“How about this stretch goal?” famed video game designer Brian Fargo asks on Twitter. Most crowdfunding ventures incentivize by upping development efforts — new modes, console ports, that sort of thing. Fargo’s going to try to buy the studio he co-founded in the early ’80s.
Fargo says that he’ll try to purchase Interplay if The Bard’s Tale IV sells two million PC copies in its first 18 months on the market. The Bard’s Tale IV has already been successfully crowdfunded to the tune of $1.5 million (and change), and it’s set to release tomorrow, September 18. It was developed by inXile, the company Fargo founded in 2002 after leaving Interplay.
To be completely fair, Interplay is no longer the attractive property it once was. In the ’80s and ’90s, Interplay developed and published some of the most popular names in role-playing games. Fallout, A Bard’s Tale, Baldur’s Gate, and Descent were all linked to Interplay. Two years ago, financial issues caused Interplay to try selling all its video game properties.
It’s tough to tell what Interplay might be worth today because it’s not all that forward-facing and relevant anymore. Its Twitter profile says it’s “the company behind Freespace, MDK, Earthworm Jim, and more great games.” There’s a near-guarantee that inXile is the more valuable of the two companies at this point. Still, there’d be a sweet poetic justice to Fargo buying back Interplay — the place where he earned his fame — after all these years.