Report: Interplay to resurrect Black Isle Studios

Report: Interplay to resurrect Black Isle Studios
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

August 23rd 2012 at 6:53AM

Website claims Fallout Studio is back

A new Black Isle Studio website is up, claiming that the once shuttered Fallout developer is back.

The site, which CVG reports is registered to Interplay CEO Herve Caen, reads "Our goal has always been to make the world's best RPGs. Black Isle Studios is back."

Black Isle broke apart in 1998, and finally closed in 2003 after many of its members departed to Obsidian, but not before creating some of the most iconic RPGs of all time, from the original Fallout to Planescape: Torment.

New Facebook and Twitter accounts have been created as well, but these have been largely inactive.

Black Isle veterans are unsure of the news, and a number of industry leaders have said they were unaware of any plan to bring the studio back.

"I just read that Interplay is bringing back Black Isle," Interplay founder Brian Fargo told Twitter followers. "Hmmm... Not enough info for me to comment."

He was joined by former Planescape: Torment creator Chris Avellone, who told Eurogamer the news "Doesn't involve Obsidian at all. No idea what it's about. I wasn't aware anything beyond the name was left at Interplay."

If the studio is indeed back, it follows in the footsteps of parent company Interplay which went bankrupt in 2004 only to reemerge in 2007 after selling the rights for Fallout to Bethesda.

Interplay has taken to mobile development, but survives mostly off of back catalogue sales.

The company has faced serious financial difficulties, and its last SEC filing in June 2011 reported only $4,000 cash and 11 employees with over $1 million in losses.

The situation was so grim that the report mentioned filing for bankruptcy as a possible solution.

The company did receive reimbursement from Bethesda following litigation over the Fallout MMORPG rights, as well as some new investment, so circumstances may be less dire, but the company has not updated its financials in over a year.

This is because Interplay operates without a CFO, lost its independent accountant last year, and has not published financial information in over a year.

If Interplay is rebooting Black Isle, it could mean they are back on their feet and willing to take a risk to revitalize one of the most storied studios in industry history.