I don’t think many people were expecting this announcement.
While there was a re-imagining in 2004, Brian Fargo, who has worked on games such as Wasteland 2, teased on his twitter recently that he’d begin work on Bard’s Tale IV, a proper sequel to the 1988’s The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate. In comments made to IGN, Brian Fargo indicated that “This project has always been really personal to me. It was a game that put both me and Interplay on the map, back in the day. And it’s also the franchise that launched in inXile.” This is different from the re-imagining and reinterpretation of the Bard’s Tale done by the company in 2004, as this will be a sequel to the running franchise. While there’s still work being done for the upcoming Torment: Tides of Nemenera, inXile is ready to get things rolling on the new game by planning a Kickstarter for the game.
Fargo seems to be a fan of the KickStarter model, indicating that it will allow him to make the game that he wants, for the audience that will want the game. This is prevalent in the release of Wasteland 2, which did pretty well despite not going through the regular publishing system. Rather then appeal to a mass audience, inXile seems to want to focus on please the customers they want to focus on.
However, that doesn’t mean that the new Bard’s tale won’t take any influence from modern games, and is somewhat of an interesting twist, it may take some pointers from Hearthstone. “You look at something like Hearthstone, for example. It’s sort of that going back-and forth process, and you see the complexity and detail and strategy and nuance that can happen. It’s really an amazing system. I love those modern influences. I took a lot away from that, and see things we need to do with our combat system.” It is the 30th anniversary of the franchise, which in Fargo’s own words: “makes it all just seem perfect.”
Hopefully, Bard Tale’s IV use of the KickStarter model will fall in line with Wasteland 2, which while having bumps delivered a good product to the consumer. So, would you be willing to play a modern day rendition of the Bard’s Tale series? Does the success of Wasteland II in it’s modern day reinterpretation give you hope that the Bard’s Tale will follow in its footsteps?