Word has quickly spread of an upcoming rebirth of the famous RPG developer, Black Isle Studios, after the appearance of a brand new web site featuring the classic logo, updated Facebook and Twitter pages, and the portentous words "Black Isle Studios is back." We have very little information to go on, other than the fact that the domain appears to be registered to Interplay, who has been off the radar for some time after the cancellation of Fallout Online in the wake of a law suit by the current franchise owner, Bethesda.
At the moment, it is still unclear exactly what the purpose of this revival is, if Black Isle Studios is or will be developing a new game, or if any of the original talent is even involved with it anymore. Interplay have been left largely without any of their major franchises, as both the Dungeons & Dragons license and the Fallout license at all, leaving them with Lionheart as their only remaining franchise. Whether this is a legitimate attempt to bring back classic RPGs or merely a way for Interplay to keep itself in the news remains to be seen.
Needless to say, this is a development we will be following very closely in the coming days.
UPDATE: Both Chris Avellone and Brian Fargo have commented on Twitter, and going by their comments, it doesn't really sound like the people that made the original Black Isle are involved in any way.
UPDATE 2: A tweet from Trent Oster might or might not hint at his involvement or, at least, at the fact that he's actually privy to some information on what is going on right now.
UPDATE 3: Online PR News has the press release, which talks about AAA titles and the mobile space, which doesn't help understanding exactly what the focus of the resurrected division will be:
22-August-2012 –Black Isle Studios returns to game publishing and is inviting the best talent to join its team to bring to market new AAA innovative RPGs based on Interplay’s critically acclaimed intellectual properties.
To keep in touch with what is coming next, register at www.blackisle.com
For Caen: “It really feels like getting the band back together as we're seeing opportunities not available to us before. Given our unique position, expanding online and mobile platforms, and renewed interest in our proven properties, I see an incredible success potential for Black Isle Studios."
About Black Isle Studios Black Isle Studios is an Interplay Entertainment division devoted to developing compelling stories, characters and role-playing games. Created in 1996 and formally named in 1998, BIS has developed and published award-winning and critically acclaimed PC titles including Baldur’s Gate I & II, Fallout 1 & 2, Planescape: Torment, the Icewind Dale series, and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance series for console systems.
Black Isle Studios titles have won several RPG of the Year and other industry awards. Fallout and Baldur’s Gate are highly ranked on “best-of” gaming lists.