Brian Fargo (1962– ) is an American video game designer, producer, programmer, and founder of Interplay Productions and inXile Entertainment.
Fargo grew up in California, a fan of fiction, comics, and role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. In 1977, he received an Apple II computer and soon learned to program video games with his friend Michael Cranford. Fargo self-published and marketed his first widely-distributed adventure game, The Demon’s Forge (1981) through his one-man studio, Saber Software. A Stanford graduate, Michael Boone, wished to break into the video game industry in 1982 and bought Fargo’s Saber Software, establishing Boone Corporation. Fargo joined Boone as the head of research and development. In 1983, Fargo left Boone and founded Interplay Productions, taking some former Boone programmers (including Rebecca Heineman) with him.
Activision published Interplay’s first game, Mindshadow, in 1984, to much acclaim. Fargo worked as a writer on several of Interplay’s titles, including Tales of the Unknown: Volume 1 - The Bard’s Tale (1985) and The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight (1986). (He went on to produce and direct other iconic Interplay titles, such as Wasteland, Dragon Wars, and Fallout.) In 1988, Interplay transitioned from being solely a game developer to a development and publishing firm. As a result, Interplay published its own games as well as externally-created ones. The company grew to more than 600 employees at its peak. In 1998, Interplay Productions changed its name to Interplay Entertainment Corporation after going public. Following a majority acquisition of Interplay by Titus Software in 2000, Fargo resigned from the company.
In 2002, Fargo established inXile Entertainment, a company which develops interactive entertainment software for all popular game systems and wireless devices. Since 2012, inXile has successfully raised money for video game development projects through the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Fargo continues to be active in the video game industry.