Interplay to sell off classic gaming assets, IP
September 8, 2016 // 10:26 a.m.
Veteran games developer Interplay has announced that it is selling its entire library of game assets and intellectual property (IP), representing around 70 games and dozens of unique characters.
Founded in 1983, Interplay enjoyed a string of hits from its animated strategy classic Battlechess through to lighthearted platformer Earthworm Jim, claymation beat-'em-up Clayfighter, 360-degree vomit-inducing underground flight-and-fight-sim Descent, and more violent games like Kingpin and Messiah - the latter putting the player in control of a cherub called Bob who could possess NPC's bodies to rain down biblical justice. In recent years, however, the company has been in dormancy: following serious debt and bankruptcy proceedings, the company has done little bar the re-release of some classic titles and the acquisition of the Freespace rights from THQ in 2013.
Now, the shell of the former Interplay appears ready to exit the games market altogether with a sale of its entire portfolio. 'Interplay has entertained millions of players with its well-recognised games, including Earthworm Jim, Freespace, Giants, Kingpin, Messiah, MDK, Run Like Hell, Sacrifice, Battlechess, Clayfighter, Dark Alliance, and Descent,' said Eric Caen, president of Interplay, of the company's plan. 'As game creators, we are proud of the entertainment these properties have provided over the years. With the proliferation of mobile, augmented reality, virtual reality and other new forms of consumption, we believe that consumers are ready to experience and interact with Interplay's characters, stories and game play in ways never possible before. We look forward to seeing how this unique portfolio of interactive entertainment icons will evolve for the worldwide audience.'
The sale includes the rights to some 70 Interplay properties, including characters like Earthworm Jim and Max, the four-legged dog from MDK, but excludes rights it has already sold or for which it was developing only under licence - which, sadly, includes the classic Fallout franchise, sold to Bethesda in 2007 to stave off bankruptcy.