Activision might be looking to go into the adventure games market and is apparently trying to attract a much ‘older’ audience with a well-known brand. This is why Activision has hinted that it might be bringing back Sierra.
Sierra was first founded under the name of On-Line Systems before it was split into Sierra On-Line and Sierra Entertainment, ran by Ken and Roberta Williams. The company had some well-known adventure games released back in the 80’s and 90’s, having its first creations be basic graphical adventure games for Apple systems using simple-color line-art graphics.
The company is said to have been widely known for its point-and-click King’s Quest franchise, followed by Space Quest, Police Quest, Quest of Glory and, of course, the Leisure Suit Larry series. The highly successful Gabriel Knight franchise was launched in 1990, along with the not-so-popular Freddy Pharkas title.
In 1996, Sierra was bought for $1.5 billion by CUC International, having split the company into three and then six units. It then became the publisher of Valve’s Half-Life, back when Valve was not publishing its own titles, but financial trouble at CUC (Cedant at present) back in 1998 emerged a scandal from which Sierra had to struggle.
After shutting down the majority of its studios and cutting down 250 jobs in 1999, the company released the last title from the Gabriel Knight series, Gabriel Knight 3. Poor sales of the latter title meant another 135 jobs cut with more following the team-up with Vivendi Universal. The brand was relaunched in 2005 with an online games focus, but was closed down again in 2008 when Vivendi Games joined Activision.
Everyone though that Activision would try to sell the Sierra brand, but recent news and a new website indicate that the Sierra brand is going to be revived. Judging by the video and message, Sierra will still remain a trademark belonging to Activision, but it indicates that the revived brand will have its own titles published under the Sierra name.
The video also seems to indicate that more will be revealed at Gamescom next week. Information is scarce at the moment, but most gamers who have experienced Sierra-themed titles in the past would be eagerly awaiting more information.
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