Legal Battle Over Fallout MMO Continues

Illustration for article titled Legal Battle Over Fallout MMO Continues

The legal battle between Fallout IP holder Bethesda and original creator Interplay rages on, despite a dropped appeal granting false hopes to fans eager for a massively-multiplayer online Fallout title.


Last September, Bethesda, the current owner of the Fallout intellectual property, filed a lawsuit against Interplay, the studio that created Fallout, claiming trademark infringement due to the fact that Interplay did not seek permission to sell The Fallout Trilogy bundle, which featured the original Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics. Bethesda sought to halt the sale of the bundle, while also halting production of a Fallout MMO project Interplay was working on.

Earlier that year Bethesda threatened legal action over the MMO's development, citing an overall lack of progress on Interplay's part.

In December, a U.S. District Court judge rejected Bethesda's request for an injunction against Interplay to halt sale of the Fallout bundle as well as work on the Fallout MMO.


Now Fallout fan site Duck and Cover reports that Bethesda has dropped an appeal against Interplay, suggesting the move might mean the end to Interplay's legal troubles.

Not so says Bethesda's Pete Hines. "That is still ongoing and has not been resolved. It is a minor procedural thing that took place, not a dropping of the lawsuit."


So the lawsuit still lives on, and the future of Interplay's Fallout MMO still hangs in the balance, and at the moment there's no end in sight.

"The bottom line is it's an ongoing legal matter, it's in no way, shape or form done," Hines continued. "We're going to let the process play out in the courts, which is what we've said all along, but beyond that I can't give specifics as to procedures. That's not my domain."



I'm going to be honest, I've never been too enthused about the idea of a Fallout MMO, just as I wasn't really enthused about the idea of a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic MMO.

Both of those series, as far as I can tell, placed heavy emphasis on giving one person (the player) the power to change worlds for good or ill. This wouldn't be possible in an MMO setting, since every player, whether a beginner or someone who's hit the level cap, has to be on a roughly equal playing field, as far as the level of influence on the world goes (not as far as simple combat goes, of course). Out of thousands or millions of players, it would probably be dangerous to give any one of those players so much authority. What do you all think?