Brandon Boyer

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Fantastic news coming out of a recent round of developments at Oddworld Inhabitants: as Brash Entertainment folds and former COO Larry Shapiro becomes president of Oddworld, leaving former president and co-founder Lorne Lanning to focus solely on creative tasks, other co-founder Sherry McKenna has told UK news site that its long-quiet game/CG film project Citizen Siege is still in development, though now without former animation partner Vanguard, headed by John ‘Shrek’ Williams.

Why the excitement? Following on the relatively more tame environmental politics ever present in the series of Oddworld games, Citizen Siege — first hinted at in 2004 and later announced in 2006 at UK festival GameCity in what (it’s thankfully becoming easier to forget) was a significantly darker political period — was sounding like Oddworld’s most alluringly savage but ultimately hopeful work to date, spanning, Lanning said at the time, “martial law and the diminishment of civil liberties,” and later adding:

1984’s a little dark, whereas this is really about the power of the human spirit and the potential of the individual. Anyone familiar with our previous work knows that that’s always a strong underlying tone in the worlds that we create. This will be no different–it’s just in a more relevant world. It’s really a story about an everyman, a very common man who becomes something he never could have dreamed of through first unfortunate circumstances and then taking off the blinders to the world that he really lives in.

It’s still not clear what form the property will eventually take, the Siege universe was said as recently as last year to cover at least one game, Wage Wars, on top of its video properties, but add to that the re-emergence of the Oddworld franchise itself, and all that remains is for Microsoft to help bring Oddworld Stranger, quite possibly the last great Xbox title, to the Xbox 360’s Originals digital download program, and we’d have a holy trinity from one of the consistently smartest developers working in games today.

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