Activision Licenses Classic ID Shooter, Wolfenstein 3-D

Gray Matter Interactive Studios set to develop new Wolfenstein game using Quake III Arena Engine.

Posted by Staff
In an exciting move, id Software has licensed the rights to develop a sequel to their legendary first-person shooter, Wolfenstein 3-D®, to Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI). The new title, Return to Castle Wolfenstein™, will be developed by Gray Matter Interactive Studios, a newly formed game developer founded by the top designers formerly from Xatrix Entertainment, the developer of such popular games as Redneck Rampage and Kingpin. Return to Castle Wolfenstein will be published by Activision with id Software overseeing development of the game.

Like the original id game, players assume the role of William J. “B.J.” Blazkowicz, the Allies’ bad boy of WWII espionage. The fate of the free world hangs in the balance as B.J. battles against the sadistic machinations of a Nazi war machine bent on world domination. This latest sequel will reflect the same over-the-top comic book style of the original Wolfenstein 3D. However, by using the unparalleled graphics technology of the QUAKE III Arena engine and a new scripting system, Return to Castle Wolfenstein will pull the player further into a chilling storyline filled with frightening tales of bio-engineering and the occult. Devotees of multiplayer action will be able to jump online and frag-it-out within the unique Wolfenstein world.

“Activision and id continue our highly successful partnership with the development of Return to Castle Wolfenstein,” said Mitch Lasky, Executive Vice President of Activision Studios. “The combination of the incredibly popular WWII shooter universe of Wolfenstein with the technology of QUAKE III Arena will make for a landmark entertainment software title. With highly interactive environments and complex scripted events, we expect Return to Castle Wolfenstein to start another revolution in games.”

“Having Gray Matter create the latest chapter in the Wolfenstein series is exciting for us,” said Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software. “I’m sure that id’s fans and action game fans alike share my excitement with the announcement of a sequel to Wolfenstein 3D, the father of 3D action games and first-person shooters, and one of my personal all-time favorite games. There’s no doubt that Return to Castle Wolfenstein will be at the top of action game fans’ list of anticipated upcoming games.”

Separately, Activision announced today that it has made a 40% equity investment in Gray Matter Interactive Studios with an option to acquire the remaining 60%. Activision’s investment follows the company’s acquisition of Neversoft Entertainment and underscores its ongoing strategy to invest in or acquire high-quality entertainment software studios.