Interplay started publishing its own games, starting 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 1993, Interplay published the hit game Descent, developed by startup Parallax Software.
The company published several notable Star Trek games, including Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and Star Trek: Judgment Rites. These games had later CD-ROM editions released with the original Star Trek cast providing voices. Interplay also published the significant 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, with a script written by Star Trek writer Dorothy Fontana; however this title was never completed. ''
In 1997, Interplay developed and released Fallout, a successful and critically-acclaimed role-playing game set in a retro-futuristic post-apocalyptic setting. Black Isle Studios, an in house developer, followed with the sequel, Fallout 2. The most successful subsequent Interplay franchise was probably Baldur's Gate, a Dungeons & Dragons game that was developed by Bioware and spawned a successful sequel and several expansion packs. Over the years, Interplay's most successful titles were PC games. The company published a few notable console games, such as ClayFighter, Rock 'N Roll Racing, The Lost Vikings, and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, but Interplay was never quite able to establish a long-lasting console franchise.
Another popular franchise was the FreeSpace series.
Interplay attempted to get several of its games made into movies through its Interplay Films branch, notably Descent, Redneck Rampage, Carmageddon, Earthworm Jim, and Fallout, but no Interplay property was ever made into a film.
In 2001, French publisher Titus Interactive completed its acquisition of majority control of Interplay. Immediately afterwards, they shed most of its publisher functions and signed a long-term agreement by which Vivendi Universal would publish Interplay's games. Founder Brian Fargo eventually departs. However, Titus went through financial and legal difficulties, culminating in a close of business in 2004. Titus left many of its employees, both local and the international wholly owned developers, without redundancy or owed back-pay, and left creditors with large debts. Titus CEO Herve Caen then assumed the same capacity at Interplay.
In 2002, Interplay's shares were delisted from the NASDAQ due to the company's low share price.
In Summer 2005, the Interplay website re-launched with a logo and three links: "About Interplay", "SEC Filings/Financial", "Investor Relations".
In Interplay's 10-K SEC filing made on June 3, 2005, it was revealed under the "Internal Product Development" section that in May 2004, Interplay was forced to close all of their internal development studios due to their inability to meet their payroll obligations in a timely manner. All internally-developed titles were canceled and there are no internally-developed titles being developed. However, under "External Product Development" it was revealed that on December 31, 2004, Interplay had one title being developed by an unnamed third party developer. The title is tentatively being called Ballerium. Majorem, the apparent developer of the title, has since revealed that development of Ballerium (which was intended to be a MMO-RTS) has been suspended as the agreement that was to provide Majorem with the means to launch the title in the summer of 2005 could not be realized. Majorem also noted that this was "apparently due to Interplay's inability to raise the required funding to turn Majorem's technology into a game. Majorem is currently accepting new offers for the licensing of its MMO-RTS technology as well as its almost finished game.
In Interplay's 10-Q SEC filing made on June 21, 2005, it was revealed that under "Commitments and Contingencies" that Interplay Productions has multiple legal proceedings filed against it and has nearly USD$11 million in debt. Of interest is that Interplay received a notice from the IRS stating that they owe approximately $117,000 in payroll tax penalties and that Interplay was fined by the California Labor Board $10,000 for failure to meet payroll obligations and that an August 2005 trial date was set, and that Interplay's "general liability, auto, fiduciary liability, workers compensation and employment practices liability, have been canceled, however Interplay has entered into a new workers compensation insurance plan, Interplay is appealing a separate California Board of Labor fine of $79,000 for having lost their workers compensation plan for a period of time". Under "Contractual Obligations" it is revealed that Interplay does not have a headquarters at present because Interplay, in 2004, forfeited its lease and vacated its office space in Irvine, California.
In Interplay's latest 8-K filing with the U.S. Government made on April 12, 2007, an attached exhibit 10.49 has more updated information on Interplay's planned Fallout MMOG. Specific requirements were stated in the agreement that if not met, Interplay would immediately forfeit its license rights for Fallout. Neither the filing nor the exhibit specifies any details of how Interplay will start development within 24 months of April 2007 or how it will be able to acquire the minimum financing requirement of US$30 million, seemingly a difficult task for a company in such dire financial straits.
As part of a 2007 quarterly report Interplay CEO Herve Caen said that the company is "focused on securing funding for development of a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) based on the popular Fallout franchise."
As part of one of their 2007 quarterly reports Interplay announced that their revenues had risen astronomically due almost entirely to the sale of their Fallout intellectual property to Bethesda Softworks back in mid-April. With the sale and other changes the company is now almost debt free, with its debt at a reported $3 million today compared to the $59 million from 2001.
GameSpot reported on November 13, 2007 that Interplay, using money from its sale of the Fallout IP to Bethesda Softworks, is going to restart its in-house game development studio and Interplay has plans on developing sequels to some of its classic IPs contingent on if it can secure financing. Gamespot stated:
Among the projects Interplay has said it wants to develop are sequels to Earthworm Jim, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Descent, and MDK, provided it can find the financing.
Interplay Entertainment Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: IPLY) recently announced its earnings for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007, and its plan for the company going forward.
On April 9, 2008, Interplay confirmed that they will undertake sequels for Dark Alliance, Earthworm Jim, Descent and MDK series. They have also announced production of a Fallout MMO.
They later announced that they would support the Wii Virtual Console, with Sega Genesis (aka Mega Drive) versions of Earthworm Jim, Earthworm Jim 2, Boogerman and Clayfighter, as well as the Nintendo 64 game Clayfighter 63 1/3.
On April 22, 2008 Interplay announced that Earthworm Jim 4 is in development with original creator, Doug TenNapel, as a creative consultant. No platform or release date has been set. In addition to the new game, TenNapel will also develop a new animated series and a feature film based on the property.
Near the end of March 2008, a controlling interest of stock was reportedly sold to Luxenbourg based Financial Planning and Development S.A. While some speculate who this is, many rumor that is actually a dummy company created by Interplay CEO and "former" owner Herve Caen for him to sell the company to himself.
On September 23, 2008 Interplay relaunched its website, announcing that Chris Taylor, another member of the original Fallout development team, has joined Jason Anderson on the team working on a game codenamed Project V13, which is assumed to be Interplay's Fallout MMORPG.
For Interplay, The M&A Game No Longer Entertains.(Interplay Entertainment Corp.)(Interplay Entertainment Corp's decline of sales.)
May 10, 2004; Interplay Entertainment Corp. is in danger of running out of cash and, after conducting a strategic review a few years ago, has...