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The fall of the titans: Why do the giants of gaming die?


Unlucky for Interplay, console gaming became the hot shit in the late 90s, especially among those who hadnít yet been introduced to games. People wanted to sit down with their friends on the couch and play games, and consoles were the easiest way to do that. The PC games industry was greatly harmed by this, especially among companies like Interplay that focused mainly on the PC.

So, for the next few years, Interplay struggled. The company was purchased by French publisher Titus Interactive, who quickly went to work screwing everything up worse than it already was. Titus stopped Interplayís publishing functions, fucked their stock so badly that Interplay got delisted, and, in perhaps the biggest dick move in the history of game companies, sacked the entirety of the Black Isle staff. Way to go, Titus.

Today, no one is quite sure what Interplay is doing. Between 2004 and 2006, everyone wondered if the studio was even still alive. Weíre all probably aware of the concept of a Fallout MMO from Interplay, but the status of that is uncertain at best. In 2008, a bunch of new games were rumored to be in development using old Interplay franchises, including Dark Alliance and Earthworm Jim. Whether we will see any of these is a lingering question.

To me, it seems like a lot of Interplayís problems were not its own fault. However, I think the company waited too long to get into the console game, and when it did, it seemed to be a half-assed effort. Specializing is always beneficial, and it works for plenty of companies, but when it isnít working, a company simply has to be willing to change.

Yet I think this also shows the danger of taking a company public. Interplay seemed to be doing fine before it went up on NASDAQ. After that, its troubles were really exacerbated. It gave Titus the opportunity to wave its dick in the face of everything that made Interplay great, and in the long run just led to more financial problems. I do hope that Interplay can get back on its feet. If I can one day say that Iím playing a new Interplay game, I will believe that there is justice in the world.

So, thatís it for this installment. There are plenty of other game companies to talk about, both on the hardware and software side. Perhaps there will be a next installment.
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About Andrew Kauzone of us since 5:10 PM on 04.30.2009

In loving memory: PAX 2009 (thanks ZombiePlatypus! And WalkYourPath, of course)

I'm Kauza, which is pronounced like cause-uh. My real name's Andrew Kauz, if you'd rather go for that.

I like talking to Dtoid people, so please add me on your favorite social networking site:
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kauza
Gchat: santakauz[at]gmail.com.

Basics: I'm 25, and I write things.

Eternal thanks go out to Y0j1mb0 for the amazing header image you see above. So, thanks, sir!

Look at some of the things I've written.

Things on the Front Page:

Mass Effect, Metal Gear, Moon Unit, and more: An interview with Jennifer Hale
The Future: Demanding more from the voices of videogames
Love/Hate: A plea to play as a female Shepard
A warning: Regrets from a former life and experiences yet unlived
Top ten games for people who hate Thanksgiving
The wrong thing: Being evil should be more like sex
Staying dry in a sea of spoilers is a matter of building a boat
Lessons on taking games just seriously enough
Come, take your pilgrimage to gaming's one true mecca
Here's to you, random-JRPG-dialogue-writer-man
The forgotten: Crushing disappointment at the hands of Crash 'n the Boys
The people who have the power to change the world
Improving game communities: Enough with the negativity
The draw of exploration: Antarctica to Oblivion, Shackleton to Shadow Complex
I suck at games: BlazBlue and a slapdash attempt at fisticuffs
I, the Author: My Everest
Untapped Potential: The Gamer's Education
Other Worlds than These: Our World, Only Different

A series sort of thing about status effects
Toxic Megacolon and other fresh status effects
Curse you, status effects, stop confusing my heart
Status effects are poisons that turn my silent heart to stone
Also check out the related forum thread.

The Fall of the Titans (wherein I talk about dead or dying gaming companies)

The fall of the titans part 3: What once was shall be again
The fall of the titans: Sega died so that we might dream of the future
The fall of the titans: Why do the giants of gaming die?

Stories from the Past (a series about my experiences playing certain games):

Stories from the Past: Tobal 2, Tomba! 2, and console double-vision
Stories from the Past: Diablo and the Dark Ride
Stories from the Past: What the f*ck, mom?
Stories from the Past: Xexyz and the battle aboard Turtlestar Lobsterica
Stories from the Past: The One-Balled Man-Bear
Stories from the Past: The Battle of Olympus
Stories from the Past: Suikoden 2

Storytelling (a series about, well, storytelling):

Storytelling: The Problem of Genres
Storytelling: Mass Effect, Vonnegut, and the Fourth Rule
Storytelling: Doing Nothing in "The Darkness"
Storytelling: The Power of a Single Line (Yeah, it was my first post.)

Other stuff that is good:

Lessons on taking games just seriously enough
A consuming power: The demon and the borderlands
Can games transcend good and evil?
Nothing is sacred: We won't let you go alone, but we have made a tragic decision
How Destructoid single-handedly changed my motherís opinion of gaming
Why Tecmo Super Bowl is the greatest sports game of all time
Seven reasons that I will end you in creative ways if you don't play Folklore
Mother Nature and the Impending Death of the Gaming Spirit
Times Games Forgot: The Dark Ages
The Sins and Successes of In-game Collectibles
The Lock is Broken
When Music Surpasses the Game
Truckasaurus Rex and the Humor of Games
I Want to Cry (storytelling related, but not part of the series)

I have others as well that you can check out on my blog. You'll enjoy them or your money back.

Since it seems like the cool thing to do, here a list of my favorite games that is coming straight out of my ass and onto your computer screen, and in no particular order.

Fallout 3
Uncharted 2
Suikoden 2
Mass Effect / ME2
Metal Gear Solid followed by any number you can think of
Tales of Somethingendinginia (OK, and the Abyss)
Battlefield: Bad Company
Xbox LIVE:kauza
PSN ID:santakauz
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