Ultima Underworld series being revived by original creator
One of its original creators behind the Ultima Underworld series is reviving the franchise. Paul Neurath has formed new development studio OtherSide Entertainment in order to bring out a successor to the dungeon crawling RPG series called Underworld Ascension. This new title will be the first in the series since 1993. Neurath went on to say: “With Underworld Ascension, we are excited to be bringing back the Underworld franchise, making it more vital than ever before.”
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss first released in 1992. It has players exploring a huge underground cave system abandoned by a lost civilization as they look to rescue kidnapped daughter of a baron. It is widely seen as the first ever first-person RPG and inspired future franchises such as The Elder Scrolls and BioShock. Underworld also introduced a number of technological innovations. These included the ability to have a fully realized 3D environment and allowing the player to look up and down as well as jump.
It released to widespread critical acclaim, winning numerous awards, though it was initially unsuccessful commercially. However, word of the games soon spread and Underworld went on to sell over 500,000 copies. It later spawned a sequel in 2003 in the form of Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds. It too was hailed by critics as an evolutionary jump for the RPG genre and went on to be as successful as its predecessor was.
Neurath was the lead designer in the original team that worked on Ultima Underworld. He later went on to co-found Looking Glass Studios along with Ned Lerner and Warren Spector. This development studio then released classic games such as System Shock and Theif. Neurath reportedly acquired the rights to the Underworld franchise before setting up OtherSide Entertainment. Nothing else is known about Underworld Ascension other than that it will release on PC. More information will hopefully be arriving in the near future.