Black Isle Back from the Dead?

Black Isle

Though at this point it is basically just what you see in the image above, it would appear that someone at Interplay has decided that resurrecting the legendary name of Black Isle Studios might generate some interest. Whether this means that the studio will reopen is anyone’s guess and even if it does, will it have any licenses or talent that made the original company what it was? Their spat with Bethesda over the Fallout license was well publicized, the obviously don’t have the Dungeons and Dragons license any longer (though it has been rumored that they indeed have reacquired this) and their original talent is spread out elsewhere. I despised Interplay for making the decision to shutter Black Isle back in 2003 because their poor management caused the closure of my favorite developer and am wary to say the least about this. Will it be more than a tasteless publicity stunt to try and generate some old school nostalgia? Does Interplay have any intention of the reanimated namesake actually producing something in the vein of past titles?

It will be interesting to see if any semblance of the original can be established. Though Interplay has since claimed that the focus would be on RPG creation of the same style that made the original studio famous, until more specifics are out there it is hard to be but so enthusiastic. The whole “what if” another Planescape, Icewind Dale or Baldur’s Gate could be on the horizon is tempered by the fact that those games were special because of the team behind them, not the license and not the name. We can always hope for at least a partial reunion of the talent behind those games, unlikely as it may be. I for one would love to see the iconic Black Isle logo load at the start of a new chapter in any of the above series. Hell, a new series crafted with the same audience in mind could be great as well. The Wastelands Kickstarter showed that there is still very much a market for that style of game, maybe this is what made Interplay take notice. I will definitely be watching this for further developments with great interest.

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