Interplay shuts down Black Isle Studios

After months of bad omens, the end has finally come for the veteran RPG developer.

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It looks like role-playing gamers will have a boulder of coal stuffed in their holiday stockings this year, as GameSpot has received reliable reports that Interplay has shut down Black Isle Studios.

While nothing has been confirmed by official sources as of press time, Damien "Puuk" Foletto, a member of BIS' art department, broke the news on the Interplay forums late this afternoon. "Today was my last day at the (former) BIS, as it was for my whole team," he said. To date, Foletto's posts have been one of the most reliable sources of news on the development of Fallout 3 (aka Van Buren) including the departure of his former co-worker J.E. Sawyer.

Black Isle's closure is a sad end for the once-great developer. BIS had a hand in some of the most acclaimed PC RPGs of the late 1990s, including the Fallout and Baldur's Gate series. Recently, though, the studio fell on hard times. Its forthcoming Dungeons & Dragons title, code-named "Jefferson," was canned earlier this year, reportedly a casualty of a legal tangle with D&D rights-holders Wizards of the Coast. A host of top-quality talent has fled the studio, including legendary producer Feargus Urquhart.

However, it looks like the financial woes of BIS' parent Interplay finally did the developer in. Interplay has lost over $20 million so far this year. Its two main holiday releases, the console RPGs Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (which was developed by BIS), were pushed back to next January as a result of another legal dispute, this time with distributor VU Games. Interplay's refocusing on console games may have also been a factor in the decision to shutter its more PC-centric subsidiary.

Regardless of the reasons, the closure of BIS will hit many gamers hard. Foletto's final post seemed particularly depressing. "I don't know where I'll end up," he said, "but [people should] know that we were all avid gamers and wanted to make the PC games that not only we wanted to play, but also the fans."

Discussion

24 comments
fLaMbOaStiN
fLaMbOaStiN

Yea i agree.. Seems like with Black Isle gone a lot of the good p/c games are gone now too.

ermhm
ermhm

The saddest day for every RPG gamer in the world. I don't even play modern RPG's, they aren't worth my time

Xquizite
Xquizite

Bethesda and BioWare, although great in their own regards, can never cover the hole left in my heart. CURSE YOU INTERPLAY!

WillDavis88
WillDavis88

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *cry cry cry*

alert0
alert0

@suresh I just love how righteous your anger is.

sureshmiton
sureshmiton

The death of this company has now spawned the entrance of shallow games like Dragon Age. I miss Baldur's Gate series. Will there be a time again when we can play games like Baldur's gate? I guess not. The blind rush to games like Dragon Age that scored 9.5/9/10 on review sites by customers who don't know anything about RPG games have just nailed the coffin.

green_dominator
green_dominator

I know I'm beating a dead horse here but funk it....... To this day Black Isle Studios is one of the few studios I was devastated to see go next to Ion Storm [mostly for Warren Spector and Deus Ex], I love the Dark Alliance games I also liked everything else they did.......

lbptoady
lbptoady

Dang!! I really wanted to explore my hometown! Screw this.

iron_zealot7531
iron_zealot7531

I know this is six years belated but: WHY GOD WHY!!!!! THIS IS THE WORST THING TO HAPPEN SINCE THE BLACK DEATH!!!! anyway, these guys are responsible for the greatest RPGs of all time: Baldurs gate, Icewind Dale, Fallout, Planetscape: torment The fact that black isle no longer exists, despite thier amazing portfolio is surely a sign of the apocalypse

Mr_Versipellis
Mr_Versipellis

Worst thing ever to happen to RPGs... Black Isle(Only just)>Bioware>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Bethesda

Jigsaw9798
Jigsaw9798

Planescape Torment was the best game ever so RIP. Oh and dash9099, Black Isle Studios games would've sucked on any console, they're home is on the PC.

dash9099
dash9099

If Interplay had gone with the PC Market instead of the console it'd be a different story today.

VampericX
VampericX

I was wondering....such a shame I as well thought they made great rpg's...But like someone else said they really just turned it into obsidian.

ensignro
ensignro

Duh, Baldur's Gate was programmed by BioWare, they are still around.

StrYgaR
StrYgaR

i still can't believe there wont be any more baldurs gate :(

fastpunk
fastpunk

Wow, that was a sad day! No matter, Black Isle still lives, only it's called Obsidian now. :)

teknocack
teknocack

Why God, why?! Time to abolish money so all games will be labors of love. They may not all be good, but they will be from the heart.

Krass_of_nod
Krass_of_nod

oh thats a real bummer i loved all the BIS games......*crys* hated intreplays games though they just sucked. To bad BIS had to suck up to the actually weaker people at interplay.... BIS - gone but not forgotten.

spy_hellscream
spy_hellscream

I still miss Black Isle and their kick a$$ Baldurs Gate series, the console games weren't that good (goodjob interplay) but they made one helluva Pc game.

klemetti88
klemetti88

Damn! So this is what happened to Black Isle. They made so many great games. Just purchased the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale Collection packs and this Lionheart. Already had BG1 BG2+shadows of amn and IWD2 but now bought the whole package. This is sad news for us all.

Gabe_Laurence
Gabe_Laurence

So this is why Black Isle Studios closed down. A moment of silence please.

gunandrun
gunandrun

I loved the Fallout genre, and the closing of Black isle studios was a hard hit to me. I hope that the new owners of the Fallout franchise (Bethesda studios) are good to the title and make a great game out of it.