Activision have finally indicated exactly what the role of the recently unveiled Sierra will be doing in an official press release that appears to have had a head-on collision with a truck transporting adjectives. In addition to releasing a new King’s Quest in 2015 — developed by The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom studio The Odd Gentlemen — and Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, Sierra’s long-term strategy going forward will be developing and promoting smaller, independent studios and titles.
King’s Quest was Sierra’s signature series with a wealth of point-and-click adventure game fans, and probably retains the most cultural cache with gamers today
despite Quest for Glory being the obviously superior series. The new game will apparently focus on King Graham’s tales to his granddaughter, Gwendolyn. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions follows on the success of its predecessors with supposedly offers features new to the series, such as 3D support and “cooperative and competitive multiplayer” (which I’m pretty sure was already available in Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2.).
In a less effusive interview with GameIndustry.biz, Bob Loya, Sierra’s senior director of external development, described what we can expect from the new publisher. “I think it is fair to point out that while Sierra is a part of Activision, the Sierra team operates somewhat separately from the rest of the other franchises,” he says, ” But as the digital business has continued to grow year over year, we’ve seen some amazing games coming from smaller studios, and Sierra’s goal is to help amplify these indie studio-created games by giving them the visibility they deserve.”
In response to whether Sierra will focus on their own properties or promising independent developers, Loya stated that both would receive attention. He was relatively coy as to how much financial support Sierra would provide, as well as the price comparison to Activision’s mainline titles such as Call of Duty and Destiny.
Ultimately, it’s an interesting tack for Activision to take and slightly disingenuous given their previous focus on a few mega-hits. There’s a lot of sarcastic commentary online about their new “triple-indie” strategy and the communication, but there’s value in a publisher working to include small to medium-sized video games in their portfolio, as I’ve written before.