Following yesterday's conference call with investors, Interplay CEO Herve Caen casually dropped a bombshell. "We're planning to publish Fallout 3," he bluntly told an analyst who was inquiring about the PC role-playing game sequel.
The news came as a shock, given that the game community had all but dug Fallout 3's plot in the game graveyard. The bad news started last year when a series of prominent persons, including Feargus Urquhart and JE Sawyer, left Fallout 3's developer, Black Isle Studios.
The departures sparked rumors of problems behind the scenes at Black Isle, Interplay's internal role-playing game studio. One of its premier projects, Baldur's Gate 3 (code-named "Jefferson") was put on indefinite hold following Interplay's loss of the Dungeons & Dragons license to Atari.
That left Fallout 3, the next chapter in one of the most widely admired RPG series of all time, as Black Isle's sole project. However, in November, Interplay shut down Black Isle, and sent its entire staff packing. With nobody working on Fallout 3--and its dismissed developers spitting venom--the industry assumed that the game was dead in the water. That is, until today.
Though Caen was uncharacteristically direct about Fallout 3's publishing plans, he was less so about its development. "Fallout 3 is not actively being developed right now," he said, "but we will have an announcement on that front soon, regarding that project."
Later in the session, Caen gave a hint about when that announcement may be. When an analyst asked if it was most likely that Fallout 3 would be developed by an external studio, Caen answered, "Correct."