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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Interplay Finally In Process Of Going Under? 60

Posted by simoniker
from the not-well dept.
Random Guru 42 writes "GameSpot is reporting that Interplay is sliding further down the spiral of going out of business. Hopefully the rumors of Interplay's demise are greatly exaggerated." We previously covered earlier rumblings of Interplay's demise, and Sivar writes "According to a Fallout news website, Interplay has 'told the employees to file for unemployment' [a later source indicates 'the employees have until Friday to move all of their personal possessions out of... the Interplay offices]." Finally, an update to the GameSpot story has an un-named, masked employee insisting on the closure rumors: "No, that's not true" - it's also pointed out Interplay "...is facing a battery of lawsuits, including one by Arden Realty for $432,000 in back rent and another by BioWare for $156,000 for unpaid Baldur's Gate royalties."
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Interplay Finally In Process Of Going Under?

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  • ...Stick your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye
  • by shaitand (626655) * on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @07:22PM (#9320490) Journal
    If they are being sued for such relatively small sums, particularly for unpaid rent, it's highly doubtful the rumors are off by much.
    • The rent was $150,000 a month.

      They were three months in arrears at the start of May.

      $600,000 isn't small change.

      • If there rent is $150,000/month then it's small change compared to how they once were doing.

        If I buisness can't pay it's rent, it's long long past time to file bankruptcy.

        Actually, the minute their profit level drops below a certain point they should be jumping ship, let alone actually failing to pay bills.
  • by metrazol (142037) <jwm33@c[ ]ell.edu ['orn' in gap]> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @07:25PM (#9320512)
    ...and fade into the wasteland. Bet they're wishing they'd found that waterchip, eh?

    Seriously, sad to see Interplay go, but they've made some dumb decisions. Losing Feagus and his team was probably close to the final blow.
  • Ahh Interplay (Score:3, Interesting)

    by isorox (205688) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @07:28PM (#9320532) Homepage Journal
    A shame. Interplay have been arround for longer then some slashdotters have been alive, and certainly longer then many have been on the internet. List of games interplay have published [gamerland.com]
  • Cue this guy [slashdot.org] to give us another rant about boycotting companies that layoff employees.

    Ah choices. You can either manage your company aggressively and effectively, meaning sometimes hiring then laying off seasonal employees, or watch it all go bye-bye. When this happens, noone wins. Except EA. And to me there is nothing worse then EA winning.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Eh.

      "EA is a monolith that must be toppled! Quick, fire the masses to save our brown asses! Pooflingers, are you with me?"

      Because EA has everything to do with this story. Ah-yep.
    • When this happens, noone wins. Except EA. And to me there is nothing worse then EA winning.

      Wow, for once you actually said something i can agree with, even though (or perhaps because) i worked for them indirectly at one point.

      *checks outside to see if the sky is falling*

    • No! EA perform a very important function - ruining film licenses and pointless incremental updates on official sport licenses. What if a good developer got their hands on things like this? Have you seen the videos for Chronicles of Riddick? I'd be broke in no time!
  • by genrader (563784) <genrader AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @07:51PM (#9320671) Homepage Journal
    As I said last Interplay post, Interplay is going under because they abandoned Descent, the best shooter game ever ;) While that probably isn't true, I'm going to stay hold of that belief as I'm in the Descent religion.
  • One of the only games I've ever gotten hooked on. I still have the CDs around here somewhere :-)
  • Rent? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mutewinter (688449) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @08:06PM (#9320870)
    Not paying rent is one step from the street. No welfare for gaming companies, maybe they should hire Amtrack's lobbyist.
  • by Picass0 (147474) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @08:30PM (#9321060) Homepage Journal
    It would be nice to see this game finally hit the auction block, to be recycled or incorporated into another game. It featured D.Kelly's last performance as Dr. McCoy. It was never finished byInterplay because of costs, so the game never saw the lightof day beyond some cool promo trailers.
    • I saw the previews come with a couple of my other Interplay Star Trek Games, I was so excited about it. I wanted Vulcan's Fury like nothing else, always wondered what happened.
      • Interplay had money problems, even back then. I heard they were overbudget and spent about $5m in development. They just couldn't afford any more. So they shelved the project.

        You can do searches on google for Star Trek: Secret of Vulcan Fury and there's websites with leaked production art and videos. They were cookin' some cool stuff.

        If nothing else it would be nice to see someone do ANYTHING worthwile with the voice tracks. The tracks were recorded after Star Trek 6, and it's the last time most of these
  • The good (?) news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by obeythefist (719316) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:17PM (#9321393) Journal
    Generally when a gaming house goes into recievership, the game franchises they own go up for sale, the proceeds going to the creditors to pay all that backrent.

    So for all you Descent/Freespace fans, there's a chance that somebody decent (are there still decent game houses now?) will pick it up and make it gold again in a year or so.
    • Hmmmmm...Maybe (ex Black Isle) Obsidian Entertainment would be interested in acquiring the Baldur's Gate license.

      Here's hoping!
    • Maybe I'm just old and bitter, but whenever I visit something like the Underdogs [the-underdogs.org] I see too many things that shoulda been picked up, but died on the vine (or even off the vine).

      I got FS2 from there one time, way back. Now it points you to the Interplay store. Guess what? No more FS2, anywhere.
  • by FloodSpectre (745213) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:31PM (#9321490)
    "Hopefully the rumors of Interplay's demise are greatly exaggerated."

    Hopefully ? I'm hoping they do go under permanently. While I certainly feel bad for those who stayed with the company and have to deal with this now (which the exception of Caen, I have no sympathy for him), Interplay's been going downhill for years. Their tech support has to be the worst I've ever encountered (especially when they stopped replying to any of it two years ago), their "quality control" is completely non-existent.

    For that matter, I can't think of a single good game they've released since Baldur's Gate 2. And, to me, the worst part was their decision to axe Fallout 3 (and Black Isle Studios for that matter) and instead pushed out the utterly worthless Fallout: BoS.

    .. Well, at least on the bright side, now we have Obsidian and Troika out there (founded by ex-members of Black Isle)..
    • And, to me, the worst part was their decision to axe Fallout 3 (and Black Isle Studios for that matter) and instead pushed out the utterly worthless Fallout: BoS.

      Ok that seems to be what most people who bash Interplay are talking about; however Fallout BoS has a place and I'm sorry you apparently weren't the target.

      I don't blame Interplay for using the Fallout brand name. It makes sense since it is a Gamma Worldish wasteland of a game.

      I also don't blame them for the game being so different from the pc
  • Damn (Score:3, Informative)

    by darkjedi521 (744526) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:42PM (#9321577)
    Time to order anything I wanted out of their back catalog before they go under and those titles are unavailable and near impossible to find.
  • I'll Miss Them... (Score:3, Informative)

    by blueZhift (652272) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:43PM (#9321584) Homepage Journal
    I still foundly remember those Star Trek adventure games they published back in the early 90's. But especially Starfleet Command which as an old Starfleet Battles player, was a dream come true!

    • Re:I'll Miss Them... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Sigma 7 (266129) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @12:07AM (#9322319)
      But especially Starfleet Command which as an old Starfleet Battles player, was a dream come true!
      I would disagree here, mainly because I've attempted to write a mod for SFC. The API given for writing SFC mods is not up to par, and can quickly throw you into some very interesting limitations.

      For example, I've attempted to modify the Tourneyfest to support AI players. It seemed to work find, but I quickly ran into problems with the AI players. In no particular order:

      1. No matter which team I assign to the AIs, they always appear as Federation. There are ways to make sure that they are one of the other six factions, but it is not considered as dynamic as it could be. (tMissionInfo::mSetTeamRace sets the race for a team, but does not change the race for such a team after it has been created. You can't change it directly either, mainly because the team is stored in a Private section of the class.)

      2. When you create a ship, you are neither returned a handle to the newly created ship, nor can you determine the existance of that ship without iterating through the entire list (assuming that it is possible.)

      3. The documentation that came with the API was fairly poor - requiring the programmer to do a lot of guesswork of whcih functions did which.

      The gameplay portion isn't bad - however, if you peek at the gory insides of the game itself, you'll begin to wonder how it managed to hold itself together.
  • While I didn't like Interplay for their business tactics or their snotty reputation, I do feel extremely sorry that the people of Interplay have lost their jobs. My dad works at HP, and he barely escaped with his job intact. For those of you happy to see Interplay go, consider this: What if you/your family lost a prominent job like that? Would you be happy? Would you be even happier that people were cheering your demise? I certainly think not. I'm able to live in my house, visit slashdot as much as I want,
  • It's like a shooting gallery recently. Blam! Another one down.

    Guess I'd better go download all their game patches, before they're gone forever.

    • Why would their patches be gone forever ? You can find them all over the place, like at the Patches Scrolls.
      • I've had problems in the past with this, the company was gone, and the patches didn't seem to exist at these archives. It took me forever to find the patch for Jagged Alliance 1 a few years ago. Oh, there were tons of links to them, but everything came up 404.

        The problem is the whole damn internet is so transitory. You bookmark a page for reference, come back in a year, and it's gone. Who's to say how long these patch sites will be up? It's gotten so bad, that I now keep a local archive of everything, sof

        • I've actually been pretty lucky with the Patches Scrolls. I've been using their site for years now, and it's been very reliable. Anything I can't find there, I can just hop on eMule and find, fortunately.

          As far as the Interplay site, it's been down for several weeks, long before anything was announced here on Slashdot (I've been following the story over at No Mutants Allowed). But apparently it's still responding to pings, which is strange.
  • well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jonaac (763147) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @06:18AM (#9323809) Homepage
    Interplay failed three times to pay the employees. Forgot for about two months to tell them they weren`t covered by medical, dental and insurance plans anymore, then restarted paying for those plans then stoped again.
    They stoped paying rent and the owner of their rented space went to litigation. They stoped paying Atari for the D&D rights for eletronic gaming media,wich meant they lost the right to sell most of their backcatalogue, and Vivendi refuses to pay them anything else on Baldurs Gate: Darl Alliance3 until that`s settled, wich doesn`t seem likely. The crappy fallout game for consoles was an expensive sales failure. After Fallout3 they had already canceled two projects, and were working in just one, that was having some troubles because of yet again legal troubles.

    So they told the devs and artists to go pick their personal belongings, while removing things during the long weekend. They are saying to the employees to go and ask for unemployement, in a bid to see if they won`t have to pay them what they owe.

    They had 1.2 million dollars in the bank late December, and no one knows what happened to that.
    The CEO told everyone last week he needed 3 million to pay salaries, rent and taxes, since they also owe money to the irs.

    Good luck for the devs and artists, no matter how good many of them are in the context of the gaming industry in CA things aren`t good for getting jobs, i hope they get what they are intitled from Iplay and find better jobs.
    • Vivendi refuses to pay them anything else on Baldurs Gate: Darl Alliance3 until that`s settled

      Darl Alliance? Isn't that SCO and the Canopy Group?

      *ducks*
    • They had 1.2 million dollars in the bank late December, and no one knows what happened to that.


      That is bugger all money. The rent was alledgedly $150,000 a month. There were 100 employees left averaging 4k a month salary = $400,000 a month. As it's now june, not surprising there isn't any cash left.
  • Star Trek's Ally? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by StarWreck (695075)
    I am sad to see Interplay go, despite my best efforts. You see, I never pirated Interplay Software... I actually bought their games, more than from any other company.

    I have originals of: - Star Trek: Judgement Rights (3.5" disks) + the Movie & Sound Pack Expansion (3.5" disks)
    - Star Trek: Judgement Rights Limited CD-ROM Collectors Edition
    - Star Trek: StarFleet Academy (SNES)
    - Star Trek: StarFleet Academy (PC CD-ROM)
    - Star Trek: StarFleet Command
    - Star Trek: New worlds

    Unfortunately, I had alw
  • The bards tale seems to have come to an end...
  • formerly of Wizards of the Coast (Forgotten Realms), freelance RPG person, one of the designers over there, gave notice... here's some of his news.
    http://p082.ezboard.com/fseankreynoldsboardsfrm1.s howMessage?topicID=1817.topic [ezboard.com]
  • by jonaac (763147)
    Interplay closed doors yesterday and told everyone to look for unemployement http://www.nma-fallout.com/ http://www.gamertalk.biz/viewtopic.php?t=1821&star t=20
  • I liked how gamespy had no info as to the status of interplay being open. They are less then 3 miles from each other. In Irvine CA. You would think a quick drive by would have helped clear that little bit of info up.
    • Update: there are still people working there, although many things were moved and no development of games exists, since the staff was told to get unemployemnet as the best choice. And a good article from Gamespot http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/06/04/news_60999 57.html
  • They were shut down by the labor state departement, after all what they`ve done to their employees they deserved it: http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/06/04/news_61000 19.html

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