Second quarter results from Interplay reveal a continuing decline in the company's fortunes, although the reported losses of $5.4 million are better than the original estimates of a $9 million loss.
Net revenues for the quarter were a paltry $1.3 million, down from $11.8 million in the same quarter last year. The $5.4 million loss compares with a profit of $20.3 million in the previous year, although if you remove the $28.8 million the company earned through flogging Shiny Entertainment to Infogrames, that $5.4 million in the red is actually an improvement over last years circa $7 million loss.
Interplay at this stage is a mere shell of the company it used to be; although the asset stripping of the group has slowed down, with no major sales in the June quarter, the first half of this year saw the sale of Hunter: The Reckoning to Vivendi for $15 million - but even at that the six-month figures for the company show only $200,000 of income, on substantially lower revenues than last year ($20 million as against $27.2 million).
"Due to continued cost controls and stability in both development and distribution, we were able to beat our initial estimate of a $9 million loss by 40 percent," enthused chairman and CEO Herve Caen. "Our challenge ahead is clear: deliver on our key PC and console titles for the all-important third and fourth quarters, while improving our cash position."
A positive message from Caen, but in the face of the massive asset stripping which has hit Interplay and the recent financial difficulties at parent company Titus, it's hard to see what future there is for the publisher. At present only three titles are known to be in the pipeline - namely Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, both action-focused updates to classic RPG franchises and set for release on PS2 and Xbox, and the hugely delayed Galleon: Islands of Mystery, which still has no firm release date.