The legal dust-up between Bethesda and Interplay has at least one positive consequence for gamers: Interplay has released some early concept art for Project V13, the unannounced MMOG that's widely believed to be Fallout Online.
Lawsuits are generally bad news, particularly when they swirl around games and companies we know and love. Case in point: The Fallout franchise and the ongoing legal tussle it has sparked between Interplay, the company that created it, and Bethesda, the company that purchased the IP and has taken it to an unprecedented level of popularity. Bethesda sued Interplay in September for breach of contract regarding the Fallout-based MMOG Interplay is working on; Interplay launched a counter-suit this month, claiming Bethesda's "unreasonable interference" has made the sale of the Fallout license "null and void."
Whatever. The silver lining for gamers is this: As a result of the lawsuit (maybe to demonstrate that it is in fact working on the game?) Interplay has released a couple pieces of V13 concept art to the public. "Keep in mind that this is concept art. It's not finalized art, but it will give you a feel for what we are aiming for with V13," wrote Interplay's Chris Taylor. "And I'll keep bugging the lawyers to release more art when we can... I'm pretty excited that we're finally able to show you some of the work that we've been doing up until now."
There are only two images currently posted, a graveyard and a factory; they're distinctly post-apocalyptic, but for me, they don't have the usual "Fallout feel," for lack of a better term. You'll have to register for the Interplay forums to see them, although No Mutants Allowed is mirroring them if you're strongly opposed to doing so for some reason. Have a look and see what you think!