For months I believed Wizards of the Coast had, for whatever reason, declined use of the Planescape Dungeons & Dragons licence for another video game.
Colin McComb, key member of the Planescape: Torment team, reached out to Wizards of the Coast about reviving Planescape: Torment game. But it "yielded no fruit", he told me.
Brian Fargo, inXile boss, was "rebuffed" by Wizards of the Coast when he asked the same sort of thing.
With Planescape apparently off the table, Fargo contented himself with the Torment IP and hired Colin McComb to make a Torment-like successor but built on a different, new, role-playing system called Numenera. The game's called Torment: Tides of Numenera.
Planescape being off the table may have also affected Obsidian's decision to Kickstart a new IP in Project Eternity rather than pursue something Planescape.
It turns out, however, Wizards of the Coast wasn't against the idea of licensing Planescape at all - or so it told me.
"We would absolutely consider licensing out Planescape, or any of our other great D&D IPs, if we were approached with a proposal," Wizards of the Coast told us through its presumably bushy beard.
"We often get proposals and are actively pursuing opportunities to make great digital D&D experiences.
"Brian [Fargo] suggested Baldur's Gate 3 had proven difficult in the past before we regained our digital rights, so, that probably didn't help the situation."
I put this to Colin McComb.
"I'm certain that there was discussion on the subject directly but it sounds like there is some internal miscommunication there," he told me. "Since we were already looking at Numenera as a potential setting, this made our decision easy.
"We're genuinely excited about Numenera anyway - it's a setting as different as Planescape was, one that breaks the mould of computer role-playing settings, and it's got mechanics that are intuitive, easy, and deep.
"We've got a very cool story coming along as well, the concept images are stunning (I can say that because I didn't draw them), and the systems we're putting into place are... well, I don't want to spoil any surprises."
Chris Avellone, lead designer of Planescape: Torment, had openly talked about how he'd probably ditch D&D rules were he to make a successor. Adhering to them often held ideas back, he explained.
Numenera, the role-playing game, is made by former Planescape: Torment team member Monte Cook. His is a science fiction set a billion years in the future after varying civilizations have risen and fallen and settled at a medieval level of technology. The remnants of technologically advanced civilizations are all around, though.
Monte Cook's Numenera dream was realised through Kickstarter. He's agreed to work with the inXile team to help convert his mechanics into the Torment game. He's also going to do some writing for the game.