Bethesda To Take Action Against Interplay Over Fallout MMO?

Illustration for article titled Bethesda To Take Action Against Interplay Over Fallout MMO?

According to a 10-K financial report filed earlier today, it appears that Interplay - who were supposed to have been developing a Fallout MMO - might instead lose the Fallout rights for the game.


The looming action (which has not yet been made official, but is still likely enough to warrant Interplay filing about it) stems not from the game's rights - which Interplay picked up fair and square - but from the game's progress. Or lack thereof.

Fallout IP owners Bethesda allege that, as part of the deal in which they bought the rights to Fallout (but left the MMO rights for Interplay), Interplay were supposed to have commenced "full-scale" work on the title by April 4, 2009.

Interplay were also supposed to have secured funding for the development of the game. Bethesda claim that neither of these conditions have been met.

As a result, Bethesda are seriously considering "[terminating] the trademark license agreement" currently in place between the two companies.


If Bethesda choose to go ahead with all this, and win, Interplay would lose their rights to produce a Fallout MMO, which may explain why an Interplay MMO is sticking with a "Project V13" code name instead of officially coming out with Fallout MMO branding.


For what it's worth, Interplay "adamantly disputes these claims". We've contacted Bethesda for comment, and will update when/if we hear back from them.

Interplay Entertainment Form 10-K [Edgar Online, via NMA]



A lot of people commenting here don't seem to realize that Interplay did NOT make Fallout 1 or 2. Interplay was the publisher for those games, not the developer. The developer - Black Isle - no longer exists. (Several of its key people are now at Obsidian making Alpha Protocol.)

What's worse, Interplay is one of the worst managed companies in the video game industry. They're about half a shade better than Midway, and that's only because of the sale of the Fallout IP to Bethesda.

The short version: we don't WANT Interplay building anything with the Fallout IP.

Now, here's the deal. That sale happened, what, two? three years ago. April 4, 2009 was the cutoff date. Interplay had a free license to use the IP they were selling so long as they got funding and began work in earnest by April 4, 2009. Bethesda is saying neither of those things of those things has happened and the license has expired. They're probably right. The fact that it's "only" 11 days after the deadline means nothing - Interplay has had YEARS to get this project going, and they've failed.