Hmm. Well, this came out of nowhere. OK, not entirely nowhere - we are living in the age of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, Wasteland 2, and talk of a new Planescape: Torment, after all - but I can't say I was expecting Black Isle to just suddenly explode out of the suspiciously human-sized birthday cake that is life. And yet, here we are. Black Isle Studios is apparently back. I mean, look at that picture. It's as clear as day.
Beyond that teaser, very, very little is known. The website, Facebook page, and Twitter account are registered to Interplay and Herve Caen, the company's CEO, so it seems legit enough, at least. Will it resemble Black Isle as we knew and loved it back in the Fallout, Icewind Dale, and Planescape days, though? At this stage, it seems incredibly unlikely, given that both Obsidian and inXile - bastions of former key Black Isle staff - aren't involved in the slightest.
"Doesn’t involve Obsidian at all," former Black Isle lead designer Chris Avellone told Eurogamer. "No idea what it’s about. I wasn’t aware anything beyond the name was left at Interplay.”
inXile's Brian Fargo, meanwhile, took to Twitter with the news, saying: "I just read that Interplay is bringing back Black Isle. Hmmm... Not enough info for me to comment" and later adding that "a game division is obviously only as good as the talent it employs."
Meanwhile, the last time Interplay made headlines was when it relinquished Fallout MMO rights to Bethesda after a legal tussle blew up in its face. So this is all extremely unexpected.
I've sent questions out to everybody I know who might have some information, and I emailed the new Black Isle to boot. For now, meanwhile, Black Isle's ghost is very enthusiastically asking everyone to sign up for its mailing list with mysterrrrrious prompts like "What's next?" So hopefully - one way or another - we'll actually find out something soon.