On one fateful day last year, after a late night binge of boxed wine, I decided to write something mildly coherent, uncharacteristically calm and hopefully accurate in regards to the future of a Fallout MMO - specifically, one done by everyone's favorite old school penniless game studio called Interplay. For those that didn't read it, here is a quick summary: Interplay needs 30 Million USD in venture capital by April 2009 to retain the rights of making the Fallout MMO; if they don't have it, they'll forfeit the rights to the game to Bethesda and probably have their knees broken. The 30M is to start production on the game, and an added 45M or more will be needed for the projected development budget.
One would think major investment announcements would be made by Interplay, if indeed they were, in fact, getting investors to invest in them. One would think that - but hey, who knows, perhaps they are just biding time, waiting to the last minute to tell Bethesda "We got it, bitches!" and then go swim in their vault full of money. One could also think that a financially insecure, unstable game studio of past glories long told could also be completely up shit creek and have no financial backing whatsoever, save for the paltry 1M USD they kind of got last summer - and, with the current economic situation - well, you get the point.
The Interplay website was redone last autumn, a highly needed update that vaulted the Interplay 1994-esque Geocities style homepage to something at least done in the last decade. Oh, and they now offer the Fallout Trilogy - which, according to them, doesn't include Fallout 3 and instead gives you Fallout Tactics. Ok, we get it, you're hurting for money guys. I know, let's head over to the Interplay Forums and talk about a Fallout MMO. Where the hell is the Fallout forum section? Well, it doesn't exist. Apparently those at Interplay felt the majority of Interplay fans would be there to discuss Earthworm Jim. Sprinkled around the General Discussion and "Other Classic Interplay Games" we can find the hopeful forum users eagerly talking about the possible future of the game.
Forum talk aside, Interplay is pretty hush-hush about this project. Their latest "News" is the announcement of the site redesign. The Interplay dev(s) rarely post on the forums, and when they do, it's usually in support of another Interplay title. Basically, from a public point of view, not a lot is happening on the Interplay front in regards to "Project V13". April 2009 is coming up quickly and to our knowledge Interplay has procured not even 5% of the total monetary budget to even start production on the game.
Things are not looking good for Interplay. These could be the final months of the game studio's existence. The future of a Fallout Online game might rest solely in the hands of one ZeniMax Online which I've mentioned before. Let's just hope Bethesda and company stay the hell away from the "Games for Windows" Live service thing they ran for Fallout 3. Bethesda has made some good games with the Elder Scroll series and Fallout 3, but making a MMO is (as we know) an entirely different animal. Can they do it?
What's everyone else think? Would you rather have the broke, oldschool Interplay making the game or the rich and greedy Bethesda at the helm? Neither have MMO experience, but money *can* buy anything. Well, unless you're Mythic or Funcom... ;)