Black Isle Studios returning?

Website and social media accounts suggest Interplay is bringing back original Fallout and Baldur's Gate developer; key Black Isle devs not associated.

It appears Interplay is reforming Black Isle Studios, just without the people most closely associated with the role-playing game development house.

Interplay is getting the brand back together!

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.

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Discussion

139 comments
synthetiksin
synthetiksin

Eh... Mixed feelings about this. Maybe it'll call the old peeps back.

Psylumin
Psylumin

As great as that would be...... If great studios are currently being closed down left and right just because they are not producing successful Call of Duty clones, Black Isle studio should just stay shut for its own sake. This isn't the 90s anymore, sadly. 

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

If I put my cynical hat in a box and lock it in the closet where it can't get out, then I might say that maybe this means they at least recognize the value of what the old Black Isle made.  Even if its a new crew, if they were trying to make up for closing the studio in the first place there is at least some hope they would be putting resources behind quality RPG development.

 

Then I put my cynical hat back on and remember its just a shameless, pointless cash-in on a recognized brand name.  Yawn.

Madball357
Madball357

So the gaming industry has had enough of raping franchises to milk gamers for their money and now has moved on to piss on the grave of respectable and once talented dev houses.

 

Herve Caen? Fuck that loser.

SnakeEyesX80
SnakeEyesX80

So it's Black Isle in name alone. . . . . . .WHO CARES! Until the talent comes back, it's like Infinity Ward at this point, just a shell of what it used to be.

Royial20
Royial20

I kinda would like the people at Obsidian to go back to Black Isle. Then this would be interesting good news. I don't think the Devs from Black Isle are doing as well under Obsidian  but thats just my humble opinion.

cfstar
cfstar

I asked for this....

 

But not like this.

damodar_thade
damodar_thade

Obsidian is all that remains of black isle, the name is nothing without the talent that gave it it's repuation.

Axell83
Axell83

Pft, the name itself means nothing. What made Black Isle great was the people in it.

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

The problem is not only are they missing the key Black Isle personnel, they are also without all the IPs Black Isle was famous for.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Nice to hear studios re-opening - even if with a completely new "crew" - far too much news about them closing down in recent months!

Patient32
Patient32

Fish! Fish! Pasta! Pasta! Fish! Fish! Pasta! Pasta! Fish! Fish! Pasta! Pasta!

 

RISE!!!!

AmnesiaHaze
AmnesiaHaze

who cares, fallout is now in better hands then interplays who cancelled fallout 3 :D

Mega_Loser
Mega_Loser

black isle has been alive only with a different company name, but this is a nice oportunity for a new team to be creative and give us some good games.

i'm just saying that to react to the many negative comments.

sethfrost
sethfrost

Cashing in on the recognizable 'brand' name. This is as much our old beloved "Black Isle Studios" as todays "ATARI" is Bushnell's baby or Interplay today is Brian Fargo's Interplay. Who are they going to fool?

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

Obvious cash-in is obvious. I'm glad that the name is returning, but I'm furious it won't be THE Black Isle.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

SOOO... The name is coming back? Sounds like they are just trying to cash in on the name. If I put lemonade in a Coke bottle, it doesn't turn the lemonade into Coke...it turns it into lemonade in a coke bottle...

3Minotaur3
3Minotaur3

Raised from the dead developpers?... Careful, may be staffed by zombies... ;-)

BludshedX
BludshedX

Sounds like a lot of people here don't realize that this means nothing without the original crew. They could have named the company anything and it wouldn't make a difference.

 

Though one thing is for sure.. these new guys have VERY big shoes to fill!

6blackravens
6blackravens

I always like their Bauldur's Gate & Icewind Dale games, first RPG's I ever bought. They had good gfx for back then too,Imagine what they could do now . .  I still have the maps of Bauldur's Gate & Icewind Dale on my walls today :DI think they should do a remake of those classics !

hadlee73
hadlee73

This is going to be like watching that one season of "The Dukes of Hazzard" when Coy and Vance stood in for Bo and Luke.

 

megam
megam

I'm hoping this studio will be dedicated to CRPGs. Outside of Indie developers (e.g. Spiderweb Software), there just aren't any of these games being released anymore. Give me meaningful decisions, strong dialog, and a compelling and branching story, and I'm sold. 

 

I also wonder if there will be versions released on tablets. Games like Baldur's Gate could be very intuitive and easy to play on an iPad (hence the remake being released on PC and tablets).

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

It's very crass of Interplay to try to bring back the Black Isle name without the talent involved.  They should have just sold the rights to the name to Obsidian, and at a discount price to boot.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Marketing hype / garbage...  There's nothing left of the original Black Isle, other than hundreds of hours of truly stellar gameplay memories.

True_Blu3
True_Blu3

If intelligent people with the will to make colorful characters and intriguing story lines run the group, then I have no worries.

Diamondsoulz
Diamondsoulz

DUH DUH DUH DUH DUUUUUUUUUUUUUH DUH! Balders gate music

eziniti
eziniti

Awesome.  I honestly hope they've got a MASSIVE ********ing chip on their shoulder after the FOMMO thing.  This could be good (not betting the farm, though).

slavagen
slavagen

Well, omnipresent remakes tendency was raised to a new level yet again.

SlowMotionKarma
SlowMotionKarma

To sum it up: Interplay has NOTHING going for them so they're resurrecting a once-well-thought-of label to try and ride that to new sales.

sonicare
sonicare

Black Isle Studios.  Boy, that brings back some good memories.  Anybody gaming in the mid to late 90's knows what I'm talking about.  Unfortunately, I think this is a return in name only.

schesak
schesak

...what's wrong with y'all.  The name of a studio has nothing to do with how good the games it produces.  It is the PEOPLE working there.

This will NOT be the Black Isle Studio that we remember fondly.  Doesn't have the same people.  So why the excitement?

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

Why are there people excited about this? This resurrection of Black Isle is nothing more than in name only. The same people who made Black Isle legendary are not involved with this resurrection. Unless they find some talented people to work at this new Black Isle, it's going to be crap.

jhcho2
jhcho2

The article is a little misleading. I hope all of you realize that Baldur's Gate was developed by Bioware, not Black Isle Studios. The Baldur's Gate series of games was published by Interplay, and so, Interplay allowed their in-house dev, Black Isle, to assist Bioware in the development. Credit for Baldur's Gate goes to Bioware. Black Isle gets credit for Planescape Torment and Fallout. In case any you were wondering what Baldur's Gate would have been if only Black Isle was in the picure, yeah, you have Icewind Dale. And ever since, Black Isle/Obsidian have only made games that were shadows of other better games like Neverwinter Nights 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Dungeon Siege 3 etc. Take note of the fact that Neverwinter Nights 1. the superior one, was by Bioware as well.

 

Key ex-Black Isle employees couldn't do justice to some of these games during their time at Obsidian, much less a company called 'Black Isle' without them. I'm not optimistic.

DredWulf
DredWulf

 @carlisledavid79 the Dev was good because of the guys at obsidian this new black isle is like the new IW a shell of it's former self..

Bowser05
Bowser05

 @AmnesiaHaze

 I actually totally disagree. Fallout 2 I enjoyed far more than Fallout 3 and New Vegas. Not to say that 3 and New Vegas were not good...they were fantastic games, but there is something about the charm of 1 and 2 that was missing. So I wouldn't say it is in better hands than what it was...but I would definitely agree that it is in good hands right now. Let's not forget that Black Isle Developed Fallout 1 and 2 not Interplay...they just published them.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

 @megam Let's go a step further and say "CHALLENGING CRPGs". Even fewer of those being released...  Sure, there can always be a difficulty knob, or perhaps something that allows a penalized / weaker-ending "light puzzles" path through the main game, and  "enable AI party bothavior".  But let's bring back difficulty that doesn't just mean "enemies hit harder and have more HP."

DredWulf
DredWulf

 @megam You haven't heard of BG Enhanced edition then have you?

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

 @Ladiesman17 Hard to do that. The IP belongs to Wizards of The Coast and Hasbro, and they licensed that to Atari. The writer, Chris Avellone, is at Obsidian.

jhcho2
jhcho2

 @XIntoTheBlue 

And let's not forget that the 'legendary' aspect of Black Isle ended after Fallout 2. That was the last great game by Black Isle. Everything else after that for the last 14 years was just......lukewarm....or bad.

JuanGonDiri
JuanGonDiri

 @jhcho2 I dunno, I'd agree with you somewhat, but Black Isle was also responsible for Fallout 2, which was pretty damn amazing. This new 'Black Isle' (and the new Interplay for that matter) is just trying to use the fame of the brand name to move product.

 

Interplay needs to go back to basics. Who else wants to see Mario Teaches Typing 3D? (Alright, that last part may have been a joke...)

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

 @Dragon_Nexus  @SlowMotionKarma  Bioware still have people who worked on Baldur's Gate. They still even have the two founding doctors. Most of the key people of Black Isle are at Obsidian now.

Bowser05
Bowser05

 @AmnesiaHaze

 I see where you are coming from my mistake. It would have to be the publisher that generally cancels a project not the developer. So yes it is in better publishing hands now.