Don’t call it a comeback. Don’t call it, like, three comebacks. Interplay, once renowned as a house of PC ideas, has failed to get back off the ground across various attempts at resurrection, and it seems matters have gone no better for whoever is currently wearing the well-worn skinsuit. ‘Interplay’ has just announced a firesale of various intellectual properties. Which means that the likes of Descent, Freespace, Kingpin, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, MDK, Sacrifice and Earthworm bally Jim are now looking for new homes.
Oh God, come on, let’s do this. Let’s get the RPS community to club together to buy the rights to and make a new Kingpin game.
The shock sale does not specify exactly what is or isn’t being put out front of shop with a red sticker on it, but the announcement states that Interplay intends “to sell its library of video game assets and intellectual property. The expected sale represents some 70 titles and dozens of characters.” I.e., it sounds like everything is up for grabs.
There is, as you can see above, quite a few of the 1990s great and good, broadly left to die on the vine when Interplay died and was later replaced by an ‘Interplay.’ Us hoary old folk would give our right arms for a new Sacrifice or full-fat Descent, for instance, but I sadly suspect the wider gaming world does not care quite so much. Hence, sale time – presumably one of few options for ‘Interplay’ to make meaningful bank from its portfolio. It’s tried licensing some of its properties a couple of times, most notably with Descent: Underground, but hasn’t managed to set any worlds on fire as yet.
Perhaps I’m just too influenced by what happened with the death of THQ, but I find it hard to imagine that the likes of THQ Nordic and Sega aren’t having a sniff around this. Or perhaps Doug Tentpole wants Earthworm Jim back, or Descent’s original creators want to pin the name back onto their spiritual sequel.
It’s Kingpin and Sacrifice that catch my eye, though. Oh, for a few bob in the bank.
Here’s the full statement, from ‘Interplay’ president Eric Caen:
“Interplay has entertained millions of players with its well-recognized games, including Earthworm Jim, Freespace, Giants, Kingpin, Messiah, MDK, Run Like Hell, Sacrifice, Battlechess, Clayfighter, Dark Alliance, and Descent. As game creators, we are proud of the entertainment these properties have provided over the years. With the proliferation of mobile, augmented reality, virtual reality and other new forms of consumption, we believe that consumers are ready to experience and interact with Interplay’s characters, stories and game play in ways never possible before. We look forward to seeing how this unique portfolio of interactive entertainment icons will evolve for the worldwide audience.”
If you are a Rich Person who is interested in acquiring one of these, you’re instructed to contact this fellow. And to then ask me to design and write it for you.
Question is, will ‘Interplay’ have any meaning whatsoever left once everything it was once known for has been strip-mined? This has been a long and sorry tale, but perhaps an ending of sorts now awaits.