What's in a Name: Black Isle Studios

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What's in a Name: Black Isle Studios
Feargus Urquhart is now known as the co-founder of Obsidian Entertainment, but before that he helped found Black Isle Studios, a division of Interplay that created some PC RPG classics like the original Fallout series, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment.

I took over the RPG division of Interplay in 1996, and we were trying to come up with a name, because "RPG Division" didn't work. Or people wanted to call it Dragon Play, and I'm a big nerd, but Dragon Play was too much, too nerdy. And we came up with all of these different things, we came up with 12 Gauge, but that didn't really fit us, and we came up with this and that. And I was always holding back a name, because it was me, it was from my history.

So where Black Isle came from was that there is, more of a peninsula really, but there's 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!" And that's how Black Isle Studios got named.

Black Isle Studios was laid off from Interplay in 2003, when most of its team went on to create Obsidian Entertainment, currently working on Dungeon Siege 3 with Square Enix. Stay tuned for the story behind Obsidian's name from Urquhart himself.

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