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Circuitously Fortuitous: Interplay Nabs Freespace IP

Remember the days before Volition exclusively made (admittedly marvelous) games about superpowered crimelords/US Presidents dubstep gunning virtual reality aliens? Those were very different times. For one, we didn’t have smartphones or Facebook or music players we have to actively worry about ingesting or anything like that, but mainly that era saw the Saints Row’s developer craft some of the finest space combat sims in all the ‘verse. Unfortunately, Freespace and Freespace 2 couldn’t out-dogfight the then-mighty retail mothership, and the Interplay-published series crashed and burned. But here’s the fun part: Via Volition, Freespace ended up at THQ, who’s now sold it back to… Interplay.

Yes, Interplay, the company who’s only slightly more existent than THQ at this point. The publisher sealed the deal with a cool-as-an-airless-vacuum sum of $7500, which is a disturbingly small amount of my total yearly rent. If I moved someplace else, could own Freespace. Right now. I will carry this regret to my deathbed.

In recent years, Interplay’s kept itself busy by battling with Bethesda over the rights to a Fallout MMO and attempting to crowdfund a resurrected Black Isle… with hardly any of its original talent or franchises. They’ve been pin-drop silent since the end of last year.

So, is Freespace in good hands? Who knows. Perhaps Interplay’s assembled some kind of old-school game development uber-team, though a near-comical plague of financial issues says it’s not likely. Maybe we’ll find out, er, someday? Here’s hoping, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Nathan Grayson

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