For those who don't know the story, Interplay onced owned the rights to the Fallout franchise, rights which they solid to Bethesda who went on to develop the excellent Fallout 3 (and well-recieved followup – Fallout: New Vegas). The problem was that the contract between the two was a bit unclear on how a potential Fallout MMO would work. Interplay supposedly maintained the right to license the Fallout name for use on such a project, but had to do so within a specific period of time. Bethesda claimed that Interplay's drawn-out development of such an MMO was simply an effort to maintain the rights and not proof of anything actually being developed, meaning the rights to a Fallout MMO should revert to Bethesda.
Now, after years of fighting we have an apparent resolution, Bethesda claiming that a recent agreement between both parties will allow them to proceed with their own Fallout MMO.
This news is just breaking, and we'll have more details ASAP! Stay tuned!
The settlement details:
- "The license granted to Interplay to develop the Fallout MMO is null and void, and all rights granted to Interplay to develop a Fallout MMO revert back to Bethesda, effective immediately. Interplay has no ongoing right to use the Fallout brand or any Fallout intellectual property for any game development." – Seems that Interplay's Fallout MMO is completely dead in the water, and that we will not have two competing Fallout MMOs on the market.
- "ZeniMax will pay Interplay $2 million as consideration in the settlement, each party will bear its own costs of the litigation, and Bethesda will continue to own all Fallout intellectual property rights." – Two million for the exclusive rights to a Fallout MMO are pocket change, and a price that ZeniMax Media (Skyrim, RAGE) can more than afford.
- "Interplay will be permitted to continue to sell the original Fallout ®Tactics, Fallout® and Fallout® 2 PC games through December 2013, after which time all rights to market those games revert to and become the sole property of Bethesda. Under the original agreement pursuant to which Bethesda had acquired the Fallout property, Interplay was granted certain merchandising rights to sell those original Fallout games, but those merchandising rights will now expire on December 31, 2013." – Seems Bethesda really went for the jugular. Previously, Interplay maintained the rights to their own Fallout games and merchandising, though Bethesda has apparently taken those as part of this settlement.
Bethesda seems the clear victor of this settlement. Only question now is how long we have to wait for the Fallout MMO?