Black Isle Studios reopens without involvement of original founders

Black Isle Studios--at least in name--is back. The company, which closed in 2003 when publisher Interplay laid off the entire staff, quietly reopened its website with a brief statement: "Our goal has always been to make the world's best RPGs." The company certainly did that in its short history, creating such masterpieces as the original Fallout, Planescape: Torment, and Icewind Dale.

However, most of the original Black Isle team have moved onto other projects, and many key members of the team have been caught off-guard by today's announcement.

Black Isle founder Feargus Urquhart and Chris Avellone started Obsidian Entertainment in 2003. Avellone tweeted after the relaunch of the web site that he was not involved, nor was anyone he knew, and Urquhart told Shacknews "It was news to us over here at Obsidian." Brian Fargo, who founded Interplay and was instrumental in making Black Isle a division of that company, tweeted that he didn't have enough information to comment on the relaunch.

A quick WHOIS search shows that Interplay CEO Herve Caen is still listed as contact for the site, and that he has continued to renew the domain since it came into existence in late 1997. The Black Isle Twitter feed has not been used as of yet, and the Facebook page only offers a history of the studio's games.

We've reached out to Caen for details and we'll update the story as we get more information.