Interplay Entertainment is an American video game developer and publisher, originally founded as "Interplay Productions" by Brian Fargo in 1983. After hitting a financially rough patch around the Turn of the Millennium
(due in part to the bankruptcy of Titus Software
, which had bought a half share in the company in 2000), Interplay saw a number of high profile developers (including Fargo himself) leave and found their own studios. The company was finally able to rebound by selling its most famous franchise, Fallout
, to Bethesda
in 2007. (A lawsuit between the two companies ensued over a planned Fallout
MMO; Bethesda Softworks LLC v. Interplay Entertainment Corporation
was not settled until January 2012.)
Interplay is notable not only for their enormous game portfolio but also for the sheer number of related studios founded either as internal developer teams or by its employees who left at different times:
- Blue Sky Software (1988–2001)
- Silicon & Synapse (1991–1994): Co-founded by Brian Fargo's close friend Ayman Adham, this company got its start with ports of Interplay's games. It was bought by Davidson & Associates in February 1994 and renamed Blizzard Entertainment.
- Shiny Entertainment (1993–2002): The studio was sold off to Atari in 2002 and eventually ceased to exist as a separate entity in 2007.
- Black Isle Studios (1996–2003, 2012–): Not an offshoot per se, but an internal team formed specifically to develop RPGs for Interplay after the success of Fallout.
- Obsidian Entertainment (2003–): Formed by the ex-Black Isle employees after that studio was closed for the first time.
- Troika Games (1997–2004): Formed by three key Fallout 2 developers.
- inXile Entertainment (2002–): Formed by Brian Fargo himself after his resignation.
(1995–) and CD Projekt RED
(2002–) get an honorable mention, since their respective rise to fame began with a cooperation with Interplay on the Baldur's Gate
series (though CD Projekt's deal fell apart before bearing fruit
, it did encourage them to start working on what eventually became The Witcher
). Xatrix Entertainment (1994–1999) had most of its games published by Interplay before it reformed as Gray Matter Interactive Studios and joined up with Activision
Games developed and/or published by Interplay include: