Yesterday, golden age RPG powerhouse Black Isle Studios abruptly rose from the dead. Now death - according to the many dead people I've spoken to in the name of accurate, well-researched reporting - is frequently permanent, so people were a bit surprised when the fallen Fallout factory suddenly whirred back to life. Even the likes of Chris Avellone and Brian Fargo didn't know what to make of it. But hey, Interplay's finally chiming in, so it's time for the world to make sense again, right? Errrrrr.
Eurogamer got in touch with Interplay boss Herve Caen, from whom they extracted a few precious details. First up, the new Black Isle will apparently be dedicated to developing "triple-A" RPGs based on Interplay IPs. Now let's chew on that for a moment. Most obviously, what IPs? Bethesda has Fallout, Beamdog's overhauling Baldur's Gate, and the other D&D properties (Icewind and Planescape) have - to my knowledge - been reshuffled back into Wizards of the Coast's deck. So what's left? Lionheart?
And then there's the bit about "triple-A." Granted, in this day and age, that could mean a million different things, but does Interplay even have the sort of funding one would need to create something that could even be vaguely considered "triple-A"? It's been in pretty dire financial straits for quite some time now, after all.
Next up, we have Caen himself voicing excitement about the new venture:
"It really feels like getting the band back together as we're seeing opportunities not available to us before. Given our unique position, expanding online and mobile platforms, and renewed interest in our proven properties, I see an incredible success potential for Black Isle Studios."
Again, however, Obsidian and inXile say "Hello." I mean, is it really "the band" if you don't have any of the old members, songs, instruments, or ill-advised remix albums? In this horrifically overwrought metaphor, all that seems to be left is the tour bus.
Who knows, though? Maybe Interplay has some crazy ace up its sleeve. Maybe it's about to come out wielding an IP so cherished and legendary that all doubt will explode into a cloud of excessively trusting rainbows. But, given what we currently know, it's hard not to be a little skeptical.