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Unknown Worlds Entertainment

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Unknown Worlds (UWE) is an independently-owned American game development company whose goal is to "unite the world through play". Based in San Francisco, California, the studio is best known for the forthcoming sequel to Natural Selection, due to be released in 2010.


Unknown Worlds was formed in May 2001 by Charlie Cleveland and began life as a the collective developers responsible for the development of the high profile free mod Natural Selection.

The phenomenal success of Natural Selection convinced Cleveland to start work on a commercial sequel to the game: Natural Selection 2. Soon after Cleveland founded Unknown Worlds Entertainment as a commercial computer games studio.

To help fund the development of Natural Selection 2, the studio created and released Zen of Sudoku in November 2006, a casual puzzle computer game based on the popular logic puzzle Sudoku. This game was a departure from Natural Selection both in terms of genre and audience.

In October 2006, Max McGuire became the studio's first employee, having previously worked at Iron Lore Entertainment as Lead Engine Programmer. McGuire became the Technical Director of UWE and development of Natural Selection 2 began in earnest.

A year later, Unknown Worlds released Decoda as a commercial debugger for the Lua programming language. This application was created to aid with development of Natural Selection 2, whose game code was largely being written in Lua.

Later on in development of Natural Selection 2, the studio announced it had changed engine from the Source engine to their own proprietary engine developed in-house. After consulting their fanbase on a possible name for their new engine, it was finally named the Evolution engine. Later it transpired that "Evolution" was already taken and "Spark" was chosen as the new name for the engine.[1].

In June 2008, Cory Strader was hired as Art Director[2]. Strader had been a previous key member of the development team for Natural Selection.

In May 2009, Unknown Worlds began taking pre-orders for standard and special edition versions of Natural Selection 2.


The release date for the game is expected to be sometime in 2011. Based on the amount of work still required and following their tradition of releasing big updates on the anniversary of the original's release, October 31st, some suspect this is when Natural Selection 2 may be finally released.

On July 26th 2010, they've released an alpha version of Natural Selection 2 to all that have pre-ordered the special edition of the game.

Release history


Natural Selection

  • 2002 : Best Newcomer - 'Mod of the Year' Awards, Mod Database
  • 2002 : Mod of the Year - 'Game of the Year' Awards, Gamespy
  • 2003 : Most Improved Mods - 'Mod of the Year' Awards, Mod Database
  • 2003 : Mods You Should Never Leave Home Without - 'Mod of the Year' Awards, Mod Database
  • 2003 : Best Overall Mods - 'Mod of the Year' Awards, Mod Database
  • 2004 : Best Level Design - 'Mod of the Year' Awards, Mod Database
  • 2005 : Players' Choice #10 - 'Mod of the Year' Awards, Mod Database
  • 2006 : Honourable Mention - 'Mod of the Year' Awards, Mod Database


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