popping up last week with a revived logo, adventure game studio and publisher Sierra is indeed witnessing a rebirth. At Gamescom, it was announced that new entries in the King's Quest series and a new Geometry Wars game would be handled by Sierra Entertainment.
Activision announced the change during the gaming conference, shedding light on the mysterious reappearance of the dead publisher. As it turns out, Sierra is going to act as an indie-studio incubator rather than delve back into full development. The first two titles that Sierra will churn out are Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions later this year, and a new King's Quest game in 2015.
While it said that the studio won't see a full revival as a developer, putting the publisher shoes back on gives up-and-coming developers a chance to work on some classic franchises. Working as a publishing division of Activision Blizzard, Sierra will lend support to indie studios in the way of public relations, distribution, first-party relations and development.
"Sierra's goal is to find and work with talented indie developers working on their own amazing projects, or who are 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," said Senior Director of External Development Bob Loya. "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."
Lucid Games will be developing the new Geometry Wars game, the first movement in the series since the mobile Geometry Wars Touch was released in 2010. Bizarre Creations, the dead UK studio that Lucid Studios spun out of, was the developer responsible for the previous games in the series. Eurogamer points out that Geometry Wars creator Stephen Cakebread has no involvement in the new title.
King's Quest is being handled off to a relatively new developer, The Odd Gentlemen. The studio recently released Wayward Manor, a game that gained notoriety in that it marks award-winning author Neil Gaiman's first endeavor in video games. The new King's Quest game is said to be a "fully re-imagined version of the fan-favorite Sierra game fit for both the old and new generation of King's Quest players." The Odd Gentlemen are bringing their unique art style to the series, but also taking a different approach on the story, as King Graham tells the tale of his adventures to his granddaughter.
Former CEO and founder of Sierra Ken Williams commented on the return of the name and the legacy of the games he created.
"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," said Williams. "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."