InXile Entertainment is one of a few companies to take to crowdfunding like a fish to water. It’s been around since 2004 when it developed its first game, The Bard’s Tale, an action-adventure title that shares a name with the classic RPG series but none of the characters and locations. The title was decently reviewed, but not exactly a monster seller. It wasn’t until the developer turned to Kickstarter to fund a sequel to the 1988 open-world RPG Wasteland that it found its niche. With team members on board who worked on those classic EA games, the company would make its mark giving fans sequels to these long-lost classics.
Wasteland 2 was a massive hit for the company. It raised more than $3 million through Kickstarter and Paypal, was eventually ported to consoles and will soon find another release on Nintendo Switch. Its follow-up, the crowdfunded Torment: Tides of Numenera, saw similar success though it missed its expected release date by a country mile. The company is now hard at work on Wasteland 3, funded through Fig this time around, and a project that is an absolute dream game for lead designer David Rogers, The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep.
The Bard’s Tale franchise is as old as I am. Developer Interplay Productions knocked out the original trilogy in rather short order, releasing the final game, Thief of Fate, in 1988. By the time I got into computer gaming, the series was a relic of the past. 30 years is a very long time to go without getting a new entry, but with a team of dedicated developers, the Unreal Engine 4, and Rogers at the helm, this series is set to return in a way that’ll please new and old fans alike.