InXile Entertainment has announced that all backers of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter at the $20 tier or higher will get free digital copies of the original Bard's Tale Trilogy. As an added bonus, Rebecca Heineman, the programmer of The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate, and her studio Olde Sküül is updating all three games to run natively on modern PCs.
"Even before we launched the Kickstarter, we were constantly asked, 'Can you do a re-release of the original The Bard’s Tale trilogy' and we heard you. We have been hard at work behind the scenes looking at ways to make it happen!" inXile boss Brian Fargo wrote in today's Kickstarter update. "The first step was getting Electronic Arts to sign on as they own the publishing rights to the old games, having originally brought them to the market in the mid-80s. EA very graciously had no objections at all, a big thanks to them for their help in making this giveaway happen."
Emulated versions of the games will be given to backers as soon as the Kickstarter ends, while the updated versions will be released when they're ready. "As we’re not working on these versions ourselves we cannot give an ETA or guarantee on their release, we’ll all be waiting for Rebecca to deliver us an upgraded version worthy of the name!" Fargo said. "Of course, playing the originals will not be necessary to follow the story of The Bard’s Tale IV, but we hope you’ll jump on the opportunity to experience them as thousands of fans did back in the day!"
Fargo also announced that The Bard's Tale IV soundtrack has been upgraded to a "double deluxe album" to accommodate the number of artists contributing to it, and that anyone who backs the project at a tier that includes the soundtrack will be automatically upgraded to either a bigger download or a two-CD set. The soundtrack will also be available for purchase separately, and there are now two new backer tiers available as well: The "Guide to Skara Brae" tier at $33, and the "Supreme Box Collector" tier, which will set you back $675.
The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter is currently sitting at about 100 large short of its $1.25 million goal. It runs until July 10.