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Friday, January 25, 2002
Interplay Founder and CEO Brian Fargo Steps Down
1:36 PM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story

Citing Interplay's poor financial performance, founder and CEO Brian Fargo resigned. The latest development in the disagreements between Interplay and its French parent company, Titus Games, Fargo's resignation underscores Interplay's shift in focus from PC-only games to publishing games for video consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox.

Interplay went public in 1998 and has steadily lost money over the past three years. After several failed attempts to sell the company, a controlling stake was purchased by Paris-based Titus, providing a much-needed influx of cash to stave off creditors and fund new projects. Titus also hired Europlay 1 to assist in restructuring Interplay as it changed direction.

Founded in 1983 by Fargo, Interplay has produced scores of popular games over the past two decades. In 1993, the MacPlay division was formed and went on to become the dominant Mac game publisher of its time, releasing numerous popular titles, including Wolfenstein 3D, Descent and Descent II, and Castles: Siege and Conquest. After releasing Fallout and Starfleet Academy in the late '90s, however, MacPlay fell dormant, angering customers whom it strung along with promises of continued support that it ultimately failed to deliver (e.g. the long-promised patch for Starfleet Academy).

Interplay did not wholly abandoned the Mac market, however, and over the next few years it licensed a number of its games to such Mac publishers as Logicware. In October of 2000 the MacPlay brand itself was licensed to United Developers along with the Mac publishing rights to five Interplay titles, including Baldur's Gate II and the upcoming Icewind Dale.

Despite his personal setback, Fargo remains upbeat about Interplay and its products:

We can certainly be criticized for financial performance, but I don't think anyone can criticize our games. We continued to put out quality games, games of the year, even with all this going on.
Although Interplay president Herve Caen declined comment on Fargo's resignation, he did state that a new CEO would be appointed shortly.

[Sean Smith contributed to this story.]

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Archives  News  Interplay Founder and CEO Brian Fargo Steps Down