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Black Isle Not Closed? Interplay responds to repor
Posted 25 December 2003 - 04:07 PM
December 18, 2003 - For those of you who haven't been following the story, there have been some reports circulating the industry that Black Isle Studios, creators of Icewind Dale and developer of the upcoming Fallout titles, has been closed down. After posting the initial story, we received more details from a former employee who confirmed that the studio was closed and that Fallout 3 had been cancelled.
Which brings us to our new guest star, Interplay's investor relations department, with their official denial of the reports. "For the record," says Interplay, "Black Isle Studios remains open with projects pending, the status of Fallout 3 is under review, and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel will ship on January 13."
As far as this "under review" status for Fallout 3, Interplay had this to say: "Fallout lives...now that is not to say we have a new Fallout PC game coming in the next few months, but management will do what it can to maximize the intellectual property it owns and the fan base it has, within the financial parameters it must operate."
Interplay was quick to characterize the closure and cancellation reports as nothing more than "false rumors" possibly generated by former Interplay employees. (The source of our second story was, indeed, a former Interplay employee.) Since Interplay is a publicly-traded company (IPLY) it does seem likely that they would have issued an official release regarding the closure. As our contact at Interplay put it: "If Interplay management had closed its most valuable development asset or chosen to abandon one of its most prized intellectual assets, the Company would have made an announcement." ?
Another Black Isle Source Comes Forward
"To set the record straight once and for all"
December 19, 2003 - For those of you who may not have been following this developing story, Black Isle Studios, developers of the Fallout, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment games was claimed to have been closed down and Fallout 3 cancelled, according to a posting made by a former employee on the Interplay forums. Recently, a source came forward supporting these claims, which was followed up quickly by a formal response from Interplay denying the closure and stating that the other Black Isle projects were still on target while Fallout 3 was under review. Still with me? It gets better.
Late last night, we received information from another source backing up the initial claims. "To set the record straight once and for all - Fallout 3 is cancelled, and Black Isle Studios has been effectively shut down, even if the name lives on. Fallout will probably continue to exist in console form, hence the 'Fallout lives' comment."
Fallout 3, claimed to be nearly complete by our first source, would have been the long-awaited followup to the post-nuclear RPG which hasn't seen a new release in the franchise since 1998. During this time, Interplay released Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel for the PC, a strategy game in the vein of UFO: Aftermath and X-Com, and was working on the action-oriented Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel for the PlayStation 2, much to the disappointment of the community of Fallout fans who'd been hoping for a true RPG sequel.
Our newest source says that Interplay seems to be relying on semantic loopholes. "Technically, I suppose they are correct: Black Isle Studios isn't shut down (still got two people left!) and Fallout 3 could not be cancelled since it was never announced." According to the previous source, the two remaining employees had been working on an unannounced console title before coming to work for Black Isle.
Although Interplay claims the future of Fallout 3 is "under review," our new source contests that laying off all but two employees dedicated to the Fallout 3 project, which comprised the majority of the Black Isle team, indicates that "They've gone pretty far beyond simply 'reviewing' its status." At best, it would appear that the game is on indefinite hiatus.
This individual also offers up some speculation on why the company would apparently be refusing to admit to the closure of Black Isle and the elimination of the Fallout 3 project: Interplay is a publicly-traded company and must therefore put a positive spin on events.
We'll have more on this story as it develops.
Posted 25 December 2003 - 07:35 PM
Good topic though, I know a lot of people who are interested about the release of this game. It gained a lot of fans with the original Fallout 1 and 2.
Posted 26 December 2003 - 07:06 PM
Edited by Tatsuya, 26 December 2003 - 07:07 PM.
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