Everything we know about Sierra’s resurrection, from the man casting the spell

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It’s early days for the freshly revived Sierra brand. We know that Geometry Wars: Dimensions is coming sometime before the end of 2014, and we know that The Odd Gentlemen are hard at work on a new chapter in the King’s Quest series for 2015 (bestill my heart), but that’s about the extent of it.

The new face of Sierra amounts to a sub-label for Activision that will focus on indie publishing. You’ll see familiar favorites from the Sierra archives, but you’ll also see that old 90s Sierra push to work with fresh developers on fresh projects.

What little we know for the moment comes from Bob Loya, Senior Director of External Development at Activision. He was the sole voice of the publisher featured in the press release announcing Sierra’s return, and he’s leading the charge on the development side of things. It’s busy days for the newly resurrected brand, but we were able to get Loya to answer a handful of questions about what’s ahead for this new Sierra. We hope to have more to share with you in the coming weeks, but this is a promising first taste of the label’s old-meets-new vision.

Related: Telltale Games hands the rights to King’s Quest back to Activision

Note that the following comes from an emailed Q&A transcript. Only some of the questions have been edited, for length. We don’t typically go for email Q&As here at Digital Trends, but Loya is busy at Gamescom right now and we thought you’d want more details on Sierra’s second coming sooner rather than later.

Sierra returns

Digital Trends: Why Geometry Wars? I know Galaxies was published under the Sierra label, but given the rich history of the pre-Vivendi studio, it’s just surprising to me that GW would be the first game out of the gate.

Bob Loya: Geometry Wars is a great franchise, and the upcoming Geometry Wars: Dimensions is shaping up to be the best game yet. When looking at the Sierra label, we want to have a very diverse portfolio made up of fun, high quality digital content. This will certainly include some of the original Sierra IP, like next year’s King’s Quest game from The Odd Gentlemen, as well as established brands like Geometry Wars and original IP from our indie partners. Sierra games can come from anywhere. This is not dissimilar to what Sierra used to do …. leverage their own IP’s and publish great products from partner studios.

Is anyone from the original Sierra team involved on any level? I see the statement from Ken Williams, but I don’t get the sense he’s working with Activision on this.

At the moment, nobody from the original Sierra team is directly involved. That said, about 18 months ago we licensed Gabriel Knight to Jane Jenson for her to publish an HD remake of Sins of the Fathers for the 20th anniversary, which we are really excited about. We do have ongoing talks with Jane and some of the other original Sierra members about future opportunities. Additionally, Ken Williams is aware and supportive of our plans for Sierra and King’s Quest, but to your point, he is also not involved.

I’d like to know a little bit more about the new Sierra’s structure. It’s strictly a publishing entity now, I take it? A sub-brand for Activision that’s going to focus on working with indies? It looks like, from the press release, that the work is going to be a mix of helping indies get their own projects off the ground and giving indies the opportunity to work with the known Sierra IP. I’d love to know a little more about the strategy here, in terms of which Sierra IPs you’re looking at and how you’re working with indies to put these stories in their hands.

Sierra is its own separate label focused on indie development, and primarily digital distribution. The strategy is centered around working with talented independent developers on great IP and leveraging our strengths and expertise as a publisher to help these indie devs deliver great games to indie gamers/fans everywhere. As mentioned above, the IP can come from anywhere. What’s important is that Sierra is once again creating fun, best-in-class content.


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