After just three days of waiting, speculating, and crying, the news that nobody wanted to hear is true: BIS: Torn is cancelled. This sad news comes from Interplay Entertainment Corporation, the would-be publisher, and its wholly-owned RPG subsidiary Black Isle Studios.
As speculated and rumored by earlier reports around many Internet electronic gaming sites, there were various "causes" of the cancellation reported which ranged from group disharmony, to plans surrounding Bioware Corporation's Omen Engine, and to people being laided off Torn's design team. Interplay has only confirmed that five out of the 56 employees' of the company were laid off, however no names and no other causes for the cancellation were revealed. Since the project is now cancelled, the former Torn design team members have been reallocated to work on other Black Isle RPG products.
In the light of the most recent news of other RPGs ("Dragonriders Delayed Until September", "Wizardry 9 in Limbo", and "Retro Lops Off Raven Blade") being cancelled or delayed, this only pours salt on the wounds of the gamers who were excited by the prospect of the PC RPG's usage of the Lithtech Engine, its innovative world on which the game's name "Torn" was given, and fact that the game was developed by primarily the same team which brought the AD&D Planescape world to a new level in Planescape: Torment using a revamped version of Bioware Corporation's Infinity Engine.
Black Isle Studios had also developed Icewind Dale, Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter, and Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster, the downloadable expansion for Heart of Winter. The game developer was also dominant in helping Bioware develop the Baldur's Gate series and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for the Playstation 2, being developed by Snowblind Studios. So say your last prayers for BIS: Torn and its team: they will be missed.