Tue, May 31, 2011 | 00:43 BST
Interplay on the rocks, Fallout Online in jeopardy
A financial statement has reportedly revealed original Fallout publisher Interplay is in deep, deep trouble, with a number of projects including Fallout Online on very shaky ground.
Develop turned up a SEC filing for the company in which it warns of “substantial doubts over [Interplay's] ability to continue as a going concern”.
Interplay was more than two months over its deadline to file a financial report, and investors are likely appalled to learn the company is down to a cash balance of just $3,000. Worse, there are bills to be paid.
“We currently have some obligations that we are unable to meet without generating additional income or raising additional capital,” the statement advised.
“If we cannot generate additional income or raise additional capital in the near future, we may become insolvent or be made bankrupt or may become illiquid or worthless.”
Without any credit at its disposal, the company may have to be sold off to avoid bankruptcy. The publisher has taken steps to reduce costs, by ceasing up-front payments to developers in favour of revenue-sharing – but this means games which haven’t been fully paid for could be cancelled.
Masthead Studios’ Fallout Online, due next year, joins ClayFighter, Stonekeep, Descent, and Earthworm Jim 4 on the edge of being shelved.
Interplay isn’t optimistic about its chances, flatly stating it doesn’t believe an acceptable course can be found. Although open to sale, merger, offering stock to public sale, and flogging off assets, the company’s debts are so staggering as to suggest even these measures won’t cut it.
Interplay is said to owe around $410,000 in tax, as well as interest and fines for late payment. It also notes a further $93,000 in debt to other official bodies. The company posted a net loss of $1 million in 2010, just six years after grimly clawing back from bankruptcy.
Interplay has been involved in a long-running legal battle with Bethesda over the rights to Fallout, which it contends were not signed over completely.