Interplay Loses Rights to Fallout MMO

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Interplay Loses Rights to Fallout MMO

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The rights to the Fallout MMO have returned to Bethesda.

And just like that, it's over. The settlement between Bethesda Softworks and Interplay in the dispute over Fallout Online, announced last week, immediately returned the rights to develop a Fallout MMO to Bethesda, with all related licenses previously granted to Interplay declared null and void. Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax Media, agreed to pay $2 million to Interplay as "consideration" in the settlement, and both companies will pay their own legal costs.

The deal will also see the rights to the other Fallout IPs - Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics - become the property of Bethesda as of December 31, 2013. Bethesda's original deal to acquire the Fallout franchise from Interplay in 2007 granted merchandising rights to the original Fallout games to Interplay, but under the terms of the settlement those rights will now expire at the end of 2013, at which point Interplay will be fully, finally out of the Fallout game.

In many ways, it's a sad resolution to the matter. There was a time when Interplay was an industry powerhouse that numbered among the best in the business and while those days are long gone, Fallout Online - while always a long shot - represented its last, best chance at gaining some sort of footing in the game industry. There was something romantic about the idea of a new Fallout game with the Interplay logo on it, and something vaguely awe-inspiring about the company's steadfast refusal to just give up and die. And this latest setback still may not put Interplay down, but whatever it's future holds, it will be a future without Fallout. I'd kind of hoped for a different end to the tale.

Bethesda also reached a settlement with Masthead Studios, which had been contracted by Interplay to develop the Fallout MMO, under which Masthead acknowledges that it has no legal right to use any Fallout intellectual property and agrees that it will not do so in the future. No payments were made by either Bethesda or Masthead in that settlement.

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This is unfortunate and at the same time, I'm rather happy that things have finally come to a close. Interplay was a big part of my childhood and adolescence and they published some of my personal cornerstones in gaming. Seeing as nothing lasts forever, though, I'm at least happy to see that the Fallout franchise still has a home.

This brings me to the other side of the debate. Bethesda's proven that it could do fairly awesome things with this franchise, and I have no doubt that the Creation engine will serve a hypothetical Fallout 4 rather well.

Because of this, my feelings concerning this story are a little mixed. It's a bittersweet feeling that's not quite pleasant, honestly.

A sad end to this story. I hope Interplay comes up with something good to work with for the future. It would be sad to see them disappear.

Good. Fallout Online was just going to do damage to the series, and I hope it never sees the light of day again.

That is indeed bad news for Interplay.

However I am curious to know if Bethesda will continue the project somehow?

Sad news, but Interplay was essentially dead anyway. This is just the nail in the coffin.

While I know I should feel sad, I also know that the series is in good hands.

Overall, I'm just happy the stupid lawsuit is over.

So when is the Bethesda Fallout MMO coming out? I'll play it if it isn't a grind-fest.

It's important to remember that it's not the Interplay that we all remember from the past. The old company and this one just share the name.

So what does this mean for the Fallout games up on GoG? Will those be taken down once Bethesda gets full control of the license?

That's a damn shame. Interplay had a pretty crummy track record for the past ten years, but this could have been their big break.

Oh well. It probably would have sucked anyway.

YES!Score one for the little guys... who have enough money to throw at a problem so as to get their way!!!!

Honestly I find this disgusting as honestly without question the law was 100% on the side of interplay and basically this boils down to Interplay accepting 2 million dollars to give up the remaining right they had to their creation. (either because they knew they had jack shit in the MMO, or because they just could not keep the litigation going)

And the worst part of it is? the fact that the franchise is in damn near the worst hands humanly possible. (Why yes I love not being able to click my mouse on anything for fear of picking up another useless piece of pixelated garbage) So, bring on more copy pasta sequels! Hooray for supporting the rights of the publishers to make money, cause they use your money to do such worth while things!

/aneurysm

Edit: I would suggest correcting the byline as the Bethesda never had the rights to the MMO, so it is not possible for the MMO rights to return to them.

Irridium:
So what does this mean for the Fallout games up on GoG? Will those be taken down once Bethesda gets full control of the license?

I seriously doubt it. There's really no reason for them to once they get full control over the old games.

Ah, that's a shame. Oh well, I hope that Obsidian keeps getting to work on the series. Now, they're the last part of Black Isle left, and with Interplay out of the picture, they're even more alone now than ever.

I suspect this means V13 will be scuttled. I just don't see Masthead interested in working on a second post-apocalyptic MMO when it's not attached to a well known brand.

I have to wonder if Interplay can recover from this. They still have some worthwhile IPs, but they'll likely need to sell another off if they want the capital to pursue a new game. Earthworm Jim seems like the strongest candidate for a new project, or to go on the chopping block. (If another game is made, regardless of who is behind it, I just hope Doug TenNapel is involved.)

I feel really bad for Interplay...

I love what Bethesda have done with the franchise, and the old black isle guys becoming obsidion and working with New Vegas was also something that made me happy... but this just feels.... unjust you know?

The IP belonged to Interplay and Bethesda have pretty much viciously bullied them out of it. Although a final ruling, it wasn't a just one.

I feel that this is a shame, I was looking forward to the Fallout MMO and I feel bad that Interplay lost what little ownership to Fallout it had left. I find this especially sad since I was rooting for Interplay through the lawsuit and had hoped they would win.

Let's be honest now.

The entire point of the Fallout series was that the player was mostly alone against the wastes, never fitting in where they went, but still being one of the most influential figures in post-apocalyptica.

How is dumping 3000 other people in a server really going to capture that feel? Complete with enough quest NPCs and things to kill for everyone, it's not going to look or feel very much like fallout.

Nevermind the (probable) eventual factioning between Enclave and BOS.

I've played/enjoyed all of the Fallout games except BOS, and I just don't see how the MMO formula could wind up working for the Fallout franchise.

Like I said in another topic on the subject, I just can't bring myself to feel good about this. Interplay was a big part of my gaming life for the longest time, with some of my all time favourites emblazoned with that logo.

This just feels like Bethesda kicking a studio while they're down. It's brutal. I mean Interplay are responsible for the creation of the Fallout franchise in the first place, if it weren't for them the series wouldn't exist. Yet now with this ruling not even the old games are theirs for much longer.

Interplays children just got taken away... sure they're going to a good home, but I still can't help but feel sad for the original parents especially when it seems like that was the only thing they really had left.

This is a dark day for wastelanders everywhere.

No offense man, there is a reason Interplay is in the situation they are in. I am glad Bethesda is going to have the rights to the Fallout MMO, I was VERY concerned about Interplay doing it.

Bethesda did fallout 3 with no guarantee of financial success whatsoever. They could have gone ahead with the elder scrolls, a franchise that would have made money no matter what, but they went with fallout. Then they let obsidian, a company containing a large amount of the original developers make new vegas while bethesda was making skyrim. I can't imagine a better home for fallout.

The Madman:
Like I said in another topic on the subject, I just can't bring myself to feel good about this. Interplay was a big part of my gaming life for the longest time, with some of my all time favourites emblazoned with that logo.

This just feels like Bethesda kicking a studio while they're down. It's brutal. I mean Interplay are responsible for the creation of the Fallout franchise in the first place, if it weren't for them the series wouldn't exist. Yet now with this ruling not even the old games are theirs for much longer.

Interplays children just got taken away... sure they're going to a good home, but I still can't help but feel sad for the original parents especially when it seems like that was the only thing they really had left.

Enough of the original developers are at Obsidian that it is more like one parent taking the child because the other one has no money, and the child would have no future with them.

Soviet Heavy:
Ah, that's a shame. Oh well, I hope that Obsidian keeps getting to work on the series. Now, they're the last part of Black Isle left, and with Interplay out of the picture, they're even more alone now than ever.

I'm sure they will. The next fallout will likely be bethesda's, but obsidian will probably make one when they are done with the south park RPG, which wouldn't exist if bethesda didn't let them make NV.

thomaskattus:
That is indeed bad news for Interplay.

However I am curious to know if Bethesda will continue the project somehow?

I doubt it, bethesda or obsidian would probably make it with the creation engine.

thomaskattus:
That is indeed bad news for Interplay.

However I am curious to know if Bethesda will continue the project somehow?

Bethesda didn't acquire the work they had done on the project - all of that remains with Interplay, but if they want to continue working on it they need to remove all of the Fallout-related content.

brainslurper:

The Madman:
Like I said in another topic on the subject, I just can't bring myself to feel good about this. Interplay was a big part of my gaming life for the longest time, with some of my all time favourites emblazoned with that logo.

This just feels like Bethesda kicking a studio while they're down. It's brutal. I mean Interplay are responsible for the creation of the Fallout franchise in the first place, if it weren't for them the series wouldn't exist. Yet now with this ruling not even the old games are theirs for much longer.

Interplays children just got taken away... sure they're going to a good home, but I still can't help but feel sad for the original parents especially when it seems like that was the only thing they really had left.

Enough of the original developers are at Obsidian that it is more like one parent taking the child because the other one has no money, and the child would have no future with them.

Yeah, the Interplay of today is really Titus Interactive.

viranimus:
Snip.

/facepalm. Ok first of all, the MMO was being developed using Betheseda's money in the first place. Interplay only remerged as a developer/publisher because they sold the franchise to Betheseda. So either way, people like you would have considered it 'tainted' by a successful developer/publisher that specialises in open world RPGs.

If the law was on the side of Interplay, they wouldn't have lost the rights to the mmo, and would have been comfortable enough to press on without settling. They also would have been able to get far more then two million dollars for it. Second of all, fallout 3 hasn't HAD any sequels yet. Fallout New Vegas wasn't a sequel in anyway shape or form, nor was it developed by the people who made fallout three. Its closer to being fallout BoS or Fallout Tactics then it is a fallout sequel (in the method of production, not story I mean.

Personally I quite enjoyed New Vegas, even if it did recycle some things from fallout three. I certainly enjoyed it then a buggy pop outdated pop-culture mess that requires numerous third party patches to be playable. But that's getting a little harsh on fallout two, so I apologise to anyone who enjoyed it, and admit they might have different tastes then I do.

I also love how you claim there is numerous 'copy pasta' sequels. I do believe you have gotten Bethesda confused with Infinity Ward or Treyarch. From the best of my knowledge, skyrim shares almost NO copy pasted material from Oblivion, nor did Oblivion share any with Morrowwind etc etc. So why the heck would you complain about a company that does that much to keep things different suddenly start changing their minds now? Hell, Betheseda might be considered moderately evil in many ways, but at least they try and expand the horizons whenever they can.

Besides, fallout is in many parts about a poor, lonely bastard trying to explore a world where everything wants to kill him, to try and find somewhere he can call home. Is there really anyone at the moment who does better open words then bethesda?

FalloutJack:
Snip

The fact that it might get actually get released now makes it a dark day? You do remember the stories about how interplay couldn't even afford to finish developing it?

The Madman:

Interplays children just got taken away... sure they're going to a good home, but I still can't help but feel sad for the original parents especially when it seems like that was the only thing they really had left.

Using your metaphor, the parents have already moved on to obsidian, while their child was held hostage in the house they used to live in, with the parents prepared to leave them there. However child services (Betheseda) had a swat team (the laywers) go in, beat the door down and started shooting anyone who stopped them from rescuing the kids. Not only that, they've given the children everything they need to grow up and become successful in their own right, while even letting their neglectful parents take them on a pleasant vacation to their childhood neighbourhood, with the possibility for partial custody in the future.

chiefohara:
I feel really bad for Interplay...

I love what Bethesda have done with the franchise, and the old black isle guys becoming obsidion and working with New Vegas was also something that made me happy... but this just feels.... unjust you know?

The IP belonged to Interplay and Bethesda have pretty much viciously bullied them out of it. Although a final ruling, it wasn't a just one.

No it didn't Its been specifically said hundreds of times, Interplay sold/pwned the house/IP to Bethesda, in order to raise a bit of cash to survive. They then rented it from bethesda, in order to play around once more, but they violated the rental agreement and thus have been evicted.

Bethesida never held a gun at their head and forced them to rent, they merely wanted their agreement honoured.

All things come to an end. In all likelihood, Interplay would have did a bad job of the Fallout MMO anyway.

Good. Hopefully a Fallout MMO is never made. Making an MMORPG pretty much signifies the end of a franchise. Very rarely does a new singleplayer game get made after an MMO is created, and it pisses me off as a person who measures a game solely on it's singleplayer and dislikes most mulitplayer games.

newwiseman:
So when is the Bethesda Fallout MMO coming out?

this was my first, rather sarcastic thought.

even if a fallout MMO is 9000+ flavors of bad idea

Sucal:
-Massive Snip-

I wanted Interplay to go at it, because I didn't like how Bethesda was being a pain in the ass about it. For whatever reason, for whatever problems the whole thing created, I didn't like the idea of them fighting over it, and that they should've let Interplay go forward. The whole fight was pointless and stupid and I do not agree with the outcome. So yes, dark frigging day. Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to stew on that in peace.

The idea of a Fallout MMO always struck me as odd anyway. Why should a place that is essentially a low-populated wasteland become an MMO filled with a bunch of people? I think it would take away some of the atmosphere of the game.

brainslurper:

Enough of the original developers are at Obsidian that it is more like one parent taking the child because the other one has no money, and the child would have no future with them.

Sucal:

Using your metaphor, the parents have already moved on to obsidian, while their child was held hostage in the house they used to live in, with the parents prepared to leave them there. However child services (Betheseda) had a swat team (the laywers) go in, beat the door down and started shooting anyone who stopped them from rescuing the kids. Not only that, they've given the children everything they need to grow up and become successful in their own right, while even letting their neglectful parents take them on a pleasant vacation to their childhood neighbourhood, with the possibility for partial custody in the future.

Never said it was bad for Fallout, I just said I feel sorry for the metaphorical parents here. It's pretty much 90% nostalgia talking here: I'm well aware pretty much everyone who made Interplay, well, Interplay have already moved on to other things. But still it's sad to see a brand I once saw as a sign of quality and integrity (This was a long time ago, alright?) being pushed around and having dirt smeared in its face.

For clarification I never actually played more than a few hours of Fallout 3. Didn't much like it, but that's a personal preference. Others seem to just fine and honestly I was never a hardcore Fallout fan to begin with.

The Random One:
Sad news, but Interplay was essentially dead anyway. This is just the nail in the coffin.

Aye, and in the current state their game is in, Masthead wasn't doing much help I'd bet in proving that the Fallout MMO was a reality or even possibility. It sucks in a way, because I was looking forward to Earthrise back before its beta, and I always enjoyed Fallout, but seeing how Earthrise has suffered since release... yeah...

Probably for the best. It's worth noting that Interplay is just a publisher, and that it wasn't going to recreate Black Isle, but let some other developer work on a fallout MMO.

I like the Fallout series in Bethesda's hands. I think they are doing a great job so far.
For those who want a fallout game by the guys who made the original game - it's called Fallout New Vegas which was developed by Obsidian, which has most of the original Black Isle people in it. Having Interplay publish it wouldn't have made it any better.

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