Interplay plans Fallout MMORPG amongst others

Herve Caen outlines the publisher's plan to enter the world of massively multiplayer online games.

Troubled publisher Interplay is planning to dabble in MMORPGs, and may begin with post-apocalyptic RPG series Fallout, according to comments made by CEO Herve Caen in the wake of another round of disappointing financial results.

"Based on a detailed review of where our industry stands and the level of interest in the gaming community in taking some of our premier properties online, we are now pursuing several options to fund our entry into massively-multiplayer online gaming with titles including Fallout," Caen explained.

Despite cancelling the third title in the Fallout series when it closed Black Isle Studios, Interplay still owns the rights, and sounds like it plans to get on with exploiting them. "Initial feedback from our investment bank and ongoing dialogue with others in the gaming sector appear to confirm that the combination of our valuable and popular intellectual properties with the rapidly growing online gaming community is the best way to maximize Interplay shareholder value," Caen added.

If Interplay really does view MMORPGs as a route back to an even footing, then it's an odd choice for the company, as developing and sustaining massively multiplayer titles is hardly cheap. Just last week, Climax and Games Workshop canned Warhammer Online due to towering costs - and when you consider the potential for a persistent online world based around the hugely popular Warhammer universe, it's even more sobering to think about.

Speaking at the time, Climax CEO Karl Jeffery commented that, "With new massively multiplayer online games, such as Star Wars Galaxies, costing up to $30m to launch, this is now a very high stakes business." Interplay is already dabbling in high stakes, following a series of major operating setbacks recently. Investment in MMORPGs - "including Fallout", lest we forget, not just Fallout - could well prove successful, but right now it's just as easy to imagine it ending in tears.

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