Slowdown, what slowdown?
Interplay announces improvement in results for last year
Despite evidence that here in Europe at least sales were actually up last year, the gaming industry has been whining about slowdowns and transition years to explain away its financial problems. But while some publishers suffer, many others have been announcing that they made more money last year than in 1999. The latest company to beat the market is Interplay, which announced a 13% increase in revenue to $30.8m for the last three months of 2000, along with slightly better full year takings of $104m. The California-based publisher is still making a loss, but this dropped from over $32m in 1999 to just $8.4m last year.
And according to Interplay things can only get better. "While the results of the 2000 Holiday season business fell short of our expectations due to a shortage of Sony PlayStation 2 hardware and a slow PC market, the best is yet to come in 2001", according to a bullish Brian Fargo. With twenty titles currently in development for the company, including promising games such as Neverwinter Nights (PC) and Baldur's Gate : Dark Alliance (PS2), they certainly have reason to be optimistic about their chances.
This year should also see half a dozen more PlayStation 2 titles from the company, along with one each for the Xbox and Gamecube as they arrive in the USA. Despite their increased focus on next generation consoles though, Interplay won't be abandoning the PC, pointing out that role-playing games for the beige box have "been our strength historically", and that they are "still supporting" the genre. Hardly surprising given the mammoth success of the Baldur's Gate franchise...