We’re beginning to find out exactly what titles comprise the 12 world premieres that have been announced for The Game Awards 2014 — and today it was revealed that a new iinstallmentin the long-dormant King’s Quest franchise will be among them.
Hugely popular in its heydey of the 1980s, the King’s Quest series was the foundation which Sierra Entertainment built their reputation as one of the foremost producers of adventure games upon. Tracing the ongoing exploits of the Kingdom of Daventry’s royal family, the series was known for its tricky puzzles and the many deaths that players could expect to run into.
Eight mainline games were released between 1983 and 1998, with Kings Quest: Mask of Eternity being the most recent release. That title sold well and received decent reviews, but the failing popularity of point-and-click adventure games in general meant that the series would be put on ice.
Several attempts have been made to resuscitate King’s Quest since then, with the most notable being a collaboration with Telltale Games announced in 2011 — then cancelled in 2013. However, given the success of titles like Broken Age, it seems that it’s an apt time for adventure games of the past to make their resurgence.
The task of returning King’s Quest to its former throne falls to The Odd Gentlemen, whose involvement was revealed on the studio’s official website back in August. This announcement came just after the news that Activision were planning to bring back the Sierra brand.
You might well know The Odd Gentlemen from their 2010 puzzle platformer The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom — which is more than likely part of your Steam library, being a regular attraction on the service’s frequent holiday sales. Fresh off the Neil Gaiman collaboration Wayward Manor, the studio is currently hiring — which suggests they’re bulking up for this substantial project.
According to tweets by The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley, the show will feature a tribute to Sierra Entertainment founders Ken and Roberta Williams, as well as the first footage of the new King’s Quest. Very little is known about the game thus far, so this one will be a bona fide world premiere that’ll have fans of the series glued to the ceremony.
King’s Quest might not have the name recognition that it once did, but a strong debut at The Game Awards could be just what the new game needs to grab the attention of its audience. Point-and-click adventures certainly seem to be ‘in’ at the moment — surely there’s room at the table for a real classic of the genre?
The Game Awards will be streamed live from Las Vegas on December 5.