The Oddworld franchise began in 1997 with the release of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. The original game was conceived 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 these first two games in the Oddworld series. 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 a playable ally of Munch. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath was released in 2005 for Xbox and stars Stranger, a mysterious new hero exploring a completely separate region of Oddworld. A pseudo-sequel to Stranger's Wrath, The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot, was in the early stages of development before being scrapped when Oddworld Inhabitants ceased internal production in 2005, leaving the future of the Oddworld series uncertain.
Revival and Remakes
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: Strangers Wrath HD was released in December 2011 through the PlayStation Network as a downloadable PlayStation 3 title. Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee HD was released in December 2012 on the European PSN store, with a December 2013 release in North America.
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee New 'n' Tasty! was announced in 2012 as a remake of the original game, and was released July 22, 2014 for PlayStation 4.