Activision Might Be Looking to Bring Back the Sierra Brand

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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Plants vs. Zombie’s Garden Warfare Expansion To Be Released In February

Electronic Arts and Popcap have announced the release date for Garden Warfare, the first expansion for the Plants Vs. Zombies franchise. The Xbox One and Xbox 360 version have their date set on February 18th in North America while Europe will have it on February 21st. The PC version date has not yet been announced, but rest assure as it will be released, however at a later date.

The Frostbite powered third person shooter themed around the Plants Vs. Zombies franchise is going to be offered at the budget price of $39.99 (US) / €39.99 (EU)/ &pound39.99 (UK) on the Xbox One and $29.99 / €29.99 / £29.99 on the Xbox 360. For the extra $10 / €10 / £10 Xbox One players will get two additional modes including a split screen local co-op and boss mode in which players can use Kinect or a Microsoft SmartGlass compatible device to support their teammates using a Battlefield 4 like commander mode.

A lot of changes have been made in Garden Warfare, taking a slightly different approach from the traditional Plants Vs. Zombies games, but it just might be fun enough to become pretty popular. From the limited amount we have seen of the game, it does seem to look like a lot of fun.

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NVIDIA Shield Update To Bring Android 4.3, Console Mode And Gamestream Support

NVIDIA promised that we’d see big upgrades to its Shield gaming system today, and it’s delivering them in spades. A just-launched Android 4.3 update introduces Console Mode. Hook up your Shield to your HDTV, after which you can connect to the device using a Bluetooth enabled controller and lie back in your couch while you enjoy a console-like gaming experience. NVIDIA supplies a button mapping utility that adds hardware controls to games which expect touch input.

The release also takes Gamestream out of beta, providing official PC-to-Shield streaming for more than 50 titles. A few interface-level tweaks come with the new OS, including actionable notifications, restricted profiles and the option of moving app files to an SD card. The update should be rolling out now, but gamers who don’t yet have a Shield now have an extra incentive to pick one up.

If that is not enough for you, NVIDIA is lopping $100 off the system’s price as part of a bundle that includes a GeForce GTX graphics card as well as copies of Assassin’s Creed 4, Batman: Arkham Origins and Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

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CD Projekt Red To Celebrate 6 Years Of Geralt While Amazon Posts Witcher III Release Date

Six years have gone past since Geralt has first seen the first light of gaming in the first Witcher game. It has sold six million copies all around the world and the numbers just keep going up.

What we know is that the upcoming game entitled Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt has no official release date from development at this time, but it appears that Amazon has a pre-order page stating the game will “deploy” somewhere around the 30th of September, 2014. This is just a rumor however and should be taken with a grain of salt, however fans can check out the infographic below to see some of the stats which the franchise finalised so far.

In terms of graphics, the studio aims to have a similar visual experience in every case and as of yet did not have to sacrifice anything for consoles, but at the same time it confirmed a close working relationship with NVIDIA. While the consoles are based on AMD solutions, some effects may be reserved for PCs with GeForce cards.Even so, if the stats and video news are not to your liking, maybe a trailer will help. Enjoy!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0i88t0Kacs[/youtube]

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Image and video courtesy of TechPowerUp