Copyright/license considerations when creating a game in Fallout universe?

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Janiczek, May 1, 2021.

  1. Janiczek

    Janiczek First time out of the vault

    1
    Mar 15, 2021
    Hello folks.

    What's the current stance / precedent for fan-game games, mods, ... set in the Fallout universe?

    Asking because I'm writing a multiplayer browser game in FO2 universe - world map, items, most SPECIAL formulas for skills and derived statistics are mostly those of the FO2 world. It will be non-commercial (no microtransactions etc.)

    Looking at eg. the 2002 Fallout Bible, Chris Avellone seems pretty fine with eg. Fallout pen-and-paper game:

    But that's obviously the Black Isle / Interplay days. What is Bethesda's stance on fan Fallout games? Am I in any risk of copyright infringement?
     
  2. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Nov 26, 2007
    They are within their rights to object to any use of their IP; they tried (and succeeded?) to own the world "scrolls", harassing Notch about making an unrelated game using the word for its title.

    They have put Cease & Desist letters on a fan-art, and mobile phone themes that depicted Vaultboy. They will most certainly refuse if asked. (So would've Black Isle, but they seemed to have liked plausible deniability; meaning that they might have ignored it if they could say they hadn't seen it.)

    The mods I have seen require a purchased game. A browser game would not seem to require this.

    More Info:
    www.reddit.com/r/Fallout/comments/im6h5b/what_is_bethesdas_position_on_fan_games/
    https://www.polygon.com/2018/6/28/17511658/bethesda-lawsuits-fallout-elder-scrolls-prey
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  3. Zaius238

    Zaius238 Art by Phoenix-Private

    177
    Jul 14, 2007
    I wouldn't risk it, Janic.
    I doubt Bethesda would give a damn if you decided to narrate a "D&D-like" campaign using the Fallout universe, with a few of your friends.
    But they already released a multiplayer game in this universe. I don't think they would appreciate competition, as nugatory as it would be.

    Chris might give a thumbs up, like you said, but things are different now, it doesn't matter if he was or is still okay with that. Ask any lawyer.

    Since you brought the pen and paper subject, have a look what they did with Glutton Creeper Games project.
    https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/Fallout_Pen_and_Paper_d20
    They had no choice but do drastic changes to the pen and paper game, to not have problems with Beth.
    Beth lawyers would obliterate GCG if they had released Fallout pen & paper.