Now that is an efficient headline. But just to unpack it a bit: Interplay and Overhaul have remade offbeat 3D action-adventure MDK2 with modernised graphics. They’re going to be releasing it next month for $14.99, and it will only be appearing on Beamdog. Seems like a bit of an odd decision to me, but I suppose the smaller games portals have to find some way to drive traffic to their sites.
We’ll take a fresh look at the game when it comes out. I wonder if it will cling on to the same problems as the original.
Times were an awful lot easier for Interplay back in 1998. A string of hit franchises, apparent sovereignty of the new RPG kingdom and, it appears, big, brassy enough cajones to start up a film division. While nothing much ever came of this, we now know that a Fallout movie was in the works, based on the first game. Whatever would it have been like? Let’s find out. Read the rest of this entry »
The new Edge came sliding through my letterbox today. I was about to cut it up and reassemble it into a huge paper effigy of myself, like I always do, but then something caught my eye. An interview with Interplay’s president, Eric Caen? Ooh. What does he have to say?
There’s more movement from Interplay regarding Fallout: Online, their MMO of the post-apocalyptic series that’s been the subject of so much legal dispute. There’s a press release on Interplay’s site that explains the first newsletter about the game is being sent out to those who signed up to the teaser site that appeared last month.
So says Pete Hines over at the big K. That means rumours about Interplay being okay to proceed were indeed false.
“The bottom line is it’s an ongoing legal matter, it’s in no way, shape or form done,” Hines continued. “We’re going to let the process play out in the courts, which is what we’ve said all along, but beyond that I can’t give specifics as to procedures. That’s not my domain.”
Duck And Cover reports that Bethesda have dropped their lawsuit against Interplay. (Interplay were suing Bethesda back for something or other, so we can assume that is over too.) Anyway, the long and the short is that Interplay are now able to press ahead with their Fallout MMO, assuming this is true… There’s still a long way to go before “Project V13” (pictured) becomes a playable Fallout Online, of course, but it’s looking hopeful.
Hard to say whether this is actually good news, of course, not least when Fallen Earth is making already making so much headway on its own ruined future-earth MMO. We’ve got an interview coming up with them, come to think of it. And some other interesting apocalyptic fact-treats in the pipeline. Stay tuned, I’ll go fill my wheelbarrow up with words, straight from the coalface of news.
It appears the word “EXTREME” is the thread in my linkposts today. ANYWAY! Paweł Dembowski dropped us a line, noting that details on another canceled Fallout game have come to light. If the sources are correct, it was only in development for a few months by 14 Degrees East in 2000, and appears to be a Hidden & Dangerous-inspired tactical shooter. As in, four men, free switching between them and all that. Also, aimed for the original XBox, but since it’s only of historical note worth mentioning on this most PC of blogs. There’s some story details here and some mechanic-based stuff in the sidebar here (UPDATE: And some more here). This sort of stuff happens in developers all the time – a couple of months, then killed. I’d love to see a mass list of The Games That Could Have Been from our favourite developers. Read the rest of this entry »
Polish site Polygamia.pl send word that they’ve got their hands on some of the images from vapour-MMO Project V13, which would be Fallout Online, via the court case between Bestheda and Interplay. Probably not even vaguely representative of what said game will come to look like, if it ever comes to be, but worth a look to see what the Interplayians have been up to in their backwoods game shed.
This broke on Friday, but RPS were dividing and conquering across the world, requiring Kadayi – cheers! – to bring it to our attention. In short, Gamasutra reports that the coldness between Interplay (Original Fallout IP holders) and Bethesda (Purchaser of the Fallout IP) has crossed into an actual legal suit. However, it isn’t about the MMO situation, as described in the link. It’s to prevent any further distribution of the compilation Fallout Trilogy’s sales via Digital Download companies causing “immediate, substantial, and irreparable harm”. Do read the whole thing, and a little industry thought below… Read the rest of this entry »
Confused squinting at legal dispute time! We’ve known for a while that Fallout 1/2 publishers Interplay had clung onto rights for a Fallout MMO as part of their skin-saving deal to flog the Fallout 3 license to Bethesda, and a few months back the reborn publisher had coolly revealed they have one ‘Project V13‘ in the pipeline. Deal done, right? Apparently not. Bethesda may now dispute Interplay’s right to make Fallout Online… Read the rest of this entry »
Rejoice, for there is suddenly and magically a crapton of information about the cancelled Interplay Fallout game. No, not Van Buren – the other cancelled Interplay Fallout game. What, eh, etc? Okay. Back before Bethesda’s take on Fallout split PC gamers down the middle, Interplay caused similar controversy by side-stepping the series into the action-RPG curio Brotherhood of Steel on Playstation 2 (which, confusingly, was itself an entirely different game to Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel that hit PC a few years earlier).
While fairly (and justifiably) reviled by Fallout fans at the time, you could argue it was a little closer to the world of the original two Fallouts than the recent Fallout 3 was. Hence, the leak of a design document for a never-made sequel to BoS is a pretty big deal for Fallout veterans. And hey, probably for new Fallout fans too. Read the rest of this entry »
Some of the Fallout chatter on here reminded me of the canceled “Van Buren” project, which would have been Fallout 3 had Interplay not closed down the Black Isle project in 2003. Most of you will have seen this last year, but I thought it worth mentioning that the tech demo was leaked in 2007 and is now freely available over on StrategyInformer. There’s not a great deal to it, but the very existence of an alternate Fallout 3 makes for an interesting compare and contrast.
Bethesda have said there isn’t going to be a demo for their Fallout 3, which should hit the PC on October 28th.
[The original version of this appeared in PC Gamer. There’s been a handful of additions.]
Maths was always our favourite lesson, for the simple reason we never did any Maths in it. There were always more obvious rebels for the teacher to whip into line than David Hyland, Simon Holmes and myself, crouched over our desks and using the class’ infinite supply of squared paper to copy out each others maps. From a distance, it even looked as if we were working. Read the rest of this entry »
This article is a revised version of a retrospective written last year for PC Gamer UK.
There was nothing funny about Kingpin. It was a genuinely vicious game, with some of the most violent scenes from any shooter I can recall. Severed heads, gashed bodies, screamed obscenities: only the absolute dismemberment of Soldier of Fortune managed to outrank it in bloodiness. Presumably it was this surface gore that drew me in: the promised thrill of transgressive videogame violence. Then again, maybe it was PC Gamer’s (overzealous) review, or perhaps it was the fantasy-gangster chic, with its 1920s Bladerunner horrors. Then again, perhaps it was a hunger for something in the FPS world that did things differently. Whatever it was, something plugged me straight into its ugly wavelength. And whatever that thing was, it meant that I stayed a while. Read the rest of this entry »
A quick follow-up to the scurrilous speculation a little while back that Interplay was about to resuscitate most of its major franchises. Actually, they are. “The company will leverage its portfolio of gaming properties by creating sequels to some of its most successful games, including Earthworm Jim, Dark Alliance, Descent, and MDK,” says robot-press-releaseman right here. They’re also setting up a new in-house development studio to get all this done. Exciting! Read the rest of this entry »
Odd timing, this – on the same day that Obsidian, a company formed from the ashes of Black Isle, finally step out of Bioware’s shadow and announce their own game, we also see the return of Black Isle’s much-troubled owners, Interplay.
Interplay.com now hosts this excited image:
and a Coming Soon message. See the full pic here. Going left to right, we’ve got MDK, Earthworm Jim, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, and apparently the browny-green bit underneath the Interplay logo is concept art from Fallout Online. Edit – and Descent on the far left. Read the rest of this entry »
Against all odds, ever-struggling games publisher Interplay still functions – despite being nearly $3m in debt. Still, that’s better than the nearly $60m in the red it was back in 2001, eh? Now it’s a hobo that can afford a wash once in a while.
Given that actual game sales only contributed $62,000 to the $5.4m Interplay’s earned in the last quarter, almost all of the rosy finanical tint it claims to be back in its cheeks was put there by flogging the rights to the Fallout series to Bethesda earlier this year. This seems no cause for celebration to me, rather like saying “I’ve got this oil well underneath my house, but I can’t afford to dig down to it. So I sold it to my incredibly rich neighbour for £20 and a ride in his Ferrari. Now he’s even richer, but hey, it’s £20 I can put towards my rent!”
More positively, Interplay plans to invest the profits it doesn’t have (but, um more so? Less so? ‘Interplay has less anti-profit’? Argh.) into the long-rumoured and occasionally confirmed Fallout MMO, as it’s retained online rights to the post-apocalyptic RPG. As revealed back when Fallout 3 was flogged to Bethesda in April, Interplay has two years to start development on Fallout Online, six years to finish it and must secure at least $30m of investment in it if it wants to hang onto rights for such a title. And, as we discover today, it’s still looking for investors. So, we’re headed towards half a year on from the deal being brokered, and Fallout Online isn’t even on the drawing board yet. Place your bets, gentlemen please.
“I am pleased with the progress the company has made, particularly with our debt load, which has improved from $59 million in December 2001 to less than $3 million today. With that difficult period behind us, we are focused on securing funding for development of a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) based on the popular Fallout franchise. Along with our strategy of leveraging our existing portfolio of intellectual gaming properties, Fallout Online will play a key role in the future of Interplay.”
– Herve Caen, Interplay chairman and CEO
Interplay sounds convinced it can secure funding (it claimed back in December that $75m would be sunk into Fallout Online), but I wonder. Who really wants to chuck a sack of money at a company whose only revenue to speak of over the last year came from selling its most valuable asset? The game they would be investing in, meanwhile, is a project that’s been going nowhere fast since 2004, and part of a long-dormant franchise with more than a whiff of PC nerdery around it. Strikes me that until Bethesda’s Fallout is a proven success, Interplay mightn’t get the funding it needs. Odds of Bethesda’s Fallout being out before that two-year clause expires, then? Uh-oh.
Bethesda’s Fallout 3 – I am well-pleased by the recent trend for vintage music in games
Then again, do we really want Interplay to make Fallout Online? There’s been no talk of a developer yet, so Lord knows whose hand will end up at the till, and this is a publisher that’s spent most of the last decade plagued by financial cock-ups. I care a lot about Fallout, and, together with most of my RPS comrades, a post-apoc setting is something we’re craving for an MMO to do well (Auto Assault’s mutant ladies in metal bikinis approach is exactly what I don’t want in my scorched Earth). I don’t really want an underfunded, desperate to turn a profit rush job from Fallout Online – today’s statement sounds very much as though Interplay’s hanging it’s last remaining threadbare hat on this game working out. I certainly don’t want it to be a WoW clone, as it almost inevitably will be.
So, perhaps it’d best if Interplay did lose the rights. I don’t yet know whether Bethesda truly are the folks for the job (while Fallout 3 is looking splendid, and citing Cormack McCarthy’s The Road as an influence is reassuring, the shockingly bad storytelling, voice-acting and facial graphics in Oblivion are elementary crimes I’d rather weren’t committed in a Fallout game), at least their Fallout Online wouldn’t have desperation as its main driving force.