While Kickstarter has breathed new life into more than one dead video game franchise, there are so many more that still lie dormant, waiting for the creators of the past to raise up and give them the rebirth they so richly deserve. Al Lowe already brought back one Sierra franchise with last year’s Leisure Suit Larry HD remastering project, but the company’s other storied adventures like King’s Quest and Space Quest, remain out of fans’ reach. There is at least a taste to be had of those classics, though. Composer Ken Allen opened a Kickstarter campaign this week to make a new album of songs from his work on classic Sierra games.
“What was once music created for vintage era PC sound cards and synth modules will now be freshly recorded for full orchestra with the same sound libraries used by today’s film and TV composers,” says Allen of his Sierra games music album Under the Half Dome, “The album will feature a lot of work based on pieces I did for Sierra’s games, like Space Quest, King’s Quest, Oliswell, Dr. Brain, and more, and I’ll add some of my favorite tracks from other games not published by Sierra.”
There are some pricey, but desirable bonuses for generous backers of the project. Donating $1000 to the $10,000 goal, for example, will net you your very own song written by Allen.
While the Sierra games of old aren’t getting resurrected via Kickstarter—most of those properties are owned now by Activision Blizzard—the creators of those games are revisiting many of those themes. Ken Allen’s new project links to last year’s successful Kickstarter campaign for SpaceVenture by Two Guys From Andromeda. The two guys in question are Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy, the original creators of the Space Quest series that worked alongside Allen back in the early ‘90s.
Since the average retail game budget is around $20 million, it’s not surprising that huge publishers like Activision still view the mere hundreds of thousands raised by Kickstarter campaigns, like those from Allen and Two Guys From Andromeda, as something that can be ignored. Those campaigns do prove that there’s an audience for these old Sierra games, though, and Activision should at least consider licensing the franchises to these original creators.