Interplay Entertainment Corp.
FormerlyInterplay Productions (1983–1998)
Expert MarketIPLY
IndustryVideo games
FoundedOctober 1983; 40 years ago (1983-10) in Irvine, California, US
Area served
Key people
Hervé Caen (CEO)
Revenue1,380,000 United States dollar (2010) Edit this on Wikidata
1,030,000 United States dollar (2010) Edit this on Wikidata

Interplay Entertainment Corp. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Los Angeles. The company was founded in 1983 as Interplay Productions by developers Brian Fargo, Jay Patel, Troy Worrell, and Rebecca Heineman, as well as investor Chris Wells. As a developer, Interplay is best known as the creator of the Fallout series and as a publisher for the Baldur's Gate and Descent series.


Interplay Productions

The logo used for Interplay Productions on the cover of Wasteland; Brian Fargo stated that the logo was intended to resemble a person seated in front of a keyboard.[1]

Prior to Interplay, the company's founding developers—Brian Fargo, Troy Worrell, Jay Patel, and Rebecca Heineman—worked for Boone Corporation, a video game developer based in California.[2] When Boone eventually folded, the four got together with investor Chris Wells and, believing they could create a company that was better than Boone, founded Interplay in October 1983.[2][3][4] The first projects were non-original and consisted of software conversions and even some military work for Loral Corporation.[5] After negotiations with Activision, Interplay entered a US$100,000 contract to produce three illustrated text adventures for them.[6][5] Published in 1984, Mindshadow is loosely based on Robert Ludlum's Bourne Identity while The Tracer Sanction puts the player in the role of an interplanetary secret agent. Borrowed Time which features a script by Arnie Katz' Subway Software followed in 1985. These adventures built upon work previously done by Fargo: his first game was the 1981-published Demon's Forge.[5]

The same year, Interplay Productions, then contracted out by Electronic Arts, ported EA's Racing Destruction Set to the Atari 8-bit family of computers. The conversion, entirely coded by Rebecca Heineman, was released in 1986 via Electronic Arts for the United States and Ariolasoft for the European market.

Interplay's parser was developed by Fargo and an associate and in one version understands about 250 nouns and 200 verbs as well as prepositions and indirect objects.[7] In 1986, Tass Times in Tonetown followed. Interplay made a name for itself as a quality developer of role-playing video games with the three-part series The Bard's Tale (1985–1988), critically acclaimed Wasteland (1988) and Dragon Wars (1989). All of them were published by Electronic Arts.[citation needed]

Interplay started publishing its own games, beginning with Neuromancer and Battle Chess, in 1988, and then moved on to publish and distribute games from other companies, while continuing internal game development. In 1995, Interplay published the hit game Descent, developed by startup Parallax Software. Interplay published several Star Trek video games, including Star Trek: 25th Anniversary for computers and for Nintendo Entertainment System and Star Trek: Judgment Rites. These games had later CD-ROM editions released with the original Star Trek cast providing voices. Interplay also published Starfleet Academy and Klingon Academy games, and Starfleet Command series, beginning with Star Trek: Starfleet Command. Another game, Star Trek: Secret of Vulcan Fury, was in development in the late 1990s but was never completed and much of its staff laid off due to budgetary cuts prompted by various factors. In 1995, after several years of delays, Interplay finally published its role-playing game Stonekeep. Other PC games released during the mid- to late 1990s included Carmageddon, Fragile Allegiance, Hardwar and Redneck Rampage.[citation needed]

In 1997, Interplay developed and released Fallout, a successful and critically acclaimed role-playing video game set in a retro-futuristic post-apocalyptic setting. Black Isle Studios, a newly created in-house developer, followed with the sequel, Fallout 2, in 1998. Another successful subsequent Interplay franchise was Baldur's Gate, a Dungeons & Dragons game that was developed by BioWare and which spawned a successful expansion, sequel and spin-off series. The spin-off series started with Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance; the game's success forged a sequel as well. Aside from Dark Alliance, Interplay published a few notable console series such as Loaded and the fighting game series ClayFighter and the games by Shiny Entertainment, MDK and Wild 9.[8][citation needed]

Rebranding as Interplay Entertainment, Titus minority acquisition (1998–2002)

In 1998, Interplay's financial issues went under dire with the company threatened to be placed under bankruptcy due to status in the banktruptcy court. To avert bankruptcy, Interplay went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the name Interplay Entertainment.[9]

By 1999, Interplay continued to endure losses under Brian Fargo due to increased competition, less-than-stellar returns on Interplay's sports division, and the lack of console titles. Because of this, the company forced itself to seek additional funding from an outside third-party. On February 17, 1999, the company entered into a distribution agreement with British game publisher Virgin Interactive, where Interplay would acquire a 43.9% stake (initially a 49.9% stake) in the company and allow Virgin to exclusively distribute their titles in Europe, effectively replacing Interplay's own distribution arm in the region. Interplay also announced that they would distribute Virgin Interactive's titles in North America and several other territories including South America and Japan.[10][11] On March 23, 1999, it was announced that the Paris-based Titus Interactive had invested $10 million in the publisher with a considered chance of purchasing Universal Pictures' stake in Interplay, which would allow Titus to own 34% of the company's shares and allow for Interplay to distribute Titus' products in North America.[12] By May, $25 million was invested by Titus, which within a few months was increased by another $10 million.[13] By August, Titus owned 57% of Interplay's shares.[14]

On 16 April 2001, Titus announced they had expanded their control shares in Interplay to 72.5%. On the same day, they announced they had purchased Interplay's stake in Virgin Interactive, effectively making the latter a fully-owned subsidiary of Titus, which was to allow the three companies to simplify their European distribution arms under the singular Virgin Interactive umbrella.[15] On August 28, Titus announced that they had appointed Vivendi Universal Publishing as Interplay's North American distributor in order for Interplay to focus more on development. Prior to this, Titus resecured full distribution rights to its titles in North America, which were not counted for as part of the Vivendi Universal deal.[16] On September 27, Interplay announced that Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and Giants: Citizen Kabuto would become the first titles under the new agreement.[17] On November 29, 2001, BioWare announced that they had ended their partnership with Interplay, citifying unpaid royalties and Titus sublicensing distribution to third-parties for the reason.[18] BioWare took Neverwinter Nights with them, with Infogrames purchasing worldwide publishing rights to the title in January 2002, while BioWare eventually reconsidered with Interplay.[19]

Continued struggles (2002–2018)

On January 24, 2002, Interplay founder and CEO Brian Fargo resigned from the company, following Interplay's failed move to expand to console gaming as well as conflictions with Titus Interactive.[20][21] He later went on to found InXile Entertainment. Titus' co-founder Hervé Caen took over as Interplay's new CEO and began a range of several unpopular but arguably necessary decisions to cancel various projects, in order to save the company. In April 2002, the company sold Shiny Entertainment to Infogrames for $47 million, which at turn also included a then-upcoming video game based on The Matrix as well as the video game rights to the property transferring over.[22] Due to a low share price, Interplay's shares were delisted from the NASDAQ in 2002 and now trade on the over the counter (OTC) market.[23]

The company continued to struggle throughout 2003 following an assortment of poorly-selling console titles. On September 29, 2003, the company was entered into a lawsuit with Vivendi Universal over alleged breaches of their partnership and a failure of payment. This led to Interplay ending their North American distribution deal with Vivendi Universal Games.[24] On December 8, 2003, Interplay closed down Black Isle Studios and laid off their entire staff.[25] The company was also involved in issues including debt. Feargus Urquhart later left Black Isle Studios and Interplay suffered a loss of US$20 million in that year.[26]

By June 2004, Interplay's fate was appearing to show, once employees were showing up locked out of the company's offices and other events ensuring, although Titus' co-founder Eric Caen denied that Interplay was closing, deeming them as being "Still There".[27] However, by June 7, it was reported that several California labor investigators had forcefully shut down Interplay's offices over unpaid royalties to developers, unpaid employees and not issuing any health insurance to them.[28] By June 9, Interplay's offices had reopened after Herve Caen secured the funds to pay the insurance for Interplay's staff. On the same day, Titus Interactive announced they were declaring bankruptcy, which made Interplay's future uncertain.[29] In July, they sold the Redneck Rampage franchise to Vivendi Universal Games for $300,000, and in October, licensed the rights to the Fallout franchise to Bethesda Softworks under a three-game deal, while Interplay would retain ownership of the franchise as well as full rights to an MMO title – Fallout Online.[30] By then, Interplay's financial issues began to worsen.

In January 2005, Titus Interactive was officially declared bankrupt and closed down all its French operations effectively.[31] Interplay soon purchased Titus' former assets and led to the company being burdened with debt.

In 2006, Interplay was brought up to the bankruptcy court once again in order to avoid the company going out of business.

In April 2007, in order to pay off creditors, the company altered its licensing agreement with Bethesda Softworks and sold the Fallout IP to them.[32][33]

In September 2008, several games from Interplay's catalog were re-released on the digital distribution service after being unavailable in retail distribution for years.[34]

In August 2013, Interplay acquired the remaining rights to the FreeSpace franchise for $7,500 after THQ went to bankruptcy court.[35]

In September 2016, Interplay announced its intent to sell off its intellectual property, composed of 70 games, working together with Wedbush Securities.[36]

Focus on re-releases of IP (2018–present)

Interplay is co-publishing, with 3D Realms, a remaster of Xatrix Entertainment's 1999 game Kingpin: Life of Crime, which was originally published by Interplay. Known as Kingpin: Reloaded, the game will be developed by Slipgate Ironworks. This was announced on January 17, 2020.[37]

In 2021, Interplay, via Black Isle Studios, re-released Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance on modern consoles, and later that year also released a port of it on PC for the first time.[38][39]


In 2003 and 2004 Snowblind Studios and Interplay Entertainment were engaged in a dispute regarding the Dark Alliance Engine for Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II, and the GameCube version of the original Dark Alliance. The dispute was resolved and Interplay would be allowed to work with materials already using the Dark Alliance Engine.[citation needed]

Bethesda Softworks sued Interplay in 2009, regarding the Fallout Online license and selling of Fallout Trilogy and sought an injunction to stop development of Fallout Online and sales of Fallout Trilogy. After several trials spanning almost three years, and in exchange for $2 million, Interplay gave Bethesda the full rights for Fallout Online. Interplay's rights to sell and merchandise Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel expired on December 31, 2013.[40]

In 2010, TopWare Interactive revealed that they were developing Battle vs. Chess to be published by SouthPeak Games.[41] Interplay sued them and won an injunction to stop sales in the United States. In 2012, Interplay won the case via default and a settlement for $200,000 plus interest was agreed upon on November 15, 2012.[42]


Main article: List of Interplay games


Interplay Discovery

This is a program in which Interplay publishes video games for indie developers. Five games have been released under the program and each is either a platformer or a puzzle video game and is released under digital distribution.

Games released under Interplay Discovery

Defunct studios


  1. ^ @BrianFargo (August 28, 2016). "Remember this old Interplay logo. We..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b Barton, Matt (December 27, 2010). "The Burger Speaks: An Interview With An Archmage, Page 2 of 7". Gamasutra.
  3. ^ Keefer, John (March 31, 2006). "GameSpy Retro: Developer Origins, Page 16 of 19". GameSpy. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007.
  4. ^ "Greetings from the Webmaster". The Adventurers' Guild. January 11, 2000. Archived from the original on March 2, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Rusel DeMaria, Johnny L. Wilson, "High Score." 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill/Osborne: Emeryville, California, 2004. p.209. ISBN 0-07-223172-6
  6. ^ Pham, Alex (November 9, 2003). "At 40, He Hopes He's Got Game". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 7, 2023. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  7. ^ Shay Addams. "if yr cmptr cn rd ths..." In: Computer Entertainment, August 1985, pages 24–27, 76–77.
  8. ^ "E3: Interplay Looks at Shiny's Wild 9 - IGN". November 2021.
  9. ^ "Brian Fargo investigates Interplay acquisition |".
  10. ^ Interplay Buys Half of Virgin - IGN, February 17, 1999, retrieved August 31, 2020
  11. ^ "Interplay Mingles with Virgin UK". IGN. February 17, 1999. Retrieved August 4, 2023.
  12. ^ "Titus Takes Interplay Stake". IGN. March 23, 1999.
  13. ^ Huffstutter, P.J. (May 13, 1999). "Investment in Interplay". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 8, 2014.
  14. ^ Gaw, Jonathan (August 26, 1999). "Interplay Stockholders OK Takeover by Titus". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ "Titus Interactive Group updates its acquisition strategy as Interplay Entertainment Corp. announces annual results". Titus Interactive. April 16, 2001. Retrieved August 9, 2023.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Information on the change of control to Titus". June 27, 2002. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  22. ^ "Infogrames Sees the Matrix". April 25, 2002.
  23. ^ Powers, Rick (October 9, 2002). "Interplay Delisted from NASDAQ". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on September 28, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
  24. ^ Calvert, Justin (September 29, 2003). "Vivendi dumped by Interplay". GameSpot. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  25. ^ Thorsen, Tor (December 8, 2003). "Interplay shuts down Black Isle Studios". GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 13, 2006. Retrieved May 1, 2006.
  26. ^ "The Last Days of Black Isle Studios". USgamer. November 24, 2017. Archived from the original on July 30, 2022. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ iTZKooPA (April 13, 2007). "'Fallout' IP Goes To Bethesda Softworks". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2007.
  33. ^ iTZKooPA (August 15, 2007). "Interplay Almost Out Of Debt; Searching For 'Fallout'-based MMO Funding". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2007.
  34. ^ Q&A:'s DRM-free downloadable games Archived January 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine "'s Interplay catalogue—which includes classics like the Fallout series, MDK 1 and 2, the Descent series, Messiah, Giants: Citizen Kabuto. and Sacrifice." by GameSpot Staff on September 8, 2008
  35. ^ Interplay Buys Freespace Rights For a Cool $7,500 Archived August 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ Williams, Mike (September 8, 2016). "Interplay Selling Off Its IP, Putting Earthworm Jim and Descent in Play". USgamer. Archived from the original on August 2, 2022. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  37. ^ Wilson, Mike (January 19, 2020). "Cult Classic Shooter 'Kingpin' Being Remastered as 'Kingpin: Reloaded'; Releasing Later This Year For PC, Consoles". Bloody Disgusting.
  38. ^ "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 Re-Release is "On the Table" – Black Isle Studios".
  39. ^ Chalk, Andy (December 17, 2021). "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is finally on PC". PC Gamer.
  40. ^ "The Great Fallout Legal Battle Ends Without a Fallout MMO". Kotaku. January 9, 2012. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  41. ^ "Interplay Entertainment Corp. v. Topware Interactive, 751 F. Supp. 2d 1132 | Casetext Search + Citator". Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  42. ^ Pooled, Matt (February 11, 2013). "Interplay Wins in the Battle Chess Saga against Topware and SouthPeak". VR World. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  43. ^ "Pinball Yeah!". Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  44. ^ "Tommy Tronic reviews". Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  45. ^ "Homesteader". Archived from the original on August 8, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  46. ^ "Death and the Fly reviews". Amazon. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  47. ^ "14 Degrees East". Archived from the original on October 19, 2000. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  48. ^ "เว็บตรง ทดลองเล่น". April 12, 1997. Archived from the original on April 12, 1997. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  49. ^ "Digital Mayhem". September 21, 2002. Archived from the original on September 21, 2002. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  50. ^ "Flat Cat - a Division of Interplay Productions". Archived from the original on April 22, 1999. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  51. ^ "At the Deadline". GamePro. No. 82. IDG. July 1995. p. 132.
  52. ^ "VR Sports". Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  53. ^ "A Shiny Look for Interplay". GamePro. No. 83. IDG. August 1995. p. 116.
  54. ^ "About Tantrum". Archived from the original on December 6, 1998. Retrieved October 1, 2023.
  55. ^ "Index of /". December 12, 1998. Archived from the original on December 12, 1998. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  56. ^ "Vulcan Fury on Hold". PC PowerPlay. No. 32. January 1999. p. 20. Retrieved December 12, 2022.