During the 1980s and ’90s, Interplay Entertainment was known for being a high quality developer and publisher of PC games. Practically every PC gamer owned at least one Interplay game, if not a whole library worth of them. Who can forget Interplay’s catalogue? There was Wasteland in 1988, the Star Trek DOS games in the early ’90s and Fallout in 1997. But today, Interplay officially announced the sale of some 70 franchises and protected characters, according to a press release.
Supervised by Wedbush Securities, which will be serving as Strategic Advisor throughout the process, the sale includes an enormous amount of popular franchises from the 1990s era.
“Interplay has entertained millions of players with its well-recognized games, including Earthworm Jim, Freespace, Giants, Kingpin, Messiah, MDK, Run Like Hell, Sacrifice, Battlechess, Clayfighter, Dark Alliance, and Descent,” Interplay President Eric Caen stated in the press release. “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.”
Interplay isn’t the first major publisher to clear out their video game library. The news hearkens back to THQ’s iconic bankruptcy sale in 2013, in which the publisher’s assets were divvied up across the industry after a 2012 bankruptcy announcement. In that case, Crytek purchased Homefront 2 for $0.5 million, Ubisoft acquired South Park: The Stick of Truth for $3.3 million, Take 2 bought Evolve for $10.9 million, and Sega grabbed Company of Heroes and Warhammer developer Relic Studio for a whopping $26.6 million. By the end of the process, THQ shuttered its doors. The question remains whether Interplay will face the same fate down the road, although the company has stayed afloat despite fears over the past five years.
Regardless, it’s hard to say for certain who will grab Interplay’s franchises. But with Earthworm Jim, Freespace, Dark Alliance and Descent on the table, it’s a promising collection of iconic series to pick up. Like THQ’s sale, expect major players to make an offer as this story develops.