Titus has signed a distribution deal with fellow French-owned publisher Vivendi Universal to handle Interplay's games in the USA. A statement from Titus said that "existing synergies with Vivendi Universal, which has very strong distribution in North America, provide Interplay with the best opportunity of improving profitability", and suggested the move will save them up to $10m a year. This means the end of Interplay as a publisher, with their entire marketing and distribution staff set to join the dozens of other employees who were laid off earlier in the summer as Interplay plunged ever deeper into debt.
Titus now owns over half of the American company's shares and seems to be setting about gutting them before it has even gone through the formality of taking over the board of directors at the next AGM. And according to Titus CEO Hervé Caen, "this deal is only a start". We can only hope that their aim to refocus Interplay on development rather than publishing and distribution will safeguard the future of in-house teams such as the award-winning Black Isle Studios.