The Oddworld franchise began in 1997 with the release of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. The game was originally concepted by developer Oddworld Inhabitants as the first of an "Oddworld Quintology," with subsequent games starring new protagonists. However, the sequel released in 1998, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, was billed as a "bonus" game, separate from the orignally-envisioned quintology and once again featuring Abe, the Mudokon player character from the first game. Two Game Boy titles, Oddworld: Adventures and Oddworld: Adventures 2 were loosely based on the first two games in the Oddworld franchise. The third main title (and second Quintology game), Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, was released as a launch title for the original Xbox in 2001 and featured new character Munch, the last surviving member of the Gabbit race; Abe also makes a re-appearance as an ally of Munch. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath was released in 2005 for Xbox and stars The Stranger, a mysterious new hero exploring a completely separate region of Oddworld. Plans were made for a direct sequel to Stranger's Wrath, titled Oddworld: The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot, but development was scrapped when Oddworld Inhabitants ceased internal production in late 2005, leaving the future of the Oddworld series uncertain.
In May 2008, Jeff Braun, co-founder of Maxis, announced that he would be working with Oddworld Inhabitants on the next Oddworld title. He stated that it would feature a "revolutionary new 3-D animation system" and "cinematic quality on a '1-to-1 scale' to that of computer-generated motion pictures." Regarding the development team, Braun commented "they're such a talented group of people and I really trust their ability to create compelling content." No date, name or platforms were announced, but Braun noted that because of a slow production schedule it could take "years" before the game is released, possibly making it one of the first next-gen games announced.
In July 2010, Just Add Water, developer of PSN title Gravity Crash and veteran collaborator on the more recent Oddworld titles, announced that they were working with Lorne Lanning and Oddworld Inhabitants on several new Oddworld-related projects across multiple platforms; as of 2010, they claim to be one year into development.
Just Add Water’s Managing Director Stewart Gilray said:
“To work with the team at Oddworld has been amazing; being able to tap the minds of Lorne Lanning, Sherry McKenna and others has been fantastic,”
“It’s almost symbiotic in that when something moves forward on any of the projects we just start chatting about new items, or what if we do this” “We’re all extremely excited to breathe life into the Oddworld universe and indeed to let it breathe life into us.”
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee New 'n' Tasty! was announced in 2012 as a remake of the original game, with an anticipated release date of July 2014.
Unreleased Oddworld Games
- A new title that would have followed the story of an albino Slig born into a complex that it must escape to avoid infanticide.
Oddworld: Munch's Exoddus
Oddworld: Squeek's Oddysee
- The anticipated third game in the "Oddworld Quintology."
Oddworld: Nod's Oddysee
- Confirmed as a rumor by Lorne Lanning.
Oddworld: The Hand of Odd
- An unreleased real-time online strategy game.
Oddworld: The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot
- An action game similar to Stranger's Wrath that was planned to take place on a different continent.