Paul Neurath, a pioneer of games such as Thief and System Shock, has formed a new game studio in Boston called OtherSide Entertainment. Its first game is the spiritual successor of the Ultima Underworld franchise.
OtherSide Entertainment, a new independent games studio with a small team, will make Underworld Ascension, a PC title that will mark the return of the fantasy Underworld franchise, which began in 1992. The series sold more than 1 million copies, which is large by 1990s standards.
Neurath, the founder and CEO of OtherSide Entertainment, has been making games for three decades, including the Underworld series. With Underworld Ascension, he plans to return to his roots in role-playing games. The company says that the original Underworld games 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,” said OtherSide Entertainment.
“With Underworld Ascension,” said Neurath, “We are excited to be bringing back the Underworld franchise, making it more vital than ever before.”
Richard Garriott, the creative director at game developer Portalarium, said in a statement, “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.“
And Ken Levine, the creative director of Irrational Games, said in a statement, “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.”
OtherSide is hiring new employees, and it has raised a small round of money. Neurath plans to raise more funding.