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In the last couple of years we've seen quite a few old franchises being resurrected in one way or another, and quite a few celebrated game designers have come back into the fray to develop again, so I suppose it's not too surprising to learn that Paul Neurath, of Origin and Looking Glass fame, has formed another studio called OtherSide Entertainment which is poised to develop Underworld Ascension. If the title didn't clue you in, the press release he's sent out makes it clear that the ultimate aim is to resurrect the "Undeworld franchise", which I suppose is another way to call Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss and its sequel Labyrinth of Worlds:
RETURN TO THE UNDERWORLD
Games Pioneer Paul Neurath Forms OtherSide Entertainment and Announces its First Game, UNDERWORLD ASCENSIONTM | www.othersideentertainment.com
July 1st, 2014 Boston, USA OtherSide Entertainment, a new independent games studio, today announced its formation. Fronted by game pioneer Paul Neurath, OtherSide Entertainment revealed that its first title, Underworld Ascensionâ„¢, will mark the return of the groundbreaking and long fallow Underworld franchise.
Paul Neurath, Founder and CEO of OtherSide Entertainment, is renowned for his creative direction spanning three decades, notably leading the development of such classic franchises as Thiefâ„¢, System Shockâ„¢ and the acclaimed Ultimaâ„¢ Underworld.
Underworld Ascension marks both the series and Paul Neurath's return to his RPG roots, with OtherSide Entertainment aiming to innovate and revitalize the fantasy genre in the same way that its predecessor did in 1992. (With Underworld Ascension,) said Neurath, (we are excited to be bringing back the Underworld franchise, making it more vital than ever before.)
The original Underworlds transformed the traditional dungeon crawl into a truly immersive experience. Players felt as if they were actually walking through the great underworld halls; and encountering a living community of underworld dwellers.
Ultima Underworld inspired a generation, and its influence is still seen today in titles as diverse as Deus Exâ„¢, The Elder Scrollsâ„¢, and BioShockâ„¢.
OtherSide Entertainment will reveal more details on Underworld Ascension in the months to come. To keep updated, visit our website at www.othersideentertainment.com.
Games Industry Testimonials for Underworld:
Richard Garriott, Creative Director, Portalarium: (For those of us lifelong gamers that go back to the early days the Underworld franchise, created by Paul Neurath, represents a watershed event on what an immersive 3D true role-playing game can be like. In these days, where we are seeing many of these greats return, I personally am as excited about Underworld as any game I can imagine.(
Ken Levine, Creative Director, Irrational Games: "Underworld had a transformative effect on my understanding of what games were. It was the first time I ever felt "inside" of an imaginary world. It was the game that primed all of my creative ambitions."
Chris Roberts, Chairman, Roberts Space Industries: (Ultima Underworld was truly revolutionary for its time it was the first fully 3D textured first person game. As such it influenced pretty much all first person 3D games that came afterwards and could be truly called the granddaddy of first person Role Paying Games.(
Warren Spector, Director, Denius-Sams Gaming Academy: (As Producer on the original Ultima Underworld games, I'll never forget the first time I saw a working prototype of the game I felt as if the world had just changed. As the first fully-textured, real-time, first-person game, Underworld paved the way for every other first-person game that followed. If that doesn't qualify as '˜changing the world', I don't know what does!)
About OtherSide Entertainment
OtherSide is a Boston-area game studio focused on bringing to core gamers reboots of classic game franchises. For its first title, the company has secured the rights to do new versions of the beloved Underworld games, which sold over 1M copies and is considered a landmark fantasy franchise of the 1990's.
Underworld Ascension is a pending trademark of OtherSide Entertainment, Ultima is a trademark of Electronic Arts, Thief and Deus Ex are trademarks of Square Enix, System Shock is a trademark of Meadowbrook, BioShock is a trademark of Take-Two, and The Elder Scrolls is a trademark of Zenimax Media.
We'll let you know more as soon as we have more concrete details on this project.