Bethesda gets FOOL rights, Interplay gets $2 million

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    As expected, the settlement between Bethesda and Interplay returns the rights of FOOL to Bethesda, who now have full rights to all Fallout material except for sales of the old titles (this will expire at the end of 2013). In return, Interplay - who were not likely to win the case - gets $2 million.<blockquote>FALLOUT® MMO RIGHTS RESTORED TO BETHESDA SOFTWORKS® IN INTERPLAY LITIGATION

    All Fallout® Intellectual Property Rights Belong Exclusively to Bethesda

    January 9, 2012 (Rockville, MD) –ZeniMax® Media Inc. today announced that a settlement had been reached in the lawsuit filed by its subsidiary, Bethesda Softworks®, against Interplay Entertainment Corporation in 2009, Bethesda Softworks LLC v Interplay Entertainment Corp., seeking cancellation of the license granted to Interplay to develop a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) based on the Fallout brand. Bethesda maintained in its complaint that Interplay had failed to meet the conditions for the license and the license was therefore of no continuing validity.

    Under the terms of the settlement, 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. 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. 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.

    The lawsuit against Interplay arose after Bethesda Softworks acquired all Fallout intellectual property rights from Interplay in April 2007, and conditionally licensed back to Interplay certain trademark rights to make a Fallout MMO, provided Interplay secured $30 million in financing for the MMO and commenced full scale development of the game by April 2009. Bethesda alleged in its complaint that Interplay failed to meet either condition of the license back agreement but refused to relinquish its license and insisted it would develop a Fallout MMO. Bethesda filed suit to declare the license void.

    In a separate but related matter, Bethesda commenced a second action against a purported developer of the Fallout MMO, Masthead Studios, Bethesda Softworks LLC v Masthead Studios Ltd. In the course of the original lawsuit against Interplay, Interplay had claimed that it had engaged Masthead Studios to develop the Fallout MMO under its license, and contended that Masthead was engaged in full scale development of that game. Bethesda filed its separate lawsuit against Masthead to assert copyright infringement and other violations of Bethesda's intellectual property rights. Under the MMO license granted to Interplay, Interplay was not permitted to sublicense any rights granted without the prior approval of Bethesda, approval which had never been requested or granted. In responding to Bethesda's lawsuit, Masthead denied that it had been using any of Bethesda’s intellectual property in developing an MMO. Masthead and Bethesda settled that second lawsuit on December 29, 2011. In the settlement, Masthead acknowledges it has no legal right to use any Fallout intellectual property, and agrees it will not use any such intellectual property of Bethesda in the future. No payments were made by either party as part of this settlement. The two settlements resolve all pending litigation over the Fallout intellectual property owned by Bethesda.

    Robert Altman, Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax, expressed satisfaction on behalf of the Company with the resolution of the two lawsuits saying, "While we strongly believe in the merits of our suits, we are pleased to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation while completely resolving all claims to the Fallout IP. Fallout is an important property of ZeniMax and we are now able to develop future Fallout titles for our fans without third party involvement or the overhang of others' legal claims."

    Following the purchase of the property, Bethesda Game Studios, the 2011 ‘Studio of the Year’ and the development team behind the 2011 ‘Game of the Year’, The Elder Scrolls® V: Skyrim™, developed Fallout® 3. ZeniMax Media’s publishing subsidiary, Bethesda Softworks, published Fallout® 3, a highly acclaimed sequel which won ‘Game of the Year’ honors in 2008, for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows. Bethesda also published the popular title, Fallout: New Vegas®, in 2010 for the same platforms. Fallout: New Vegas® Ultimate Edition, which will include the original game and the award-winning downloadable content in one special package, is planned for release by Bethesda in early 2012.

    About ZeniMax Media Inc.
    ZeniMax Media is a privately owned media organization headquartered outside Washington DC with international offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Eindhoven, and Tokyo. Through its subsidiaries, ZeniMax Media creates and publishes original interactive entertainment content for consoles, the PC, and handheld/wireless devices. ZeniMax Media divisions include Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames Sweden, ZeniMax Europe Ltd., ZeniMax Asia K.K. and ZeniMax Online Studios. For more information on ZeniMax Media, visit

    About Bethesda Softworks
    Bethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a worldwide publisher of premier interactive entertainment software. Titles featured under the Bethesda label include such blockbuster franchises as DOOM®, QUAKE®, The Elder Scrolls®, Fallout®, Wolfenstein® and RAGE®. For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit

    About Bethesda Game Studios
    Bethesda Game Studios is the award-winning development studio known around the world for its groundbreaking work on The Elder Scrolls series. Creators of the 2006 Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, and 2008 Game of the Year, Fallout® 3, Bethesda Game Studios has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most respected and accomplished game development studios. Bethesda Game Studios’ latest game, The Elder Scrolls® V: Skyrim™, released on 11.11.11. Skyrim earned numerous nominations and awards at this year's E3, including being named 'Best Console Game' and ‘Best RPG’ by the official Game Critics Awards and has been awarded more than 200 perfect review scores. For more information on Bethesda Game Studios, visit</blockquote>Interplay is allowed to continue the V13 MMO project per the original contract, but they will have to remove all mention of Fallout and Fallout-like material.

    Thanks GameBanshee.
  2. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    $2 million is pretty piddling considering Interplay once claimed $50 million, but considering they were going to lose this case, it's as good as they could've done. This highlights how ridiculous it was to ever consider the whole "license might revert" thing as a likely case scenario.

    I wonder if Interplay will pull together the funding to finish the MMO project. I doubt it.
  3. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    But what would be the point of continuing their Fallout MMO project if it is not gonna be allowed to be Fallout? kind of liek a pointless endeavor.
  4. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Well, they do have quite a bit invested in it already, I would assume, a tech demo is running and all. But yeah, I don't think they can get investors for "nondescript tepid-looking MMO project". Still, knowing Herve, he will still try.
  5. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    It could pretty much become a Fallen Earth 2 kind of game. But who would want to play that...
  6. Paul_cz

    Paul_cz Mildly Dipped

    Jun 11, 2008
    2 million...that means Herve will still be able to continue to exist for a while.

  7. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
    They also loose any rights to market Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics after December 2013, and MastHead didn't get a dime on a separate settlement.

    My thoughts go to Chris Taylor, I hope he'll be fine after this mess.
  8. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Why would Masthead get anything? I do wonder if they're looking to continue working with Interplay. Somehow I see that falling apart now, and then Fallout Online is pretty much dead.

    And yeah, hopefully Chris Taylor and other devs will end up alright.

    PS: shamefully, I would buy a cool repackaging of Fallout 1/2 if Bethesda decides to publish such.


    Also by the way: I wouldn't be surprised if Interplay spent a good chunk of that $2 million on lawyer fees for this case. This is a complete and total annihilation.
  9. Kerr-Plomb

    Kerr-Plomb It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 1, 2009
    To be honest what I've seen so far, even if early, didn't really look like fallout anyway. And considering what kind of game MMOs have to be these days to be successful, or at least what is the safer way many pursue, it wouldn't end up being a fallout game. They should, if some way possible, simply do their own thing.

    Even if it had come out as a Fallout MMO there's also the question if the beth-fallout players would even accept it as a fallout game...or if it is simply successful. There are many many f2p mmos out there but only a handful of the paid mmos really prosper.
  10. Starwars

    Starwars Mildly Dipped

    Sep 17, 2006
    It's sad for the developers on board indeed.

    On the other hand, I'm also honestly glad that Fallout will now only be raped in one direction and not also in the form of a Herve Fallout MMO.

    I'm bitter enough to keep hoping for the worst for Herve after the lovely treatment Fallout has gotten over the years.
  11. UnidentifiedFlyingTard

    UnidentifiedFlyingTard Vault Fossil

    Mar 12, 2009
    I wouldn't, I don't think I will buy anything with Bethesda on it anymore.
  12. Ed of Vault 13

    Ed of Vault 13 Lowly Old User

    Sep 7, 2011
    Pfft... I would, proudly.
  13. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign WASTED Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    You must work for Bethesda :wink: .....I would actually buy one too. Maybe they can release a cool Bobblehead with it.
  14. fedaykin

    fedaykin Vault Fossil

    Jul 15, 2007
    Damn, I was so hoping Beth would get their asses beat.

    What are the implications for the old titles? Will they be removed from places like GoG after 2013?
  15. TheBearPaw

    TheBearPaw First time out of the vault

    Feb 16, 2010
    Imagine you are Chris Taylor, you are passionate about MMOs and want to try to develop some and innovate. Here Interplay approaches you, saying they know you love Fallout and, hey, it so happens they have the rights to Fallout fucking online. And it's all legit, all signed, no one would screw you over here.

    You get Mark O'Green on board. You release the teaser website (which, fuck you if you disagree, was nice), get the Armageddon Rag stories sent. Do you remember Taylor actually replying with his ideas and plans about FOOL over at at Interplay forums, even visiting NMA here, sounding somewhat proud to say that their servers could not handle the visitor traffic of the teaser website. The man was invested.

    Fast forward to today, Interplay fucking sold out, as always, for 2 meagre milion! Are you fucking kidding me?! The waste of human work pains me.

    I don't know any other franchise with so many cancelled games.
  16. Morbus

    Morbus Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 16, 2006
    So the whole thing ended with a lame ass settlement that doesn't change anything. Interplay will still be bankrupt and dead, Bethesda will keep doing what they do best and games will keep being totally not worth 60€ or however much new games go for these days...
  17. Alphadrop

    Alphadrop A right proper chap.

    Aug 21, 2008
    2 Million? That's the amount it takes to keep Herve's moustache waxed for a month.
  18. Mrxknown

    Mrxknown First time out of the vault

    Sep 19, 2008
    Agreed, though I may still play the next Fallout game (by Obsidian) I won't be spending a penny on it if I can get around that.

    1) I agree, I was hoping they would lose something from this :(

    2) More likely either BS or GoG will start talking about where to send the money once that time comes. Unless BS decides to cut GoG out and start their own service.


    Now, what about BS's plans for a Fallout MMO? Why does everyone think their IP will be a successful MMO? We don't need another SW game and Stargate Worlds was a money sink for MGM which probably caused them to go into bankruptcy.

    Certain brands need to first build an audience and then decide whether building a MMO service around that brand is sufficient or if the money and time should be spent on stand-alone titles.
  19. agent_c

    agent_c First time out of the vault

    Dec 21, 2003
    What a freaking bargain.
  20. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    I never got the impression Bethesda is itching to do a Fallout MMO. They are working on a TES MMO, though, and that should be massively successful, at least initially.

    As for GOG, the old contract will indeed be void by this sale unless Interplay included clauses in the transfer, which I doubt they did. But Bethesda has always seemed pretty open about working with digital download services. If anything, it'll just spread Fallout to more services, like Steam.