The future of Fallout Online has been
decided. This week, court documents revealed that a settlement has
been reached between Bethesda and Interplay over a four year feud
concerning Interplay's right to turn the post-apocalyptic franchise into an MMO.
According to sources at Duck and Cover,
both Bethesda and Interplay had initially declined setting a date for
their next case following their latest court meeting because they
were hammering out a deal. The next day, it was announced that a
settlement had been reached, but the details would not be released
until later this month.
The undisclosed deal follows years of
court conflicts between Bethesda and Interplay over Interplay's right
to develop a Fallout MMO using assets it had sold to Bethesda back in
2007. Interplay's claim was that made the sale under the
understanding it could still develop one more Fallout property,
however Bethesda contested Interplay only had the right to use
the Fallout name, and that Interplay's MMO would negatively affect the canon
of Bethesda's own Fallout series, therefore putting it in breach with
their original agreement. Both sides also alleged that contractual
obligations were not met, and that each were incorrectly interpretting the agreement; grievances which delayed any and all
resolutions until now.
The full details of the settlement will
be out soon, after which we'll finally get a better sense at where
the Fallout MMO stands, or if it even has a hope of coming out this
century. If Interplay comes out ahead—which it looked like it was going to back in October--hopefully it will do so with enough
bottle caps in its inventory and a lot of motivation to carry out its
project. Reversely, if it turns out Bethesda has convinced Interplay
to give up the fight, it could be a long time before any such online
venture emerges from the--ahem--vault.
We'll keep you posted on where the chips fall.