Black Isle Studios

Moby ID: 771

Overview edit · view history

Black Isle Studios is a development division of developer and publisher Interplay. Originally formed in 1996, it started using the name in 1998 and it was based in California, USA. The division's name refers to Black Isle in Scotland, the native country of founder Feargus Urquhart.

The studio was a continuation of Interplay's DragonPlay, not a real division with a dedicated group of people, but rather a name used to introduce RPGs. Black Isle Studios continued this by solely focusing on RPGs. The company established and worked on 2 major franchises: Fallout and Icewind Dale. Other games are Planescape: Torment and Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader (although mainly the work of Reflexive Entertainment Inc). Next to in-house projects, Black Isle also aided in the development of BioWare's Baldur's Gate series. There was one game in the series they developed by themselves, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (2004 - Xbox/PS2)

The division was closed on 8th December 2003, when they were working on Fallout 3 (codenamed Van Buren, unrelated to the Fallout 3 that would release in 2008). Three more titles had been cancelled earlier: Stonekeep II (2001), Black Isle's Torn (2001) and Baldur's Gate 3: The Black Hound (2003). Many of the employees moved on to Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment.

On 22 August 2012, the studio's website was relaunched, along with the brand. However, the revived brand had nothing to do with the former Black Isle, except for Mark O'Green and Chris Taylor, two former members of the Black Isle.

Black Isle was shut down once again in early 2014, probably because of insufficient funds, with all of the employees having left the company to find employment elsewhere, thus leading to the cancellation of Project V13, the only project that the new team was working on, which was a successor to Fallout Online, a scrapped MMO set in Fallout universe.

The company was launched for a third time by 2021, when Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II ports for PC and newer consoles were to be released.

Credited on 14 Games from 1998 to 2019

Planescape: Torment - Enhanced Edition + Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition (2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
Planescape: Torment - Enhanced Edition (2017 on Linux, Windows, Macintosh...)
Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition (2014 on Linux, Windows, Macintosh...)
Icewind Dale II: Complete (2010 on Windows, Macintosh)
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (2004 on Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox...)
Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader (2003 on Windows)
Icewind Dale II (2002 on Windows)
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (2001 on Nintendo Switch, Linux, PlayStation 2...)
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (2000 on Windows, Macintosh)
Icewind Dale (2000 on Windows, Macintosh)
Planescape: Torment (1999 on Linux, Windows, Macintosh)
Baldur's Gate (1998 on Windows, Macintosh)
Fallout 2 (1998 on Windows, Macintosh, Windows Apps)
Fallout (1997 on Linux, DOS, Windows...)

History +

December 8, 2003

Black Isle Studios is shut down. Interplay also 'shelved' Fallout 3, the non-announced title that the division was working on.

1998

The division starts using the name Black Isle Studios.

1996

The studio is formed by Feargus Urquhart as a division of Interplay.

Trivia +

The company code-named its projects after U.S. presidents and vice-presidents, an idea by Josh Sawyer.

Related Web Sites +

Contribute

Add your expertise to help preserve video game history! You can submit a correction or add the following: