inXile boss Brian Fargo has told Eurogamer he plans to retire after Wasteland 3 ships in 2019.
The industry veteran, who founded influential game company Interplay in 1983, said he wanted to relax after a lengthy career making successful games.
“Wasteland 2 and Torment both came out great,” he said. “The Mage’s Tale’s got a great buzz. The Bard’s Tale 4 looks spectacular. Wasteland 3 is building on Wasteland 2. It seems like a good time to drop the mic.
“I love this industry, but I’ve been at this since 1981. I’ve been at it with Ken and Roberta Williams [Sierra co-founders], Trip Hawkins [EA founder], the guys from Brøderbund – I look at my friends, they have a lot more spare time than I do. It’s a very intense business. It’s all encompassing. It seems like I should relax for a little bit.”
Fargo’s Interplay is perhaps best known as the creator of the original Fallout series and as publisher for the Baldur’s Gate games and Descent series. It worked with the likes of BioWare and Blizzard (then called Silicon & Synapse) on a raft of games and went on to dominate PC gaming in the early to mid-90s.
Following an unsuccessful attempt to transition into a console software business, Interplay ran into financial difficulties. By 2001 French company Titus Software had completed its acquisition of a majority control of the company. Fargo left soon after.
Fargo started inXile Entertainment in 2002, working on The Bard’s Tale and Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. In recent years Fargo has successfully crowdfunded RPGs such as Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, The Bard’s Tale 4 and Wasteland 3.
Fargo now plans to retire when Wasteland 3 comes out in 2019, calling time on what will be a 38-year career. “I have plenty of time,” he said. “It’s not tomorrow.”
Fargo intends to leave inXile in the capable hands of its current staff as well as existing shareholders, but he said it’s too early to say who will succeed him as boss of the company.
“I have some wonderfully competent people who are making it happen here,” he said. “One of the things I enjoy the most is finding and fostering talent. Certainly, externally everybody knows we gave Blizzard and BioWare their first shots. Internally I have my own guys who are just great. They’re very tuned into these products. I’m good at finding these people and putting the talent together. I’ve been training these people for years to make me obsolete. That’s what you have to do as a leader of a company.”
Fargo said he will leave inXile a profitable independent game developer with “money in the bank”.
“We don’t owe any external people any money. We don’t have any debt. The other shares are with some of the employees of the company. So as long as it continues doing good product it should be fine.”
So, what will Fargo do when he retires?
“I’ve always wanted to go Machu Picchu,” he said.
“I can’t even imagine being unplugged for a month. I’m on 24/7. I wake up in the morning to my emails and I go to sleep to my emails. There are things going on all the time and you want to give people information quickly, because me being slow could affect four people going slow. I feel that all the time. And often we have people around the globe I’m communicating with also.
“I quite enjoy it, but from a peace of mind it would be a dream to not have to wake up and be concerned about anything for a while. The games business is very intense. It’s the entertainment business mixed in with technology. It doesn’t get much more difficult.
“I started Interplay in 1983. I think I’m one of The Last of the Mohicans. Most, if not all of the old guard has gone on and relaxed. That’s a long time, right? I should get an award just for survival.”
Until then, Fargo is focused on The Mage’s Tale, a virtual reality spin-off set within The Bard’s Tale universe, The Bard’s Tale 4, due out in 2018, and Wasteland 3, due out in 2019.
Wasteland 3, then, will be Fargo’s last game.
“It puts even more pressure on my to make damn sure that thing is stellar,” he said.