It appears Interplay is reforming Black Isle Studios, just without the people most closely associated with the role-playing game development house.
Interplay has been busy reestablishing Black Isle's online presence this month. The publisher recently revamped the official Black Isle website with the news that "Black Isle Studios is back." The site also says the studio's goal "has always been to make the world's best RPGs" and links to Black Isle accounts on Twitter and Facebook. As of press time, the Twitter account is empty and the Facebook page includes only a profile photo with repurposed art from previous Black Isle titles.
Some of the key players associated with the studio's early days have publicly said they aren't involved with the new operation. Former Black Isle developer and current Obsidian Entertainment designer Chris Avellone posted on Twitter, "I know nothing about the Black Isle Studio news announcement, doesn't involve me or Obsidian… or well, anyone that I know. ;)"
Obsidian was built largely by former Black Isle developers, most notably the company's CEO Feargus Urquhart, who founded it in 2003. Within a year of its formation, Obsidian had attracted 18 Black Isle veterans to its staff. When asked for comment on the new Black Isle, Urquhart told GameSpot, "It was news to us."
The original Black Isle Studios was shut down by Interplay in late 2003. It had a hand in some of the most acclaimed PC RPGs of the late 1990s, including the Fallout and Baldur's Gate series, as well as Planescape Torment.
As of press time, Interplay had not responded to GameSpot's requests for comment.