Commander Keen for Game Boy Color

This has been no more than a rumor for quite a long time. But as of March 1, 2001 it is a rumor no more Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software, makers of Commander Keen published a press release in his plan file. Here's the press release:
Santa Monica, CA - March 01, 2000 - id Software and Activision, Inc. 
(Nasdaq: ATVI) are teaming up this spring to release Commander Keen, 
an action-packed, comedic quest to save the cosmos for the Game Boy 
ColorÒ. Commander Keen is rated "E," for "Everyone," by the ESRB.

Commander Keen marks a return to id Software's roots -- developing 
over-the-top, comic book-style adventure games for kids. Based on id's 
original Commander Keen series on the PC, Commander Keen finds 
precocious 8-year-old superhero Billy Blaze on an all-new quest to 
save the world from his alien adversaries, the Droidiccus, Shikadia 
and Bloogs of Fribbulus Xax.

"Commander Keen shows a kinder, gentler side of id Software," Todd 
Hollenshead, CEO, id Software said. "Like the original Commander 
Keen adventures, this is a game that appeals to the spunky 8-year-old 
hero in all of us - putting the 'id' back in 'kid.'"

But no one said saving the world before bedtime would be easy. A side 
scrolling platform game, Commander Keen challenges players to save the 
world by finding super-powerful plasma crystals hidden on three separate 
alien worlds. Each world contains several multi-level maps rife with 
progressively precarious puzzles. Throughout the adventure, Keen will 
encounter more than 35 different aliens as well as puzzles, slime pits, 
magical platforms, secret rooms and teleporters.

"An undisputed classic, the original Commander Keen games combined excellent 
level design and platform action for an unforgettable gameplay experience," 
said Larry Goldberg, executive vice president, Activision Worldwide Studios. 
"Our goal with Commander Keen for the Game Boy Color is to bring this incredibly satisfying and addictive experience to a whole new generation of console gamers."

Commander Keen for the Game Boy Color is being developed by David A. Palmer Productions for Activision and id Software.

©2001 id Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What ever happened to Commander Keen 7?

Commander Keen 6: "Aliens Ate My Babysitter" ended with a bang. Keen not only found out that Mortimer was alive, but that also that he planned to blow up the entire universe. Now, I don't know about you, but I was pretty darned excited about that and I could hardly contain myself. So I waited for the inevitable Keen 7 to come out, and I waited, and waited, and .... it never came. Wolfenstein, Doom, Doom II, and Quake all came and went but not once did I hear a thing about Keen 7.

Well, needless to say I was pretty bummed out about it all and I decided to contact John Romero (who I had thought designed the game) to see if he'd tell me why it never came to be. At the time John R. was at Ion Storm and he forwarded my message to Tom Hall, the real designer behind the games to answer. 

Tom Hall, being the great guy that he is, responded almost right away telling me that with Wolf3D and Doom their plans just didn't materialize and that when he went over to work at Apogee that pretty much ended any chances of Keen 7 ever being made. He also went on to say that he loved working on the Keen games and would love to do more if he ever got the chance.

Well, I dediced I'd go ask John Carmack, who was still at id, if id would ever make a Keen 7. He said that they would never make one now that Tom Hall was over at Ion Storm, but that they considered giving the rights over to Apogee while Tom was there. Needless to say that never happened and now that Tom is over at Ion  the chances are even lesser.

After hearing that id almost gave the rights to make Keen games over to Apogee I felt it was my duty as a Commander Keen enthuist to tell Tom Hall about it. Well, I forwarded the email I got from Carmack to him and not much later got a response saying something along the lines of "Hmm.... interesting".

It's been about two years now since all that happened and so far nothing's happened. I've talked to Tom and he says that he's trying to get the rights to keen but id won't budge. I think that this could be for one of two reasons, first id thinks they still might be able to make some money off of it, or two they think that Ion hasn't proven itself worthy enough yet to warrent them getting the license (since none of the games they've released thus far have been big hits). Either way things aren't looking good.