Interplay Entertainment

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Interplay is the company that developed Wasteland, as well as developed and published the original Fallout games.

History[edit | edit source]

In 1982, Adhaminto Boone had to close down his small games company, Boone Corporation. Brian Fargo, who was vice-president of R&D, took along some of the senior programmers to found Interplay productions. The small outfit published several titles, but finally struck gold with The Bard's Tale and Wasteland, which gave them the financial backing they needed to start publishing their own titles, instead of relying on EA as their publisher.

They started publishing games from other companies in 1988, but it wasn't until 1993 that they managed another hit, and started the "Descent" series, first produced by Parallax Software. Starting in 1992, they were noted for pumping out a few Star Trek games, and in 1997 they released Fallout and MDK, followed by Baldur's Gate in 1998. Emboldened by their success, Interplay went public that same year, and changed the name to Interplay Entertainment Corp.

But the move was a bad one, and they reported several years of losses. The french company Titus Interactive started acquiring Interplay stock, and had by 2000 gained majority control of the company. Titus installed a new president, Herve Caen, but Fargo stayed on for a while as company chairman. However, Titus was already in financial and legal trouble at that point, and eventually had to close business in 2004. Since his installment as president, Caen had tried to shift the company's attention towards console games, an area where the company had never had much success. They missed the 2002 Christmas season, and Interplay was clearly on the road to oblivion.

Interplay was evicted by its landlord for not paying rent on the very day that Titus quit business, and most of the remaining staff had to leave because they weren't getting paid. Herve and a few others relocated to another office, trying to get the company going again by selling off their various assets, but its various debts were simply too staggering. They eventually sold the rights to Fallout 3 to Bethesda, but kept the rights to make a Fallout MMO.

On 29 November 2006, Interplay was served with an involuntary bankruptcy order. The following day, Interplay filed a SEC form, stating their intent to seek European funding for a Fallout MMOG project. The form notes their intent to begin development in January 2007.

On November 30, 2006, Interplay, still headed by Herve Caen, has filed a Form 8-K filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding a potential Fallout massively multiplayer online game.[1] The Form 8-K contained a prospectus stating that Interplay will be issuing common stock on Euronext to raise capital for developing a Fallout MMOG. The report stated that the production and launch processes will require an estimated US$75 million in capital. The report also stated that production may start as early as January 2007 and the game may launch as early as July 2010.[2]

In April 2007, SEC filings were made showing the purchase of the IP for the Fallout MMO to Fallout 3 developer Bethesda Softworks for $5.75 million USD. While Bethesda now owns the rights to the Fallout MMO IP, clauses in the purchase agreement state allow Interplay to license the rights to the development of the MMO. [3]

Specific requirements were stated in the agreement that if not met, Interplay would immediately lose and forfeit its license rights for Fallout. Development must begin within 24 months of the date of the agreement (April 4, 2007), and Interplay must secure $30 million within that time frame or forfeit its rights to license. Interplay must furthermore launch the MMOG within 4 years of the beginning of development, and pay Bethesda 12 percent of sales and subscription fees for the use of the IP. Neither the filing nor the exhibit specifies just how Interplay will start development within 24 months of April 2007 or how it will be able to acquire the minimum financing requirement of US$30,000,000.00 seeing that Interplay still is in dire financial straits.

In November 2007, Interplay reopened in-house development and hired Fallout developer Jason D. Anderson as creative director for an unannounced MMO[4]. Given the aforementioned facts, it's most likely that the game Anderson is working on is Interplay's Fallout MMO, given that he is the contact name of Interplay's jobs appliance and that Fallout is referred in the job requirements[5].

On June 30, 2008, it was announced that Interactive Game Group, LLC (created by Frederic Chesnais, former Chief Executive Officer of Atari, which now also owns MicroProse) purchased 2,000,000 shares of Interplay stock, as consideration for entering into a game production agreement.

References[edit | edit source]