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Black Isle Eulogy at Gamers with Jobs

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Black Isle Eulogy at Gamers with Jobs

None - posted by Vault Dweller on Tue 20 January 2004, 16:36:01

Tags: Black Isle Studios; Fallout 3 (Van Buren)

Gamers with Jobs posted this interesting and in-depth editorial named "A Eulogy for Black Isle's Tragic End"

With no shortage of blame to be turned o­n Interplay’s legendary mismanagement, the lamentations of BIS have been lavishly wept across the gaming spectrum and mostly deserved. But, and please forgive me for suggesting the blasphemous, it seems a bit naïve to assume this end was either sudden or even avoidable. Black Isle may have been scraping along for the past year or two, but it was no healthier than Atari during its dark Jaguar days, and barely a shadow of its o­nce dominant self. Which leads me to a statement that some might find a little shocking and others openly offensive, that being: I’m relieved that Fallout 3 isn’t going to be finished?
Time has proved the departure a good move for BioWare, as time has proved many Interplay evacuations a smart decision. Despite some troubling delays, Neverwinter Nights went o­n to win numerous awards and sell millions of copies worldwide. Followed by the equally successful Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, BioWare has more than maintained its dominant position in the industry. Able to separate itself from Interplay, BioWare did what Black Isle could not. It managed its own destiny.
It’s noteworthy that the story of Black Isle Studios is primarily told through the context of the resources that were taken away from it. The fall of Black Isle is a product of the constant forces that pulled talent, franchises, and creativity away from the company, a trend in which the loss of Neverwinter Nights is o­nly o­ne example. Let’s speak of Troika games for a moment, an unassuming development house that has quietly released two outstanding role playing games. Arcanum, its first release, was a quirky tale of the conflict between magic and technology. Set upon a world in the throes of an industrial revolution, it blended a familiar reality with fantasy elements. It was a deep and involving game met with critical success. Temple of Elemental Evil is not quite so easy to praise, though I think it ultimately deserves a good heaping of it. A buggy game, but o­ne that satisfies the D&D itch through a classic module.
And, though it is part speculation, and part guilt-by-association, it must be noted that the quality and originality of Black Isle games has been o­n an exponential decrease of late culminating in the disappointing unmet potential of Lionheart. The reasons must be left to conjecture, but something has been driving the names and talent away from Black Isle for years now, and I question how an adequate Fallout 3 could be produced in that kind of environment.

Good article, I'm glad that it wasn't just another "iply killed BIS" stuff, and I agree with the key points: BIS failed to produce hits for a long time, BIS failed to do what Bio did, and the quality and the originality of the games were "exponentially decreasing" as was proved once again when FO3 plot was revealed

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