There's an editorial over at Next Generation that discusses five fine game companies that have collapsed: one of them is Black Isle (no mention of Troika, surprisingly).
At the time the studio was disbanded, it was in the middle of
development on Fallout 3, due to have been its most ambitious project
in years. Interplay soon sold off the rights to the series; as chance
had it, Bethesda picked up the property and has begun work on its own
version of Fallout 3, using the engine from The Elder Scrolls IV:
So it's not like Black Isle has vanished
completely. All the same – just, man. Talk about a smack in the face.
One of the most influential and intelligent design teams, riding high
on a cushion of critical acclaim and the knowledge that, in the void
left by Origin and Sierra, they – to some degree – helped make PC games
relevant again, just as the hammer seemed to be coming down. And then,
bang. Down it went. Everyone fired; years of hard work up to the
It's been discussed many times before, and the horse isn't just dead, but decomposed and reincarnated, but I feel that VB would have been disappointing, if only because of the rushed nature of it, Interplay's demands, lack of funding and so on. And, it wasn't really a 'smack in the face' to anyone reasonably perceptive, as it was clear to many of us BIS was going to collapse months before it did.