Oddworld Inhabitants was founded by animation veterans Sherry McKenna and Lorne Lanning. The studio was founded in 1994. Their first game, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, was released in 1997 for the Playstation and a sequel, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, in 1998.
The studio quickly grew to include 60 people and they began to start work on the next game in the Oddworld Quintology, Munch's Oddysee.
Microsoft, meanwhile, was on the lookout for established franchises for the launch of the original Xbox. Microsoft persuaded Oddworld Inhabitants to switch platforms from PS2 over to Xbox, where Munch's Oddysee would be given top billing as a launch title along with Halo & Project Gotham Racing. The game sold moderately well and was later put on Xbox's Platinum Hits series.
Oddworld Inhabitants moved on to their next project, Stranger's Wrath, this time to be published by EA. However, since Stranger's Wrath was developed exclusively for the Xbox and not all three of the major platforms, EA refused to heavily market the game and as such sold less than expected.
Shutdown and Citizen Siege
Oddworld Inhabitants shut down its internal development studio in 2005 with Lanning citing an unfavorable "financing model in the games industry" presumably stiffling creativity in the games industry.
Plans to release a feature film and integrated video games entitled Citizen Siege were announced in October 2006 and which is being described as "1984 for the 21st century." Assisting Oddworld in the development of the property will be Vanguard Animation. Citizen Siege supposedly follows the story of an expatriate living in a near-future Earth who has been repossessed because of credit rackets and is hunted by a mega corporation.
Return to Gaming?
On November 11 2008, it was announced that Oddworld Inhabitants would be replacing their president, Lorne Lanning, with Larry Shapiro, the former chief creative officer. Lanning has decided to work exclusively in the creative process of development.
There has been speculation that due to poor sales of their previous game, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, the company may venture into the market of downloadable games.
Also, It was stated by CEO Sherry McKenna that due to "creative differences," Citizen Siege was no longer Oddworld Inhabitants' first priority.