A successor to Planescape: Torment, set in Monte Cook's Numenera universe, is in the early stages of pre-production.
The rumor that surfaced early last December all but confirmed the existence of a new Torment game, but now it's official: In an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, inXile boss Brian Fargo stated that it is in fact in the works. It won't be a straight-up sequel, however, as Wizards of the Coast was apparently uninterested in giving the studio the rights to the property. So while it will be a new Torment game, it won't be a new Planescape.
It will take place instead in Numenera, a recently Kickstarted pencil-and-paper RPG created by Monte Cook, who worked on numerous D&D products between 1992 and 2001 including several for the Planescape line. "Numenera is very exotic and rich, but is a flexible universe that empowers and support GMs," Fargo explained. "As Torment desires certain locations or features, we'll be able to do what we need to while fully respecting the setting. This goes beyond a typical licensing arrangement as Monte will be giving us direct input and even provide writing for some of the game areas."
"We're envisioning Torment as a thematic franchise with certain themes that can expand over different settings and stories," he continued, explaining how inXile intends to divide the Torment from the Planescape. "We will focus on the same things that made people appreciate PST so much: overturning RPG tropes; a fantastic, unconventional setting; memorable companions; deep thematic exploration of the human condition; heavy reactivity (i.e., choice and consequences); an intensely personal (rather than epic) story."
Also absent at this point is Chris Avellone, the lead designer of the original game and currently the creative director at Obsidian. He's not completely out of touch, however - Avellone is working with inXile on the new Wasteland - and Fargo said he's "really happy" with the team on the game, which includes Planescape veterans including Colin McComb, Adam Heine, Dana Knutson and Ray Vallese.
As for why inXile couldn't get the Planescape license, Fargo explained that Wizards of the Coast simply wasn't interested. "We asked and were rebuffed," he said. "In reality we didn't push very hard on licensing it as the team was excited to work with Monte on Numenera and they felt that there would be less creative restriction. And WotC has been pretty silent on this space for some time. Neither Feargus nor I was able to get a Baldur's Gate 3 project going."
Is a "spiritual successor" good enough? It may be great, and I hope it is, but I have to admit to a certain degree of disappointment. The Numenera setting might be fantastic, but Planescape has the advantage of being familiar, and while I have no interest in more from the Nameless One - his story is over - a trip back to the City of Doors would have been a wonderful thing.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun