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Post by Eorl @ 01:16pm 11/01/12 | 5 Comments
ZeniMax Media have today announced that the lawsuit between its subsidiary Bethesda Softworks and Interplay Entertainment, Bethesda Softworks LLC v Interplay Entertainment Corp., has reached a settlement after filing the lawsuit in 2009.

The outcome from the settlement is that Interplay forfeits all rights to the massively multiplayer online game (MMO) based on the Fallout brand. Bethesda’s main complaint in the lawsuit was that “Interplay had failed to meet the conditions for the license and the license was therefore of no continuing validity”.

With the settlement comes the obvious terms that Interplay’s license to develop the Fallout MMO is null and void and all rights to an MMO are reverted back to Bethesda, effective immediately. What else is interesting is that with the settlement outcome, Interplay now has no ongoing right to use the Fallout brand, or any Fallout intellectual property for anything in game development. In the initial agreement Interplay was permitted to continue selling the original Fallout Tactics and Fallout 2 indefinitely, but those merchandising rights have now been changed to expire on December 31, 2013, meaning once that date is reached all profit will go to Bethesda and Interplay will no longer be able to sell them.

The lawsuit arose after Bethesda Softworks acquired all Fallout material in April 2007 and licensed, back to Interplay, certain trademark rights, provided Interplay secure US$30 million in financing for the MMO and commence development in 2009. This, however, did not happen, and Bethesda alleged that Interplay refused to relinquish the license and insisted they would develop the Fallout MMO. Bethesda filed a lawsuit to declare the license void.

Robert Altman, Chairman and CEO of Zenimax, has stated his satisfaction with the outcome, saying “While we strongly believe in the merits of our suits, we are pleased to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation while completely resolving all claims to the Fallout IP. Fallout is an important property of ZeniMax and we are now able to develop future Fallout titles for our fans without third party involvement or the overhang of others' legal claims.”

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Latest Comments
Posted 01:55pm 11/1/12
Oh god, I can't imagine an MMO made by Bethesda, they have enough trouble with bugs in their single player games
Posted 02:00pm 11/1/12
Imagine the bugs though!
Posted 02:03pm 11/1/12
Could be one hit by a ghoul, loose all your gear, get deleted of the server, game is uninstalled, and to top it off, your computer blows up.
Posted 02:06pm 11/1/12
Highly doubt Bethesda have any intention of developing an MMO. It's all about preventing Interplay from diluting the Fallout brand with whatever they might have had going. Securing the complete license with a relatively cheap settlement.

According to gi.biz Beth originally paid $40 mill for the IP license that left Interplay with the rights to the previous games and an MMO. Apparently they could have had the lot for $50 mill.

The whole thing does look like both sides failed a bit. Interplay couldn't capitalise on the MMO concept because they took too long and Bethesda cheaped out on the initial acquisition because they figured they could get the last bit for cheaper than $10 mill via legal action (and it looks like they were right).
Posted 02:07pm 11/1/12
No you'd be slashing away at ghouls inside a decrypt building with a friend when your friend disappears and ends up outside 50km's and ten in the air shooting at a cloud while the bullets still hit the ghouls.
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