Interplay restarting dev studio

Company says it will make new installments of Earthworm Jim, Descent, MDK, Dark Alliance if it can get the money.

As a publisher, Interplay is a shell of its former self. After a visible and embarrassing series of events in which the company was threatened with eviction, sued by BioWare for nonpayment of royalties on the Baldur's Gate series, and finally closed by authorities for not paying or insuring its employees, the publisher all but disappeared.

In 2006, the company revealed it was planning a massively multiplayer online game based on the Fallout universe; it just needed $75 million to get it done. That funding hasn't materialized yet, but the publisher explained how it will keep busy in the meantime in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.

With the explanation that it is looking at ways of leveraging its stable of franchises "through sequels and various development and publishing arrangements," Interplay announced it is restarting its in-house development studio. The money to establish that studio will come from the recent sale of the Fallout franchise to Bethesda Softworks. (Interplay is now licensing the Fallout IP from Bethesda for its upcoming MMOG.) The publisher also said it has brought back Jason Anderson, a lead artist on the original Fallout game and cofounder of the defunct Troika Games, to serve as creative director for an unannounced MMOG.

Among the projects Interplay has said it wants to develop are sequels to Earthworm Jim, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Descent, and MDK, provided it can find the financing. The Earthworm Jim license was most recently held by Atari, which announced a PlayStation Portable version of the game last year with Shiny as the developer. Atari later sold Shiny to Foundation 9, and the project appears to be dead. Shiny was previously owned by Interplay until the publisher sold it to Atari in 2002.

The Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance sequel also has ties to Atari, given that the Infogrames subsidiary currently holds the rights to the Dungeons & Dragons license. Like the rest of the Baldur's Gate series, the Dark Alliance spin-off for consoles was created under the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms imprint. Interplay signed a multiyear deal for the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale licenses in 2002, but it's unclear when that arrangement was set to expire.

[UPDATE]: An Interplay representative confirmed for GameSpot that the company owns the Dark Alliance name, and can continue to make fantasy role-playing games under that banner so long as they don't use the Dungeons & Dragons license, which includes the Forgotten Realms world and the Baldur's Gate name. As for Earthworm Jim, Interplay owns the property, and Atari merely has a license to make certain handheld games based on the character.

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Discussion

233 comments
ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

I don't know if we will ever see an MDK 3. I sure would love Kurt, Professor Hawkins and the 6 legged dog to come back for one more round.

starduke
starduke

If they do make a new Decent game, they should also update the older Decent games as well. Decent 1 and 2 were fun, but compared to Decent 3, graphicly at least, they seem almost sud-standard. Of course that's because those games are old! They should also make another Freespace game. The first one was awsome! I never was able to puchase the second one, but I've heard it was pretty good as well. I'm hoping Interplay can make a come back. They made some of my favorite games.

steveosandwich
steveosandwich

wow earthworm jim hell yea i have not played that game in many it use to be my favorite on super Nintendo.

Koushin
Koushin

Oh wow bring back Kurt again! I loved his outfit so cool! I loved both games a lot but I would hope they could make the game feel alot like the first one. Oh I would wish even for a remake of the original. That would rock!! MDK FTW!

RonTorque
RonTorque

It's good for these old franchises to come back again...Old School is back,baby!

flavort
flavort

I want MDK back BIG TIME and Earthworm Jim. They are in my top 5 games of all time.

Jecko750
Jecko750

I'll be even more happy if Descent 1, 2, or 3 was ported to a XLA title. It makes a good one since it has a score system with it anyway. The only trouble is the controller and license. (I don't know for sure if the license will be a problem.)

jjpisila
jjpisila

When Descent 4 comes out I will be one of the happiest people on earth. I just hope that this doesn't end the Into Cerberon mod for Doom 3. (check it out on moddb.com), or D2X-XL.

Paskiewicz
Paskiewicz

Yeah, I love DESCENT games! Original Descent is my first favorite game, I still have it and all series. Freespace too.

danielson2k
danielson2k

Awesome! MDK and Descent are two of my favourite games of all time!

Drizzt46
Drizzt46

I've been waiting for a Dark Alliance 3 for ages! I didn't know what was happening, so I looked it up tonight. Too bad about everything that's happened. An ending to the story (and a whole other game to play through!) would be great.

Yogizilla
Yogizilla

If I was Interplay, I wouldn't pursue an MMORPG right now. It's just a trend that everyone is jumping on. I am a small-time developer myself and I think the ideal is to bootstrap projects whenever possible and do what you really believe in. Start small, be passionate, and let the projects become viral 'til they reach critical mass. When you get a little more leverage, then pursue the bigger things. Interplay owns what I feel are some of the most memorable and unique franchises out there. They should definitely pace themselves. Rebuilding one's image is one of the hardest things to do. They made some bad calls. It happens. Personally, I'd love to see MDK and Descent the most. These games were ahead of their time. I can see MDK having a very rich, addicting online multiplayer, with each player possessing some sort of cybernetic or alien assassin with special powers. It can be what Metroid Prime Hunters could have been. As for Descent, this game offered 360 degrees of motion. It was so great for online deathmatch. I loved placing proximity mines and catching people with them as they gave me chase. I also recall being able to fly directly under people without them ever knowing. With the power of computers today, this game can be taken to new levels. I can only imagine what they'd do with it!

Spiffert
Spiffert

Yay! Interplay! I don't have numbers of how many times I have played the games from interplay. I think I have went through Fallout 1 and 2 so many times I still know them, even most of the really funny lines, just like that. oO If they can make a real, and I mean REAL genuine Fallout 3 and/or next Fallout project after that I will be even suggest myself to help make the music for the game, bringing all of the band and others(!), or something! or I will just donate money and.. live happily ever after. Getting to eager, just too exited. x_O

killzone41992
killzone41992

yeah im sure all those games were great but I'm surprised hardly anybody is asking for baldur's gate dark alliance 3 I mean come on that was one of the best video game series of all time I hope they make the third installment A.S.A.P. i will even donate money to help em

deadline
deadline

My wife and I played Dark Alliance I and II co-op and loved it. There is nothing for PS3/XB360 that offers this kind of game with a good co-op mode -- I would kill for a next-gen Dark Alliance 3!

Alcotamaysees
Alcotamaysees

I remember playing mdk on my old imac. So ghetto...

ZoeyClarke
ZoeyClarke

will s&*t bricks when mmog gets released. subsequently following bricks will be: weight gain, loss of job, divorce and lots of nuka cola.

darklord11
darklord11

they need to make dark alliance baldur's gate 3 the second ended with some ominous guys say he will take care of it him self.

tigerpirro
tigerpirro

I have always supported and loved Interplay and i will always continue to do so

Piell72
Piell72

It would be great if Interplay and Bethesda went in on a Fallout MMORPG. That way they could explore what happened to the rest of the United States and the world after the war. Can you imagine what Russia's version of a Vault looked like?? PLEASE BRING US MORE FALLOUT !!!!

KSweeley1985
KSweeley1985

WOAH!!!!!!!!! O.O Go Interplay!!!! It certainly seems like Interplay is trying to regain its former self, going from being near bankruptcy and going out of business to being back in the green and now restarting its in-house game development studio. Please Interplay, if you read forums like this, BRING BACK DESCENT!!!! Please bring us Descent 4!!!! I totally love Descent, a complete classic franchise and possibly an Earthworm Jim sequel?!?! Awesome!!!! F**in awesome!!!!!

ddg4005
ddg4005

I really hope there's annother Descent game as well as Freespace 3, I love both franchises and hope they're resurrected from the ashes.

dorohala
dorohala

I hope they do well making thses games!

Nafe
Nafe

Star Trek: Romulan Academy here we come...

mes323
mes323

While I'm skeptical on this news, a revival of the Descent series would be just **** awesome. I'm surprised the first two games aren't on Xbox Live arcade or something like that....that seems like a good way to generate funds.

Nitronumber9
Nitronumber9

Finally Descent is comming back to save us, and MDK3 can't go wrong these days if they stick with the humour.

Rookie87
Rookie87

I really miss descent and freespace i hope they get the funding for there games :)

Player1_HDS
Player1_HDS

I really feel that in bethesda is going to do a great job with fallout 3, and Interplay just doesn't have the ability to create a decent MMO. So in a few years it'll look like Bethesda saved Fallout from its creators who lost sight of what making games for gamers is all about.

tclvis
tclvis

Fallout...now there's an MMO I could love. Go go go, Interplay.

tone71
tone71

Would love to see a next-gen Descent, it's been 8 years since we saw the last Descent title! Any fans of the series should check out Into Cerberon, a Descent mod for Doom 3.

Bozanimal
Bozanimal

I don't want to get my hope up, but the idea of a Freespace 3... it just makes me tear up. Good luck, Interplay.

tomcat51
tomcat51

Earthworm Jim is a goog IP, the cartoon was funny, but i'm sure they will cock it up and release a naff 3d platform shooter nonsense, as for Descent, it was good for its day but could it compete with modern shooters? probably if done right.

Mauller
Mauller

Oh please give me Descent Freespace 3. Number 2 was absolutely amazing.

swmeek
swmeek

A next gen Descent game would definitely be cool as well as new version of Baldur's Gate too! Damn i may have to fire up my old playstation and play Descent some more to relive a few memories!

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

Cool, it may mean we may see Earthworm Jim in Brawl as well.

rock_solid
rock_solid

a new Descent game would be cool

Levi221
Levi221

Man just hearing the name Interplay brings back all sorts of great memorys,heres hopeing we get a new Earthworm Jim and a new MDK game that would rock.

VR_Verdugo
VR_Verdugo

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ivanfred
ivanfred

I want a sequel to Baldur's Gate for my PS3.

YourOldFriend
YourOldFriend

That's great news! As long as some of the founding employees are still with them, I'm confident they'll produce some more quality material.

rusty_ghia
rusty_ghia

Please, please release another Freespace game.

JimmyCos
JimmyCos

interplay rocks, MDK, earthworm jim, baldurs gate and FALLOUT are the best games in history

chrono_wind
chrono_wind

Earthworm Jim was an icon, please bring the guy back so we can go through some more random cow falling action. He even had a T.V. show back in the days, c'mon! Let alone, it was actually pretty good compared to those certain others.

VR_Verdugo
VR_Verdugo

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

VR_Verdugo
VR_Verdugo

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

VR_Verdugo
VR_Verdugo

Earthworm Jim, Descent, MDK, man, talk about a blast from the past. Best of luck to Interplay. Looking forward to playing your games.