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Layoffs at Black Isle Studios as Interplay cancels key project

Tue 09 Dec 2003 11:44am GMT / 6:44am EST / 3:44am PST

Celebrated RPG developer Black Isle Studios has reportedly laid off large numbers of staff, effectively closing the studio, following a decision by parent company Interplay not to proceed with a major project.

Celebrated RPG developer Black Isle Studios has reportedly laid off large numbers of staff, effectively closing the studio, following a decision by parent company Interplay not to proceed with a major project.

Black Isle is best known for its work on the Baldurs Gate games, and also developed games including the Fallout and Icewind Dale series and fan-favourite PC RPG title Planescape Torment.

Up to 14 employees are thought to have been laid off following this most recent project cancellation, which saw Interplay ending development work on a project called Van Buren - rumoured to be a codename for Fallout 3.

It's believed that this is the second major project that Black Isle has seen cancelled this year, after a legal altercation with Dungeons and Dragons license holder Wizards of the Coast saw a D&D project shelved several months ago.

"Console only is the word of the day now," one source close to the development team told news website RPGDot, commenting on Interplay's development strategy going forward. "Even though Van Buren was halfway finished, [Interplay] have decided they want to do Exalted console and FOBOS2 [Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2]."

Further Reading: [The End of Black Isle Studios - RPGDot]

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