Interplay's arguments over wording of MMO contract are "meritless," say Bethesda's lawyers.
Bethesda has restated its claim that the contract between it and Interplay over the Fallout MMO did not include the use of any assets from previous titles. What's more, it said that the contract that Interplay agreed to made this very clear, and the courts should reject any arguments to the contrary.
In December of last year, Bethesda claimed that Interplay was only allowed to use the Fallout name for its MMO, and by using any other elements from the Fallout franchise, it had broken the terms of the contract. Interplay responded to these claims earlier this week, calling such an interpretation "absurd," and making the case that there was no point in using the Fallout name if it couldn't set the game in the Fallout world.
Bethesda rejected that idea however, saying that Interplay had submitted a number of "meritless arguments" to the court, which suggested that the wording of the contract rendered it meaningless. It said that the term "Fallout-branded MMO" clearly meant an MMO called Fallout and nothing else, and that Bethesda was under no contractual obligation to allow Interplay to use any other assets. It said that it hadn't contested this violation of the contract before, because it didn't realize that it had even taken place until Interplay started sending out marketing materials for the game.
The rights to the MMO have been a bone of contention between the two companies for quite some time. When Bethesda bought the rights to the franchise in 2007, it licensed the MMO rights back to Interplay on the understanding that it would begin work on the game no later than 24 months after the date of the agreement, and would release the game within four years of work commencing.
Bethesda sued Interplay in September of 2009, saying that Interplay had broken the terms of the agreement. Bethesda tried to obtain a temporary injunction against Interplay, but was unable to do so, and eventually dropped the suit in April 2010.