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The Courts Games

Bethesda Sues Interplay Over Fallout License, MMO Plans 43

Posted by Soulskill
from the stop-slacking dept.
Bethesda Softworks has filed a complaint with the District Court of Maryland to forbid Interplay from selling older Fallout titles. The complaint alleges that Interplay failed to hold up its end of an agreement that required it to submit marketing and packaging details to Bethesda for approval. In addition to that, Interplay was supposed to initiate full-scale development of a Fallout MMO by April, 2009, gathering at least $30 million in funding to work on the game. "If Bethesda prevails, Interplay would lose the rights to develop the Fallout MMO. There is little to show for the progress of the Fallout MMO in public venues, although many speculate that a mysterious title called Project V13 is in fact the Fallout MMO."
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Bethesda Sues Interplay Over Fallout License, MMO Plans

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 12, 2009 @06:24AM (#29396917)

    Interplay still exist?!

  • I know Interplay is nothing like it used to be when it came out with Fallout or Planescape:Torment, but suing the maker of these original games just because you have the rights to continue their legacy doesn't quice feel right.

    Now, I'm sure the lawyers don't see it that way. Interplay should be careful what they sign. :)
    • by mrboyd (1211932) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @07:08AM (#29397023)
      If you had sold me your "legacy" for $5.75 millions I would feel quite right suing you if you didn't follow the terms of the contract. I know IP is a touchy subject here but Fallout isn't exactly "creative commons" material :)
    • by project-nova (930308) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @07:21AM (#29397059)
      According to wikipedia, Bethesda bought all and every Fallout IP when Interplay was unable to continue development on their version of Fallout 3 and had to lay off their main (PC) team in 2003.
      TFS says they still retained their right to sell the games they do not own any rights to anymore, as long as they get marketing and packaging approved bei Bethesda. So they can still make money with their old games as long as it doesn't interfere with Bethesda's new titles and gets their approval - that is a pretty good deal for a game studio that probably would have closed down if it weren't for Bethesda, don't you think?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Interplay had little or nothing to do with the "legacy". Black Isle designed and wrote the both of the games you mentioned, Interplay just published them. Yes, Interplay owned the IP rights, but it doesn't mean they had some special attachment to them that no one could replace.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Black Isle was owned by Interplay. I think you're confusing them with Bioware.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Black Isle was Interplay's internal RPG developer division. They were never a third party.

  • Gog.com (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Carra (1220410) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @07:26AM (#29397071)
    I've bought the original Fallout games from gog.com a few months ago. And thanks to the lack of DRM you can't deactivate those anymore!
    • by cf18 (943501)
      Well it would be interesting to see if anything happens to those sold in Steam.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ewanm89 (1052822)
        As Bethesda is one of the company that tries to do the least DRM they can get away with (Elder Scrolls: Oblivion IV only requires a disc in the right volume label) and fallout3 only uses the most basic disc inserted check securom is able to do. I do not think they'll go as far as to deactivate the legacy games. Also, not that interplay were under the terms of the contract still legally able to sale the legacy games, they just were suppose to allow Bethesda to check marketing material and were suppose to ha
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by SScorpio (595836)

          With Fallout 3 if you run the launcher it performs the disk check before running the game. If you directly run fallout3.exe it will directly start the game without the launch which would require you to select that yes you do actually want to run the game, and you won't have a disk check either.

          • by ewanm89 (1052822)
            I happen to know that too, but even the disc check isn't that major, same with oblivion, only the launcher does the check.
    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Leaving aside that I already have both on discs anyway there's the Fallout Trilogy (includes Tactics, not 3) in stores and I doubt it has remote DRM either.

  • Shame on Bethesda (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    At least they aren't going after the Russians who created the most hardcore online PVP game (mod), Fallout Online. Unfortunately, the English server sucks unless you like building stuff constantly and resource gathering. :( http://fonline2238.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    That Bethesda would ask Interplay to sign such a stupid agreement (re: packaging and marketing for the older games) and that Interplay would sign it.

    First of all, what marketing and packaging? The marketing basically produces itself: Many people who played Fallout 3 are naturally curious about the first two games in the series, especially when they find out that Fallout 2 came out about a decade prior to Fallout 3. You don't need to "market" it - those who are interested in playing a 10 year old game are

  • Great.... The Descent community has to wait another ten years before a glimmer of a chance that a Descent 4 will be produced... Anybody know how I can get my hands on the Descent rights, or who actually owns them..?
    • by Microlith (54737)

      Interplay holds all rights.

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Volition (one of the two branches Parallax split into IIRC) is still healthy so they could make a game like Descent even if they don't have the name or story rights. Of course they could also make an awesome 3d space combat game like Freespace which noone's doing at the time* but instead they're busy making open world games on the consoles (Saints Row 2 and Red Faction Guerrilla were their last games, not saying they're bad because they're awesome but they're no Freespace).

      *=All people seem to make these da

      • by d3jake (1335521)
        It's a more certain thing for a company to produce another generic FPS ground-pounder than to create a 6DoF whose last commercial foray was a decade ago... Perhaps after long enough a company with big bux will decide to create another one, but I don't want to wait until I'm thirty years old to enjoy a new 6DoF game...
  • I probably should consider this a good thing see as how a good FO based MMO would ruin my life.
  • There already is a Fallout MMO game. It's still in beta, but it's fun to see how far fans can go when they really want something that the creators of a game won't give them.

    FOnline [blogspot.com] - Come join the grief fest.


    • holy! I'm a huge fan of the series (the first 2 even more so). Definitely going to check this out.
  • "Trilogy" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Devistater (593822) <devistater@hotma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Sunday September 13, 2009 @04:45PM (#29407447)

    I think bethesda was pretty much ignoring them until fallout 1/2/tactics started being sold with labeling of "trilogy"
    That implies it includes FO3, which it doesn't. The reason beth put that part into the contract was they didn't want interplay screwing up beth's marketing for FO3, and it looks like interplay just ignored that part of the contract and tried to screw them anyway.

    • Yeah, this confused me too when I saw that they were selling a Fallout trilogy. I thought it would include FO3 as well, and for a considerably low price. Read the description, and realized it didn't. I ended up buying it a few months later anyhow, as the original series runs great on my netbook.

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