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Black Isle Studios: Misc



Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Game company
Black Isle Studios
Company data
founded in: 1996
founded by: Feargus Urquhart
closed in: 2003
headquarters: Orange County, California (USA)
key people: Feargus Urquhart
parent company: Interplay Entertainment
Fallout games
developer for: Fallout
Fallout 2
Van Buren (canceled)
Other games
developer for: Planescape: Torment
Icewind Dale
External links
Wikipedia: Black Isle Studios
MobyGames: Black Isle Studios

Black Isle Studios was a division of the computer and video game developer and publisher Interplay Entertainment, created specifically for the development of computer role-playing games. It was based in Orange County, California, USA.[1]



The division was formed during 1996, adopting the name "Black Isle Studios" during 1998.[2] The idea for the division's name came from the Black Isle in Scotland - founder Feargus Urquhart's native country.[3] Black Isle Studios is most famous for working on the Fallout and Baldur's Gate series of computer role-playing games, though it only published the Baldur's Gate series.

In 1998, several key members responsible for the division's first title, Fallout, left Interplay to form Troika Games after they "were unable to come to an agreement with Interplay as to how [their] next team should be structured".[4] On December 8, 2003, in the midst of serious financial difficulties, Interplay laid off the entire Black Isle Studios staff.[5] As of 2007, Interplay has neither explained the move nor clarified what the future holds for Black Isle Studios, but considering the fact that Interplay itself is now a company in serious financial straits, the future of Black Isle is grim indeed. Many former Black Isle Studios employees now work at Obsidian Entertainment, a video game development company.[6]

In November 2007, Interplay reopened in-house development and hired Fallout developer Jason D. Anderson as creative director for an unannounced non-Fallout MMO[7]. It is possible that Anderson is also working on the already announced Interplay's Fallout MMO, given that he is the contact name of Interplay's jobs appliance and that Fallout is referred in the job requirements[8]. The division headed by Anderson might be named Black Isle Studios, but it has not been confirmed yet.


  • Fallout (1997)[9]
  • Fallout 2 (1998)
  • Planescape: Torment (1999)
  • Icewind Dale (2000)
  • Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter (2001)
  • Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter - Trials of the Luremaster (2001)
  • Icewind Dale II (2002)
  • Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader (2003)
  • Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (2004)

Among the products whose development Black Isle assisted are:

  • Baldur's Gate 1998
  • Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast (1999)
  • Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (2000)
  • Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal (2001)

In addition to games developed in-house, Black Isle Studios has aided in the development of several computer role-playing games published by Interplay; the most notable being the Baldur's Gate series for Windows and Mac OS, and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. Because Black Isle Studios published the Baldur's Gate series, many people mistakenly believe that they also developed the series. This is false; the Baldur's Gate series was developed by BioWare, a company that is in turn sometimes erroneously credited with developing the Icewind Dale series.

Project code names

The studio used to code-name its projects after U.S. presidents and vice-presidents. The system was reportedly created by J.E. Sawyer, who joined the company in 1999.

A list of some BIS projects with their code names:

  • Project King - Stonekeep II, canceled in 2001
  • Project Adams - Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter
  • Project Washington - Black Isle's Torn; announced and canceled in 2001
  • Project Madison - Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster
  • Project Monroe - Icewind Dale II
  • Project Quincy - Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader; this was a ruse by Feargus Urquhart, as there never was a U.S. president with that last name and Lionheart was not developed by Black Isle Studios. Lionheart was also codenamed Fallout Fantasy.[2]
  • Project Jackson - Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II 2003
  • Project Jefferson - unofficially known as Baldur's Gate 3: The Black Hound; project name mentioned as early as 2001; canceled 2003
  • Project Van Buren - Fallout 3; canceled 2003 as PC staff was laid off

References in Fallout 3

With the addition of the Fallout 3 Expansion: Point Lookout, there are numerous references to an Isla Negra land development company. Translated from Spanish, the name is Black Isle.


  2. 2.0 2.1

External links

  • GameSpot: "Interplay shuts down Black Isle Studios" (8 Dec 2003)
The contents of this page were entirely or partially copied from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, and are therefore licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The original version, its history and authors can be found at Black Isle Studios.

This article uses material from the "Black Isle Studios" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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