Ziggurat Interactive aims to bring back classic games - Exclusive interview

Ziggurat has gathered a large collection of '80s and '90s IPS to bring to modern consoles and PCs. Check out what they have planned in this exclusive interview.

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The history of gaming is lengthy tapestry of incredible technological firsts, innovative design, and splendid memories that risk being lost to time if left unpreserved. Ziggurat Interactive believes more of these greats should be protected and restored. It’s recently unveiled an initiative to remaster, rework, and restore a wide swatch of video game gems from the 1980s, 1990s, and more in addition to creating new IPs on modern consoles and PCs. Ziggurat has gathered many different IPs for its efforts, but it all begins with their first three revealed reworks: squad-based shooter Deadly Dozen, early helicopter combat sim Super Huey, and fantasy-fiction archer shooter Forbidden Forest.

Ziggurat Interactive revealed the first three games of its efforts in a press release on March 3, 2020. Shacknews caught up to the publisher to talk about what brought about its focus, why these particular titles, what comes next, and more.

Deadly Dozen brought about a unique third-person squad-based shooter. Ziggurat intends to remaster, rework, and support the game with new upgrades and additional content.
Deadly Dozen brought about a unique third-person squad-based shooter. Ziggurat intends to remaster, rework, and support the game with new upgrades and additional content.

According to Ziggurat Interactive CEO Wade Rosen, it was partially about working directly with original publishers of innovative classic gaming and partially about restoring and preserving these games on modern platforms for current audiences.

“What really jumped out at us was the opportunity to work with the original developers of the games,” Rosen told us. “They are excited to bring their passion projects to new audiences and with all the enhancements of modern gaming. Each game was revolutionary in its own way at the time. Deadly Dozen was a puzzle game of sorts, requiring thinking & strategy. Super Huey was a fun and approachable flight simulator. And Forbidden Forest was the first game to introduce parallax scrolling. Each game introduced meaningful gameplay mechanics and was incredibly innovative compared to their peers. Now, the original developers have a chance to continue their stories.”

With the groundwork already in place, Ziggurat intends to work closely with many of the original designers in order to keep the spirit of their games intact while boosting the games in ways that could not be done in their original release.

“With each of these games we want to stay true to the original design and experience but remove the limitations that the hardware of those eras had,” Rosen explained. “In working with the original developers, we’ll show how the technology and the developers have evolved over time.”

From all the way back in 1988 on MS-DOS, Super Huey was one of the most and enjoyable flight combat sims of its time.
From all the way back in 1988 on MS-DOS, Super Huey was one of the most and enjoyable flight combat sims of its time.

It’s more than just repackaging old games on new systems though for Ziggurat Interactive. In addition to bringing classic games back to life and modernizing the experience around them, Ziggurat wants to pursue opportunities to make further games and continue on the legacy of these classics.

“Step one is to simply get the original titles in their original form working. We have two titles we’re actively doing just that with,” Wade further explained. “Then, the next steps are the remakes we currently have in production, with many more planned. For these, we like to use the original developers when possible and deliver updated versions to modern gamers. The last step for us is, of course, to craft all new games and content based on the IPs like Super Huey 4 and Forbidden Forest 2020.”

To that end, Ziggurat is going the distance in working on classic games. It extends beyond porting or emulating them. With the help of original developers on each game, they’re working towards creating further, new titles and updates from these classic franchises. Deadly Dozen, Super Huey, and Forbidden Forest are merely the beginning.

As one of the very first games to feature parallax scrolling, Forbidden Forest was a huge achievement of the Commodore 64 era from which it came.
As one of the very first games to feature parallax scrolling, Forbidden Forest was a huge achievement of the Commodore 64 and Atari era from which it came.

“We have rights to over 140 licenses currently,” Rosen boasted. “And we are working on bringing over three dozen classic games to digital platforms in 2020 and early 2021. We also have another half a dozen remake projects in early development. You’ll be hearing a lot more about Ziggurat this year and we can’t wait to share the good news.”

And so it seems it doesn’t end at these three upcoming classic titles coming back for modern generations. If such is the case, we can indeed expect to hear far more from Ziggurat Interactive, both as Deadly Dozen, Super Huey, and Forbidden Forest approach their relaunch, and as Ziggurat launches further classic games and modern sequels and extensions of those classics for new generations.

You can check out more from Ziggurat Interactive on their Twitter, Facebook, and official site. Stay tuned to our 2020 gaming release calendar as well as Ziggurat prepares to fill it even further throughout the year.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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