Remember that abyss-black scene in Toy Story, in which Woody animates Buzz’s dismembered limb in order to convince his friends that the plastic spaceman is a-okay? Well, our inner cynic worries Interplay are doing something similar with classic RPG studio Black Isle, them of Fallout and Planescape Torment.
“Our goal has always been to make the world’s best RPGs,” reads a message on a newly updated website. “Black Isle Studios is back.”
Only, many of the key creative names behind Black Isle – including Feargus Urquhart, Chris Avellone and Josh Sawyer – have long since formed the backbone of go-to AAA RPG contractors Obsidian. And they, says Chris Avellone to Eurogamer, are categorically not involved.
So what might be going on here? Well, Interplay was last heard of relinquishing the rights to Fallout Online to Bethesda. Perhaps old studiohands are involved, perhaps not – but in fairly dire financial straits, Interplay are making use of what they do have in abundance: brand power.