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Interplay History
Interplay History [ Company -> Editorial ]
Posted by Urizen Wed 10 Jan 2007, 3:59 PM
More info on Company: Interplay | More info on Person: Herve Caen
What with all the recent Interplay news and rumours flying around, a brief summary of the corporation's history may be appropriate. Old-timers may not find much news here, but others may find it somewhat enlightening.

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 hit the motherlode with Fallout and MDK, followed by Baldur's Gate in 1998. Boldened 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 aquiring 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 allready in financial and legal trouble at that point, and eventually had to close business in 2004. Since his installment as president, Herve 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 an other office, trying to get the company going again by selling off their various assets, but its various debts was simply too staggering. They eventually sold the rights to Fallout 3 to Bethesda, but kept the rights to make a Fallout MMO.

On 23 November last year, Interplay was served with an involuntary bankruptcy order, possibly by Corith, their former web developer, who is known for his special hatred for Herve. A week after that, 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, revealing a timetable many would find ludicrous.
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