Shutdown rumors swirl around Interplay

[UPDATE] Unconfirmed reports say the troubled publisher's staff has been laid off and its office has been shuttered; anonymous office occupant says the rumors are "not true."

In mid-April, Interplay announced its 2003 financial numbers. While the company's income was lackluster, CEO Herve Caen gave an optimistic if guarded outlook for 2004, promising a new Kingpin game and the possible resurrection of Fallout 3. However, Interplay also filed papers with the SEC that showed it was three months behind in its rent and was facing eviction from its Irvine, California, headquarters. Two weeks ago, its official site, www.interplay.com, went offline. However, its still-functioning e-mail and phone system pointed to the fact that the company was still in existence, even if it wasn't responding to inquiries.

Today, however, unconfirmed reports began to surface that the publisher was indeed shutting down. Several stock-related and Interplay-game-related sites claimed to have received reports from Interplay employees that they were told by the company's human resources department to file for unemployment insurance. According to some sites, staffers were also told to collect their belongings by 5:00pm PDT on Tuesday because the property managers were preparing to lock all Interplay employees out of their Irvine offices. Other reports said the offices would be closed at 5:00pm Friday, and movers had already taken several major items of furniture and game memorabilia from the offices.

News source: Gamespot

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