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Sierra may be coming back (New KQ Game)

Max Wilco

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Okay, before my first post in this thread, I hadn't seen John Williams' comment. Clearly this isn't a Box Office Bust-like affair where the Williams' have been kept in the dark like Al Lowe was about that game, so colour me cautiously optimistic. In theory, I suppose that could pave the way for them contacting more of the old alumni to pick up their respective franchises again. But it's also a lot to hope for, so let's see.


I admittedly don't care that much for a new King's Quest, but it's a good way to start out if they're interested in catering to nostalgia. What I'd really like to see is some of the non-Quest games hitting GOG and Steam.

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By the way, check the very bottom of this for some exciting gibberish: http://www.sierra.com/etc/designs/atvi/sierra/scripts/main.js


I was surprised how much emotional impact that logo has. They better be careful how they use it.


EDIT: Oh wow... https://twitter.com/geoffkeighley/status/497872149403930624


King's Quest is cool, but I kinda like the other quest thing they did more...
the one with the guy in space and there's jokes and everything.
Roger somebody. And he has a broom or a mop or whatever.
You know the one I mean.
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You know what would be amazing? If this was legit and their KS campaign actually succeeds purely because of people who pledged $1 only to tell Activision how much they suck in the comment section. :D

They might become the biggest KS just because of that. And the best thing would be that they wouldn't have to actually deliver a thing for the backers.

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I wish them well, and there's a good chance I'll pick up the upcoming King's Quest game if it looks interesting.


But then again, I'm optimistic and see a higher chance of fan-service down the road if we actually try to support them. Some just see a higher chance of us fans being screwed over (again). Still, the world is a different place now, given stuff like social media. One could hope that this Sierra will be trying to listen to their audience, which is something Ken Williams' Sierra could only really do at the very end of the original run.


EDIT: They seem to be focusing on working with indie developers in their statements. That's promising, I think; the Guys are technically indie...

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If we're being technical, this could potentially find a LOT of Sierra's old designers operating under the Sierra banner again--albeit in a much different way than in the '90s.


Sierra's focus now is indie games and developers. Well, the Two Guys are Indie developers. Jane Jensen is an indie developer. Al Lowe has worked with indie people in the past few years--The Paul Trowe Experience. Really, if the old Sierra guys want it, we could potentially see things like SpaceVenture and the Gabriel Knight remake come out as Sierra games. I think that would honestly depend on the alumni wanting to work with Sierra, rather than the other way around; They'd be a perfect fit for the Sierra of today.


Then you factor in companies like Phoenix Online and Infamous Quests--indie developers who are small, digitally focused and greatly inspired by Sierra's past. I could definitely see them developing games which are published under the Sierra label down the line, if they are interested in that.


We'll never get the Sierra empire we had back in the 1990s, with an office in Oakhurst focused on adventure games. I don't think Sierra will grow to be one of the leaders of the industry that they were in the '90s. But that's OK, because it's a different world, and being so big is what led to Sierra falling so hard. And the Sierra of yesterday--with it's twenty different subsidiaries all over the globe, the way it was managed, couldn't work today even if it was tried. That's not a knock on Ken Williams--The gaming industry is just very different than what it was in 1996. 


This Sierra could become an empire of a different kind, though--a small empire with 'provinces' of indie developers. It's a new world. I could see them being a direct rival to TellTale...Who are basically the LucasArts of today.


This is a new Sierra, for a new era, with acknowledgements to the past and a look forward to the future. They're not the same company we grew up with--but they're a reborn company with a lot of potential to have success in this digital age.


I say we give them a chance.

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I do hope Sierra does a new SQ game. Done right, it could be a massive hit, actually.


Look at Guardians of the Galaxy. That film is VERY SQ in spirit--yes it was based on comics,


But let's see:

Loser-ish underdog hero, interesting worlds, having to save the galaxy. Sort of a parody of the Han Solos of the world, but more of an average Joe. Sounds like our Rog.

Funny plotline, humor, pokes at the sci fi genre and the '80s in general

A soundtrack of Rock N' Roll songs from the 1970s and early 1980s--Hello, SQIII Soundtrack, anyone?


And it's proving to be a big hit. A new SQ game, if marketed correctly, which would have to be a bit different from the original games--similar to Incinerations perhaps--could be a hit even among non-Sierra fans. SQ has that sci fi thing which is big now, and is just good fun--something missing in a lot of mediums. That's why Guardians of the Galaxy is a hit--it's given cinema a fun ride that we've been missing for a while.


We're basically in the late '70s or early '80s again. A new world of games is opening before us, a fun, goofy sci fi film is a summer hit giving the world a reprieve from the dark and gritty, realistic films of earlier in the decade. And this little company called Sierra is starting up and making a game called King's Quest.....Different yes in many ways, promising just the same.

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The official press release:



Sierra Is Back!!!

The New Sierra Launches with an Exclusive Focus on Indie Game Development

The Epic Return of King’s Quest and Geometry Wars3: Dimensions
Headline the List of New, Fan-Favorite Titles Planned to Launch Under the Sierra Brand


August 12, 2014 11:31 AM Eastern Daylight Time

KÖLN, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With a renowned history that’s served as the origin for many nostalgic video game characters, worlds and experiences, Sierra™ continues on today in a return to form that fans of great games will love. A part of Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), Sierra’s focus is on indie studios developing innovative, edgy and graphically unique games, including new IPs and contemporary reimaginings of beloved Sierra classics. Headlining Sierra’s slate of indie games is an all-new King’s Quest™experience in 2015, and a new Geometry Wars™ game planned to launch this holiday season. Additionally, the Sierrateam is well underway exploring other indie projects to potentially launch later this year, and in 2015 and beyond.

“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.”

In development by the beloved and quirky studio The Odd Gentlemen (The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom), King’s Quest is a fully reimagined version of the fan-favorite Sierra game fit for both the old and new generation of King’s Quest players. Huge fans of the original King’s Quest series, The Odd Gentlemen are crafting a charming new adventure with an awe-inspiring art style, engaging puzzles, and a wondrous interactive narrative brimming with humor. In the new story, King Graham – revered as the greatest adventurer to ever live – shares his life’s adventures with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn. It is through these tales that Gwendolyn discovers the true greatness of her grandfather. King’s Quest is expected to make its heralded return in 2015.

Today’s news about the future of Sierra was met with excitement from its original founder, Ken Williams. “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.”

Sierra began in 1979 with a single 8-bit Apple II microcomputer, and founders Roberta and Ken Williams’ love for storytelling and new technology that drove a revolution in the adventure game genre, and forever changed the industry. Today, a new wave of independent artists and entrepreneurs are using the same inventive attitude and latest tech to create amazing gaming experiences, and that’s where Sierra comes into play. With the popularity of digital platforms like Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Steam, the new Sierra will cater to the unique needs of each indie studio, ranging from aiding in game development and first party relations, to PR, marketing and digital/retail distribution. Sierra will help foster today’s talent to create amazing video games as it has so many times before.

“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,” said Bob Loya, Sr. Director of External Development. “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.”

The first title set to launch under Sierra is Geometry Wars3: Dimensions from the team at Lucid Games. Geometry Wars3: Dimensions is an exciting new evolution of the fast-paced, frenetic Geometry Wars gameplay fans love, and will introduce full 3D action and both cooperative and competitive multiplayer for the first time in the franchise. In addition to a full single-player campaign with 50 unique challenges and over 10 battle modes – five of which are brand new to the series – Geometry Wars3: Dimensions features dynamic and persistent progression, offering players a consistently new experience each time they play. Geometry Wars3: Dimensions is planned to launch later this year.

“Thanks to Sierra, we’re planning to release Geometry Wars3: Dimensions on more platforms than ever before,” said Pete Wallace, Studio Head, Lucid Games. “We’re thrilled to work with the indie team at Sierra to bring the next generation of Geo Wars gameplay to our passionate and loyal fans, and look forward to seeing you all online!”

For the latest information on Sierra, including additional details on King’s Quest and Geometry Wars3: Dimensions, be sure to check out the official Sierra website at www.sierra.com.

About Sierra

Developer-lead and player-focused, Sierra publishes highly curated titles that embody best-in-class efforts from indie developers. From providing development funding and deep first-party relations to marketing and retail distribution, Sierra caters to the individual needs of each indie studio. Sierra will primarily publish on digital distribution platforms including Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Steam for PC.

About Activision Publishing, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, mainland China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activision.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about Sierra and the expected launch dates for Geometry Wars3: Dimensions, King’s Quest and other potential indie projects are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

ACTIVISION, SIERRA, KING’S QUEST and GEOMETRY WARS are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

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the Activision subsidiary will not focus only on rereleasing Sierra classics


So, they'll rerelease the old stuff? That's good news!


The plan is to have it do that while also forging deals with “edgy” independent developers



I guess regular indie devs just don't cut it in this day and age.


the company notes it will release its software on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam



Jane Jensen was apparently able to convince Activision to release GK20 there, and I sincerely hope that this will become their standard M.O. when it comes to releasing new titles under the Sierra brand.



edit: Missed out on the press release Mop Jockey posted. Sounds intriguing, but all this industry buzztalk of "edgy", "contemporary reimaginings" is kind of odd. Still, way better news than I anticipated. My initial hope still stands that the Coles and TGA will get in touch with the people at NuSierra/Activision posthaste to work something out.

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Let's just say this is Sierra. Not 'nuSierra' or anything. Let's just say Sierra took a hiatus after sucking and came back to a return to form. 


By 1997, 1998, the business model Sierra was operating under was not realistic. Unless they'd continued to become a monolith like Activision is, it wouldn't have worked, even if they'd remained independent. And the fact is, in the mid-late '90s, many of Sierra's new IPs--with exceptions in SWAT, Gabriel Knight, NASCAR, Print Artist, and Half Life--simply weren't as good or iconic as Diablo, Quake, Call of Duty etc.


But now KQ has the chance to be an iconic title again, if in a more niche market. 


This is certainly much different than the Vivendi era--where Sierra was raped every single year. I think good things await.

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Yeah, this is great news! I'm only vaguely cautious in my optimism... The "indie focus," re-release mumbo-jumbo, and the new KQ are all very exciting.


The only downside I can envision is that gog.com re-releases tend to be better-supported and better-maintained than big company re-releases. I wouldn't be surprised if an Activision Steam release of the SQ collection lacked the original documentation, etc. -- all the good stuff that gog.com includes in every one of their releases.

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Colour me interested. Broadly speaking, I've lost a lot of my enthusiasm for the old Sierra titles, so a fresh start of sorts is not necessarily a bad thing in my eyes. I'll refrain from passing judgement one way or the other, simply because we don't really have any real information about what's going on. Anyone who follows or enjoys video games understands that it's a golden age of hype and bullshit right now, and to get excited over a press release is a recipe for tears. So while I don't expect to necessarily see this amount to much more than a failed experiment, I would certainly like to hear what the folks in charge have in mind.

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Serena posted somewhere on facebook that people like the Andromedans or Josh Mandel are completely out of the loop as far as the new Sierra is concerned. That and the fact that Activision apparently didn't approach indie devs like Blackthorne - you know, people who are held in high esteem among the community and who actually have a history of working on Sierra(-related) titles - doesn't bode too well.

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Today is a great day in the history of The Odd Gentlemen.  We are ecstatic to announce that we are working on a new King’s Quest game. We are huge King’s Quest fans, and personally, it is my favorite game series of all time.

I grew up playing the games at my Uncle’s house, and still remember the joy of discovering you could type in “eat carrot,” and Graham would actually respond.  The day when I solved the Cliffs of Logic before my Uncle did was an accomplishment I’m still proud of today.  These games were brimming with wonder, humor, engaging puzzles, and delightful gameplay all wrapped up in a charming story for players of all ages to explore.  We are proud to continue this tradition in a new and fully reimagined King’s Quest.
In the new story King Graham – revered as the greatest adventurer to ever live - shares his life’s adventures with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn. It is through these tales that Gwendolyn discovers the true greatness of her grandfather.




The Odd Gentlemen's art style seems pretty nice from what I've seen, though usually pretty "flat"

rather than anything that looks like a KQ.

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This just in: Sierra's New King's Quest™ Won't Be A Point-And-Click Adventure













Maybe they just meant that they'll go with a parser interface instead. :D


edit: First comment on that article is comedy gold:


Dont mind if they change things around. Just stay true to the series. Thats what made kings quest great.
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