Interplay responds to Bethesda's 'absurd' claim that its Fallout MMO can't involve Fallout

Back in 2007, Bethesda purchased the rights to the Fallout series under the condition that its original publisher, Interplay, receive a license to use the brand for an upcoming MMO (with certain stipulations). The deal didn't go entirely smoothly, but Interplay moved forward with the development of Fallout Online, and things were looking good for a while - at least, everyone seemed happy... HAPPY TO HIRE MORE LAWYERS, THAT IS!

According to Bethesda, it only gave Interplay a license to "one single asset" of Fallout - the Fallout trademark. It did not, however, give Interplay permission to use any other assets from the brand, such as settings or characters. Interplay recently filed its response, which, roughly paraphrased, says that Bethesda's assertion is completely stupid in every way, and Bethesda is stupid for thinking it, and that they must be drinking "stupid coffee" every morning because that's the only way to explain how they got so stupid (I made most of that up, but it's the general tone).

"Bethesda's interpretation requires Interplay to develop and release an MMOG under the Fallout name, but unrelated to the Fallout brand," read Interplay's response to Bethesda, which was acquired by The Vault.

"First, this is not only absurd, but is specifically prohibited by the agreement because Interplay was only granted a 'license and right to use the Licensed Marks on and in connection with its FALLOUT-branded MMOG ... and for no other purpose' ... It was not the parties' intent that Interplay create, for example, an online baseball game or poker game called 'Fallout.'"

Interplay states that requiring it to "divorce the trademark from the source of its good will, which stems from its reputation related to a particular and unique post-apocalyptic game world” would deny it the benefits of the brand all-together.

It ought to have been obvious that Interplay would interpret the contract to mean that it would be entitled to use at least some of Fallout's established universe. As Interplay states, it's absurd to think that an unrelated post-apocalyptic game which happens to be called "Fallout" qualifies as use of the brand. Apparently Bethesda thinks differently, or, potentially, is playing dumb in an effort to bury Interplay's efforts and move the project to a new developer. Its motivations aren't entirely clear to those of us who'd really like to play a Fallout MMO developed by the series' progenitor.

[Sources: Fallout Wiki VaultGamasutra]

Jan 10, 2011




  • AlmightyFuzz - January 11, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    So long as Interplay don't screw up the MMO, I'm all for Bethesda leaving Interplay to it, and if it's good I'll probably spend more time on it than I did on WoW. Though if it's true that Bethesda want Interplay to create a Fallout game that has no connection to the Fallout universe than they are acting pretty damn stupid. I'm just praying to the God's of gaming that this game goes ahead and is just as good as it deserves to be.
  • JohnnyMaverik - January 11, 2011 1:59 p.m.

    I want Interplay to make it because I don't want Bethesda wasting their time making bloody MMOs.
  • CrashmanX - January 11, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    @Gamedingo Go back and play Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, then you'd understand the type of MMO Interplay is looking to create.
  • AlSwearengenHatesCocksuckers - January 11, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    I thought you were cool Bethesda! Now your, Activisioned out mannn. You need to like, mellow yourself and not be burdened by trivial things bro.
  • gamedingo - January 11, 2011 7:37 a.m.

    I'm probably alone in saying that I don't really want a Fallout MMO. Sure, I've only played 3 and New Vegas, but I just don't see how an MMO would work for the series. I'd rather be alone in the wasteland.
  • kiwicrossing - January 11, 2011 7:02 a.m.

    I have no emotional ties to Interplay but do with Bethesda for the newer Fallout games and Oblivion so I am inclined to side with them. My one hope is this does not bury this awesome brand!
  • BlindMarksman - January 11, 2011 4:55 a.m.

  • Ultima - January 11, 2011 4:25 a.m.

    I think it's sad that the gaming industry is descending into this but that seems to be what excessive money does to any industry or individual. It's certainly changed alot since a 15 year old boy called Tim Tyler decided to make a game about a reptile in his bedroom one summer. It was rather alot like Boulderdash but I dont remember them taking him to court. I suppose that's the difference between a community and an industry.
  • FauxFurry - January 11, 2011 3:28 a.m.

    That's actaully funnier dark humor than any featured in any Fallout game to date. A Fallout MMOG to be developed by Interplay that, by design/terms of use stipulations, is Fallout in name only, a label some of the old guard Fallout fans applied to Fallout 3,however falsely? That's just too much. Cue the Theremin music. It looks like someone selected the Wild Wasteland trait in true 3-D space.
  • CandiedJester - January 11, 2011 2:51 a.m.

    Bloodstorm, ...what?!?!?!!!!!! To say that Fallout 3 has been the best Fallout is like saying that spam is the best meat...or a mangy mutt with three legs and one eye is the best dog...or the n-gage is the best gaming system...or something along those lines. Have you even played the first games? If not, you have no right to say that Fallout 3 is the best fallout. Fallout New Vegas is INFINITELY INFINITELY INFINITELY superior to Fallout 3 and is FAR more true to the original series. Fallout 3 was a good game, I enjoyed it when I played it, but to me it is a spin-off, as it takes away all of the best things about fallout and turns it into just another highly rated type of game with a decent story and solid gameplay. Fallout is supposed to be funny, Fallout 3 is takes itself too seriously, New Vegas is funny. It's supposed to have a variety of choices for you to make that actually affect the world, as I remember, Fallout 3 had hardly any choices when it came to the main storyline, it felt for the most part on-rails, New Vegas can go any which way you feel like going, good, bad, ugly, in-between, ...banana. Fallout is supposed to be warm-toned, Fallout 3 was cold as steel, New Vegas is warm and fuzzy, Etc. If you like Fallout 3 best then, well, you like Fallout 3, not Fallout. Sorry for the rant but I really have trouble letting comments like that go. >< Totally with interplay on this one. What kind of backwards deal allows the use of the name but now the world? The hell? Come on Bethesda.
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - January 11, 2011 2:08 a.m.

    @Bloodstorm New Vegas was developed by Obsidian under Bethesda's watch - nothing to do with Interplay, which published Fallout 1 and 2.
  • RonnyLive19881 - January 11, 2011 1:50 a.m.

    *These sites really need to get with the times. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Proof of point Lol
  • RonnyLive19881 - January 11, 2011 1:48 a.m.

    "- Modified by Moderator" Proof EVERY website with a section that lets you voice your opinion needs an edit feature... even Facebook. Really these sites need to get with the times.
  • Bloodstorm - January 11, 2011 1:38 a.m.

    I've been with Beth on this one out of just the fact that I feel Fallout 3 has been the best Fallout and really didn't want to see it back in the very hands that destroyed it (See New Vegas, which I've played sporadic unlike Fallout 3 which I played almost like a non-stop 24/7 grind). But, gotta go with Interplay here. If that was Bethesda's intent, then were they on crack?
  • EricBratcher - January 11, 2011 1:34 a.m.

    Sucks when the bean counters get the lawdogs involved and start reinterpreting the entire English language, letter by letter. I'm not sure whom to support. On one hand, I would love to play a new Interplay-developed Fallout game. On the other hand, I think more of the original team were at Obsidian working on New Vegas than are left at Interplay, and it's not like Interplay was doing anything with the franchise anyhow. If not for Bethesda revitalizing the brand with Fallout 3 and then New Vegas, the Fallout franchise would still be in limbo. At the end of the day, I don't care who makes it. I just want it.
  • iKOemos - January 11, 2011 1:24 a.m.

    Can't anything ever go smoothly?
  • The_King_of_Nothing - January 11, 2011 1:17 a.m.


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