If you were a console owner in the 1990s, you most likely played the shit out of some Interplay games. The publisher never had the global clout or polished style of a Capcom or EA, but then again, they did have Rock 'n' Roll Racing, which was inarguably one of the greatest things made by people in the closing years of the 20th Century, so there's that. But like other 90s touchstones whose star shone too bright to endure, Interplay has fallen on hard times – bringing their one remaining star property, the tenaciously-retained Fallout Online, into jeopardy.
The company’s Lost Vikings definitely featured the finest utilization of beards in any videogame – recently filed dire financial details with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. You can find the report here. Put it this way: you personally almost certainly have better credit than Interplay (I do, and I'm currently saving up for a Big Mac). The company's cash-on-hand for the 2010 financial year-end was listed as $3000 – whereas a $2.8 million operating deficit includes payments owed to the company's directors and taxes unpaid since 2008.
Above: Forlorn teaser artwork for Fallow Online
Interplay hopes to claw their way out of the bleak situation with licensed updates to past properties such as Clayfighter, Earthworm Jim and Battle Chess (the last of which is actually even less exciting than you're probably picturing). However, the company's Fallout MMO, a title announced five years ago whose rights Bethesda continues to pursue a legal right to, could be a casualty of the struggle – which would be gravy for Bethesda, and probably cause old-school Fallout fans to literally explode into mushroom clouds. Due to Interplay’s financial problems, the likelihood that a Fallout MMO will see the light of day seems grim. “We may not be able to develop a Fallout MMOG,” says Interplay in the SEC filing, getting right to the point.
Jun 1, 2011
Blizzard Entertainment photo tour
A behind-the-scenes look at the studio that made some of Interplay's finest titles
Fallout Online coming in 2012, will be 'extremely funny'
Yeah, says you, 2010