It’s hard not to wonder “what if…” even when good things happen. We always want to know what could have happened even when everything went the way it should have. There are a few legendary studios the dissolution of which sent shockwaves through the industry at the time. What if Looking Glass, Cavedog and the master of sprawling, storied RPGs Black Isle could have continued regaling us with their masterworks? That’s something we can’t know. But what we can know is a tiny bit of the history of one of the best RPG houses of their time.
Fergus Urquhart needed to name the Interplay RPG Division he was heading up. His tale begins with “an isle in Scotland, and it’s called the Black Isle, and that’s actually where the Urquharts came from.”
“So I was always going to hold that back for when I got to start a studio, but Brian Fargo, who ran Interplay, was getting mad at me, and was like, “You just need a name!” And he walked in and was going to come in at me, and I was like alright, I got a name, and it’s Black Isle. He was like, “That’s perfect!” I don’t know whether he meant the name, the studio or its games, but he would have been right on either count.
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