The ritual is complete. Sinew gristle muscle fat slither and wrap around the blackened bones of Sierra. Blood skin hair. Its mouth opens and teeth pierce bone as they rise, a tongue unrolling from the back of the throat. “Gaaammesss,” it hisses. “Video gaaames.” Jelly congeals into eyes which flick around, taking in the year 2014. “I-inn independent gaaamesss!”
As expected, Activision have resurrected Sierra in the sense that they’ve dusted off the revered name to use it for a new part of their business. The new Sierra will be Activision’s indie publishing label, kicking things off with Geometry Wars 3 and a new King’s Quest game.
Sierravision don’t specifically mention PC releases for these, but the announcement is peppered with talk of how Steam is great and how they’ll release games all over the place.
The new entry in comedy fantasy adventure series King’s Quest is being made by Winterbottom and Wayward Manor chaps The Odd Gentlemen, as was rumoured. It’s due next year. “In the new story, King Graham – revered as the greatest adventurer to ever live – shares his life’s adventures with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn,” sez the announcement. “It is through these tales that Gwendolyn discovers the true greatness of her grandfather.”
Geometry Wars3: Dimensions, meanwhile, is being developed by Lucid Games, one of the many studios formed by folks from Bizarre Creations after Activision closed the Geometry Wars and Blur studio in 2011. Geometry Wars creator Stephen Cakebread says he’s not involved, mind.
As the name might suggest, it’s taking the arena shooter series into fancy 3D. It’ll also bring online competitive and cooperative multiplayer, loads of new modes, and some sort of “dynamic and persistent progression”, whatever that means, to keep it changing. It’s due later this year.
These two make a fairly solid start. Activision also hint that more old Sierra series might return. Come on, new Phantasmagoria! Or a new SWAT might be quite nice.
Here, have a comment from Sierra co-founder Ken Williams (long since retired from video games):
“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.”
Activision came to own the Sierra brand and all its bits and pieces when it merged with Vivendi to form Activision Blizzard in 2008.