Zork returns as MMO

January 14, 2009

The world of Zork will be the setting for a new browser-based MMO, announced Jolt Online Gaming who will partner with Activision as the publishers.

A press release from Jolt says Legends of Zork will be a “persistent online adventure” in which players take the role of a traveling salesman who’s lost his job and sets off to explore the world.

UPDATE: Jolt will be developing the game in-house and it will be released in spring 2009. A Jolt representative told Snackbar the game will include both text and graphics and play like an RPG.

“Like a lot of browser games, you’ll be able to play the game quickly but it’ll take you a long time to reach the higher echelons,” said Jolt’s Paul Abbott. “It has a good mix of text and graphics. Anyone who’s played an adventure game will enjoy it.”

The press release explains the premise: “The Great Underground Empire has recently fallen and the land is in disarray. The Royal Treasury has been sacked. The stock market has collapsed, leading even mighty FrobozzCo International to fire employees from throughout its subsidiaries. A craze of treasure-hunting has swept through the remnants of the Great Underground Empire. The New Zork Times reports that trolls, kobolds and other dangerous creatures are venturing far from their lairs. Adventurers and monsters are increasingly coming into conflict over areas rich with loot. It’s a dangerous time to be a newly-unemployed traveling salesman, but it’s also a great time to try a bit of adventuring.”

Created by some of the founders of Infocom in the early 1980s, the first Zork games are some of the most famous text adventures. Later editions produced for Activision in the 1990s added graphics, but are not as well known as the original trilogy. The original games are available for download for free from the Infocom website.

Jolt is a Dublin-based online gaming network that provides public game servers and a website with gaming news, reviews and downloads. The company also hosts other persistent browser-based games owned by its parent company OMAC Industries like trucking simulation Trukz and medieval fantasy title Utopia, which has been running since 1998.