Qualified Yays: Planescape Re-Release?

By Kieron Gillen on October 27th, 2009 at 3:16 pm.

Just picked up from Richard Cobbett’s twitter, it appears that Interplay are re-releasing Planescape Torment. Its release date is listed as the 30th October and the price is a – not-much-change-from-the-nature-of-twenty-quid – 17.99 of your Earth pounds. In fact, it appears to be a whole load of Interplay other material too. It’s a surprise to see a decade-old game released at a mid-range price… but it’s also one that I find hard to argue against. A game that’s still placing high in all-time lists, that’s been unavailable for years, that goes for full-price when it turns up on eBay and hasn’t been superseded in any way. If the gaming equivalent of the Beatle’s price never going down and this means that Dan Gril has no excuse but to finally return Alec’s copy to him. Hand it back, you bast.

__________________

« | »

, , , .

109 Comments »

  1. kyrieee says:

    I think this story originated on the RPS boards actually

    • bill says:

      i thought it started on the GOG boards? ;-)

    • Magnus says:

      I first heard on the GOG boards, for what it’s worth.

      I also pre-ordered a ten year old game for 17.99!

      I’m either going mad, or it’s one of the best RPGs ever made…

  2. bathoz says:

    I thought interplay had gone out of business ages ago.

    • Bhazor says:

      From what I understand Interplay is now just one guy whose been selling the companies old ip’s and raking it in on the Fallout 3 gravy train.

    • Nerd Rage says:

      From what I understand Interplay sold the Fallout license outright, and is currently involved in a legal dispute with Zenimax regarding Interplay’s right to continue development of the Fallout MMO. No Fallout 3 cash raking for them, in other words.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      I think what was meant was that strategically re-releasing FALLOUT 1, 2, BoS and TACTICS at the same time FO3 was coming out was a good idea, financially.

      Interesting they’ve also gone with TORMENT. Maybe its recent appearances on many Best Game Evaaah lists had something to do with that, or they decided to subsidize TORMENT’s renaissance with FALLOUT money, which is fair enough. Doubt they’ll do the same for ICEWIND DALE though ;-)

  3. Mithrandir0x says:

    Those eyes seek vengeance, gazing upon poney-tails…

  4. Lars Westergren says:

    Whoop, one of my top 3 games ever re-relased. I still have my 4-cd original copy… but I’ll buy this again, in the vain hope that publishers will notice. I’ll buy it a third time on Steam if it arrives there.
    :)

    • Subject 706 says:

      I’ll certainly buy it again if they release it in a digital format, so I don’t have to muck about with 4CD’s any more.

  5. rei says:

    It’s not that it isn’t worth that much, but that’s still a strangely high price for such an old game. Can’t think of a precedent. Still, there are a lot of people who have been desperately looking for a copy for years, who I’m sure will be happy to pony up.

    So… any bets on whether Atari will be suing?

  6. Kieron Gillen says:

    Rei: Re-release of Ico? What did they charge for Rez?

    KG

  7. Guto says:

    It would be cheap even if they sold it for 40 bucks.

  8. airtekh says:

    Missed the boat on this when it was first released. Finally I get a chance to play this game at a reasonable price.

    The prices some fools were charging for on ebay for this were ridiculous, up to £50 in some cases.

    • qrter says:

      Ah.. but were they the original cases? (Sorry, couldn’t resist..)

    • Draken says:

      Yeah… i bought one for 30 quid. Totally worth it, though. Full box set and all. :)

  9. Imperialles says:

    This is all very fine, but where is the Steam release? I was under the impression re-releasing classics there was all the rage these days.

  10. bhlaab says:

    Are Interplay SURE they have the rights this time?

  11. Bhazor says:

    £18? Frick! This game should be on GoG alongside its Fallout stablemates.

    At that price I’d expect a major remastered edition, (full voice, repainted back drops, improved AI, redone animations etc) but this being the Bastardised Interplay I’m not holding out any hope. I still blame the Good Interplay for this game sinking like it did.

    • mrmud says:

      Full voice in a game with that much dialogue (over a million words)?

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      It is a bit of a myth that the game ‘sank’. IIRC, it sold about 400,000 copies in its first two or three years on sale, which compares favourably to BALDUR’S GATE and BG2 (which have each ‘only’ sold 2 million copies apiece in ten years). However, the lack of an expansion – Black Isle didn’t seem to like them, considering how bad the one for ICEWIND DALE was – meant it couldn’t be re-released in a handy budget omnibus edition and they decided not to re-release it in packs with BG2 (despite some references in BG2 to the events of PST, and even some weapons showing up).

      The other problem is that in 2000 PLANESCAPE ceased to exist as a separate entity (Wizards of the Coast folded the setting into core 3rd and now 4th Edition) and Wizards of the Coast seemed reluctant to allow the game to be re-released under the trademark. I’m not sure why, but that seems to be the only difference between TORMENT and the other Infinity games, which were all set in the FORGOTTEN REALMS (which remained and remains a separate trademark and license).

      Either that or I’m misremembering it. Still, I know Avallone said they were going to do another PLANESCAPE game, not a sequel but something set in the same universe, but they got sidetracked by the ICEWIND DALE games (which were much easier to make) and then the original version of FALLOUT 3 (VAN BUREN) before Black Isle collapsed. Apparently it made enough money to make a sequel viable, anyway.

  12. Gundrea says:

    How bizarre, I just read the topic for this on the boards five minutes ago. Surely, my paranoia immediately suggests, this is evidence that Kieron is checking my browser cache.

  13. Rohit says:

    Wonder if it’ll have any unofficial patches/mods.

  14. Persus-9 says:

    I’m quite glad to see them re-release it at this price, I want to see older games valued correctly rather than thrown into the bargin bins after six months I think this is a step in the right direction. Still as a tight fisted consumer I’ll be waiting a few months and seeing if they can resist all that money waiting for them at the lower end of the price curve.

    • qrter says:

      That makes no sense.

      Instead of showing the publisher that you agree with their pricing in the only way that’ll make any real lasting impression on them, you’ll reinforce the exact opposite idea by only buying it if and when the price drops.

    • Persus-9 says:

      What can I say, my purse strings are stronger than my ideals.

      No but seriously it does make sense. I’m the type of consumer who always waits a few months than picks it up on the cheap and I’m doing the same for this. If they want to play the price curve game then I’ll jump in at the lower end and they won’t make as much money as they could out of me. I don’t pay £17.99 for current games so there’s nothing inconsistent with me wishing that old games be valued fairly while at the same time refusing to pay that amount.

      The reason the price curve exists is exactly because publishers can count on the impatience (or apparent impatience) of consumers to make 90% (or whatever) of their full price sales within the first few weeks whether they predictably drop the price a couple of weeks later or not. By buying any game at all at its release price you only encourage the price curve game which is a large part of why older games aren’t seen as being as valuable. Me, I’m happy to see that they’re pricing this re-release closer to a new game because it shows they realise it is as valuable as a new game but that doesn’t mean I’m going to act all impatient and buy it on day one (I’m not saying people who buy this on day one are impatient. I’m sure most of the day one buyers who read this will do so because they want to support the move but that isn’t the point. The point is that for whatever reason they will be acting like they’re impatient and so that is the message the company will get). I’m going to do exactly what I always do and bet that they’re going to do what they always do and discount this quite quickly. The fact that because of this they’re going to make less money out of me than they could have done will only discourage them from unreasonably discounting games six months after release or re-release in future. If they don’t reduce the price after a few months then they’ll make close to the optimal amount of money out of me and my purchase will send a clear message that I don’t really give a toss about what the release date because I recognise that unlike milk games don’t go off.

  15. zipdrive says:

    While I hold PS:T in the highest esteem and still have the original copy, I think this price is just a money-grabbing attempt by whoever it is that holds the rights to Interplay’s old games. Saly when I lent this last year to a friend who’s never played it, he couldn’t get over the outdated graphics to actually get enthralled by the story and characters.

    Perhaps if it were released with a reasonable price (say, 10$?) many people would get it, pointing publishers and developers to the right way to do RPGs…

  16. KilgoreTrout XL says:

    Nice! I can kill shit with a poison fingernail all over again. Honestly though, when I played through this I was a little young and much to impatient to read every line of dialogue. I’m kind of psyched to get an opportunity to fix that.

    I don’t know how I’ll fit it in though. It’s going to be Torchlight -> Dragon Age for a long, long time for me.

  17. realsch says:

    While the price is odd, the occasion is joyful.
    I love you Planescape Torment.

  18. diebroken says:

    Old news – wow, that was early?

    “blah says:
    October 22, 2009 at 1:50 am

    Looks like Interplay is re-releasing it (as with their other classic games) : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plane-Scape-Torment-PC-DVD/dp/B002TOKQIG/ref=sr_1_733?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1256172419&sr=1-733

  19. Heliocentric says:

    Yep yep yep, good news. Might end up on gog in a few years. But for me? I got it from a pound shop in with lovely printed discs and a few years earlier in a budget “sold out” in a 3 for 10.

    So while the price can piss off at least the bastards on ebay can stop ripping everyone off.

  20. Po0py says:

    Still way to high for a ten year old game. Hopefully GOG will bring it down to a more reasonable price if they will ever be able to convince interplay to let them sell it.

  21. Krikey! says:

    Ye gods! The most amazing RPG ever, re-released!

    I already own it but I’m buying it again. Jebus this game brings back so many memories.

  22. Kieron Gillen says:

    I’m not sure people selling it on Ebay for the amount of money someone will pay for it are ripping someone off. That’s basic economics, man.

    KG

    • sfury says:

      and some of basic economics is based on ripping other people off

    • Vinraith says:

      I’d say it also depends on whether the price started out as extortionate. I know when I sold it I started the bidding quite low, not realizing that it was going for such a large amount of money. It can hardly be considered “ripping someone off” if it’s the public that bid it up to $70 from $10, now can it?

  23. McTecman says:

    Please release it on Steam as well, please please please…

    • Heliocentric says:

      Obviously you are right, the real evil here is interplay waiting so long… Or something. But really they need this on gog. I’d gift it to friends, but not discs.

  24. LewieP says:

    I totally have a spare copy of this, bundled with soulbringer. I had no idea it was still valuable (at least in the monetary sense).

    • Vinraith says:

      I’ve bought it and sold it three times, because people kept convincing me I’d enjoy it if I gave it just one more try, and I was silly enough to keep believing them. My last sale was by far the best (around $70 IIRC). Fortunately, it was more than enough to make up for the losses I’d taken on the previous occasions.

  25. Vinraith says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m glad I sold when I did.

    • TCM says:

      My RAW LOVE is fading very quickly.

    • Vinraith says:

      Oh come now, I sent it on to someone that would actually enjoy it and play it, rather than having it sit on my shelf collecting massive amounts of dust. In return that person was kind enough to recoup my earlier losses from having bought the stupid thing three times, with a small margin of profit for my trouble. :)

  26. LewieP says:

    Anyone wanna buy it for £100?

  27. Whiskey Jak says:

    Any words if that will be released in North America? I’ve been looking for a copy of the game for quite a while now, and all the copies I find on ebay when I look are either in a questionable condition or just way out of my price range.

  28. Daniel Klein says:

    What can change the price-point of a game?

    • diebroken says:

      Limited volumes of produced stock; games now out of print, and interest in the originals from gamers with a game series/company, that could be attributed to sequels (see: BioShock -> System Shock series). Cult status helps too.

      When those Deus Ex/Thief game sequels will appear… ARMAGEDDON!

    • Daniel Klein says:

      Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to actually ask a question. The pun was just so tempting.

    • Patrick says:

      (Lie) Greed.

  29. Nerd Rage says:

    Sucks about the price, but you’ve still got things like Diablo 2 and Starcraft selling for close to the original price, released at roughly the same time, and (depending on your tastes) equally legendary figures of the gamescape. Not that any of them are worth the asking price, IMO.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Erm, every Blizzard game currently available has been on Vivendi’s Best Sellers budget range for at least 3-4 years.

    • James G says:

      You sure about that? I can easily find Diablo 2 for less than £9.99. Is the pricing elsewhere so different? (Amazon.com finds it for $19.49, which though more expensive, is hardly full price.)

  30. Comment system, what comment system? says:

    I wonder if GOG will get in on this action at all. They have been ignored by all the Lucasarts re-releases.

  31. Pijama says:

    OooooooOoOoOOOoOoOoOOOOOOOOoooOOooOOoooOO Ooooooooooo OoooooOoOooOo Oooo…

    (that is supposed to be Deionarra’s Theme, chorus)

  32. JonFitt says:

    Surely this is precisely the niche that GOG set out to fill?
    I can see the value in the game, but with it being unavailable for so long I bet people who wanted it £17.99-much have already acquired it via other means.

    Not me though, last time I went home to my parents I dug out my mint condition boxed original for a high-res play through. Some of us recognised it was a classic when it was released :-p

  33. JonFitt says:

    Oh, and also:
    If someone from RPS wanted to write a multi-part dissertation on PS:T, I would be delighted to read it. I have only picked up fragments of what people think from various related posts.

  34. Duffin says:

    A rip off if you ask me. I love the game but the only people who are going to be interested in this will be hardcore fans, I can’t imagine it attracting a whole lot of people who haven’t played it before. So essentially they are screwing over the people who have already bought one (or several) copies and lost them over the years.

  35. Ginger Yellow says:

    PT works great on a netbook, by the way. Once you’ve done some fiddling to get it installed and running without the CDs, anyway. Or you could use an external drive, I suppose.

  36. Lars Westergren says:

    How can they be screwing you over? No one is forcing anyone to buy anything. They are not taking away any options you had before… (torrenting it for instance).

  37. manveruppd says:

    I actually think most games are hideously overpriced, but this one is totally worth the money they’re asking for it. Hope they sell a decent amount to convince other developers that a game can be profitable by selling at a modest but steady rate rather than just making a huge splash in its opening week and then sinking like a stone like most blockbusters.
    I mean, compared to stuff like books and DVDs games depreciate in price ridiculously quickly. A book will usually get released for like £18 or so on hardback and then get a paperback release usually a year into its life, at which point it’ll sink to maybe £8ish. That’s a roughly 50% decrease over 12 months, compared to games which can often be gotten at 25% of their original price 6 months after release (and this is still new that I’m talking about, not used)!
    The argument that they lose value because it’s a technology-led medium and newer games are better is pretty specious, since the bulk of sales are on consoles that have 5+ years lifetime. Limited shelf real-estate is probably the root cause of this, but the attitudes of publishers have to be part of the problem too.

  38. Phlebas says:

    Not sure I need a second copy at that price. There are some better bargains going though.

  39. Phlebas says:

    Good to see, but not sure I need a second copy at that price. There are some better bargains going though.

    • sfury says:

      Good to see, but not sure I need a second post. ;)

      The Anachronox is a sweat deal, too bad they don’t ship game CDs to my country (for whatever reason)

    • sfury says:

      Oh, Amazon UK CAN, THEY CAN!!! :)

      Damn you US types and your not-shipping

  40. George says:

    I think about year ago or more Atlus did some re-prints of SMT: Nocture, and maybe some other SMT titles, which went on sale for full price.

  41. Cooper says:

    I pirated Planescape about 2 years ago. I looked on eBay, decided ‘bugger that’ – couldn’t find any legal copies to be had and so downloaded a torrent. I generally abhor pirating, but will make an exception for games only available second hand.

    The obvious question is, then, will I buy it now it is available.
    I’m not sure. I never got very far with the copy I have. I used the high-resolution mod so I could play at my monitor’s native resolution, but at that high a resolution the font is far too small. At the original reslution the game is just ugly (especially when the backgrounds are stunningly beautiful at full screen native res)

    Hence, I don’t plan on actually playing it again. That is until the high-res mod also increases the size of the UI and font. in which case, yes, I will buy a proper copy and mod that.

    However, at that price, you have to ask: WTF? Are they assuming that sales will be so low, and only to gamers like me who may have heard about it that they think they can get away with it that high? For a game re-release that has no input other than wrapping DosBox (which I can do anyway) – look at GoG.com for sensible pricing…

    • Cooper says:

      Ignore some of that – a bit of googling and it seems that there is now a mod which increases font size. may well try and find that old ISO file tonight.

    • JonFitt says:

      Ooh, do share the mod location, chief. I used the High-res mod, but found the small text made my brain hurt.

    • Cooper says:

      I got excited to soon.
      The mod here : http://www.shsforums.net/index.php?autocom=downloads&showfile=683
      Which is what evrerywhere seems to link to, has a UI and font mod for widescreen aspect ratios, but not any resolution you choose. You’d still have to play the game at non-native resolutions, which is kinda a no-go – you might as well play the the original 800×600

  42. cjlr says:

    Well, it’s certainly an interesting reflection on the value of video games over time, if nothing else.

    Consider other media: they don’t really get cheaper. Well, if they’re on the latest physical media. 2nd hand vinyl records and VHS tapes are pretty damn cheap. But nevermind that! Take DVDs. DVD prices are sometimes a bit higher on new releases, and higher on special premium limited director’s collector’s editions, but other than that? A DVD of a seventy year old movie costs as much as a DVD of a two year old movie. That means that someone, somewhere, said they have more or less the same value; or if they don’t, it’s a small difference. Or take CDs. A CD is a CD, pricewise. New releases might be higher but pretty soon they hit the same long plateau as everything else. Or take books. A paperback novel is a fixed pricepoint, barring the rare reprinting of some particularly famous case – it’s give or take maybe 10%, in Canadian dollars. Point is, a reissue of any old thing in most cases is not going to be cheaper.

    Games don’t work that way – at least, most people apparently don’t think they should. And it’s true that there are differences in the way games age and such. Five years in video games makes a hell of a lot more difference than five years in most places. But seriously? Does it matter that much? Most of the time the so-called classics (and by the general consensus, PS:T is definitely that, even if it is not to your particular taste) in other media are more expensive than the baseline. I’m not saying Space Invaders is worth a twenty just because it was game-changing (ha! get it?) but it isn’t worthless; according to any reasonable argument newer games are still worth inherently more but where should the bottom end be?

    I for one would be very curious to know what people would pay for planescape.

  43. Seth says:

    After the Fallout Collection fiasco, which I guess is still going down, I have a feeling that this is less that Interplay finally figured out the ip rights with this game and more like “hey, let’s desperately try to make some money off this old gem before Wizards of the Coast or whoever gets off their ass and sues us because by the time they do the company will be bankrupt and gone for real this time and we will have all moved to Nicaragua”

  44. Seth says:

    Oh, and by the way Interplay re-released a new printing Freespace 2 a few years back when the game was going for about 100 bucks on ebay. Their asking price for the old classic – about sixty bucks.

  45. R says:

    There’s a good step-by-step list of the essential mods/fixes here:

    http://thunderpeel2001.blogspot.com/2009/01/planescape-torment-fully-modded.html

  46. ZIGS says:

    Now if only Eidos would re-release Thief 1/2, Deus Ex, Anachronox and Daikat*gets shot*

    Ok, the first 4 then

  47. Dan says:

    20 quid!?

    5 Quid, Steam, and we may have something to talk about.

  48. Seth says:

    Deus Ex is on Steam.

    I imagine making Dark Engine games run reliably on modern hardware would require more money and manhours that Eidos is willing to spend. But maybe they’ll do something about that when or if Thief 4 gets released in a couple years,

    • Subject 706 says:

      There are fan patches for that, y’know. I’ve got both Thief games and System Shock 2 running nice on Windows 7 64 bit.

  49. MacQ says:

    They’re not serious. It’s a good story, but not such a good game. I’d buy it for 5.99 $ on GOG, but not for this amount.

    On the other hand, there’s the Baldur’s Gate 4-in-1 bundle for the same amount. WTF?

    • Seth says:

      Yeah… basically in the modern era games like this need to priced in the range of “give me a reason not to pirate this.” And they’re pretty much failing on that one.

  50. Berzee says:

    YA YA YA YA YA!