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r1ft Gaming Blog

A mirror of my gaming blog at r1ft.com. The jaded game designer turned corporate lackey. Feedback is always welcome.

Author: Daedren

So Long, And Thanks for All the Rad-X

Posted by Daedren Thursday April 23 2009 at 10:39AM
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It's with a heavy heart that I announce the imminent demise of a beloved game company: one that brought us Fallout 1 & 2, Earthworm Jim and Descent. While their recent accomplishments are nothing more than questionable business deals and becoming a gaming company meme for financial troubles, we have to put in perspective the greatness and enjoyment the ghosts of Interplay past have brought us. It's been living on life-support the last 10 years - and while it's sad to see our old friend go, part of us is happy it's finally being put out of it's misery.

Exciting stuff, this doom and gloom. They've effectively produced nothing but disappointment and false hope for the past 10 years - but really, who are these people? It's not like the guys that actually made the games stuck around in an empty office doing nothing since 2001. They've been long gone. As Interplay was "acquired" by Titus in 1999, and the original CEO of Interplay left in 2001 citing "creative differences" with Titus - we can assume those differences were actually producing games - Interplay, as we know it from 2001-2009, has been a different entity. An impostor, of sorts, and a bad one at that. We have a company that swooped in to a successful game studio and effectively capsized it with "creative differences" - whatever that means. Apparently Interplay has really only persisted through one guy, one Herve Caen, who's name sounds entirely too French and mustache looks entirely too 70's.

Glorious Fallout for Make Wonderful Profits in Industry of MMO's?

Seriously, the mustache is starting to freak me out.

So - Interplay died in 2001 when the original founder and developers left. This shell of a company - Interplay: Reloaded - has been little more than the faint hope of the mustachioed madman who killed it in the first place - AH AH AH. That said, let's not let this be more than it actually is - the death rattle of a once glorious nation- er, company that brought us some damn memorable titles.

In the past few months, between ranting about botting and not having the heart to talk about Darkfall, the Fallout MMO has been my main interest. For a recap on the past few months of excitement, we have:

The Fine Print of the Fallout MMO - Read this if you want to know about the technicalities of the Besthesda/Interplay IP deal.

Fallout and Interplay: You have Three Months to Live - Hey, I was actually right! In January 2009, Interplay had secured a small fraction of the needed $30M to not void the agreement signed with Bethesda.

So, what's been happening since then?

Jason Anderson Leaves Interplay - Remember hearing about those original Fallout guys that went back and started working on the V13 Project with Interplay? It's not a good sign when they start leaving. This was effectively half of the Interplay working force.

Interplay Signs Deal with Masthead - When in trouble, go to Bulgaria. Who needs 30 Million when you can just sign something with a MMO studio? This news was surprising, and led to the inevitable...

Bethesda to Sue Interplay Over Fallout MMO - It's not official yet, but we can assume the legal offices of Bethesda/ZeniMax did a collective "WTF? They can't do that!" at the news of Interplay substituting finance and development progress with a deal written on a cocktail napkin in Bulgaria.

And last but not least, Interplay is about to go bankrupt - again.

That means it's up to ZeniMax/Bethesda to bring us quests to Kill 10 Rad Scorpions. Oh, the humanity. Let's just hope they don't use the same writers from Fallout 3 (I liked the game, don't get me wrong... but, well, let's not go there.)

As for the deal with Masthead - well, I assume production on Earthrise will continue and Herve will probably be never heard from again if he goes back to Bulgaria.

Very nice!