Bethesda appeal to halt Fallout Online development denied

Interplay's production of postapocalyptic MMORPG can continue as injunction appeal is rejected.

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The legal wrangling between Bethesda Softworks and Interplay over the use of the Fallout license continues. The latest development comes in the form of good news for Fallout Online developer Interplay, as a court ruling has again fallen in its favor.

The bottom hasn't fallen out for Fallout Online just yet.

Bethesda filed a preliminary injunction against Interplay in December 2010, a filing that was denied last month. An injunction would have prevented Interplay from using the story, setting, and characters from the Fallout universe. Bethesda appealed the decision, but a judge yesterday denied Bethesda's appeal.

With the injunction request and subsequent appeal denied, Interplay is free to continue development on Fallout Online, but there are still roadblocks ahead. Upon completion of the game, Interplay must attain Bethesda's "express permission" before the title can be released to market.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from May, Interplay has stated flat-out that it "may not be able to successfully develop a Fallout MMOG." It cited its ongoing legal battle over the Fallout license, which began in April 2009 when Bethesda opted to revoke the Fallout MMORPG rights just as Interplay had entered into a development deal on the project. The two publishers then sued each other, setting off a protracted legal battle.

Fallout Online is currently in development at Bulgarian shop Masthead Studios (Earthrise). The game is currently slated for a launch sometime in 2012.

Discussion

97 comments
TripSolidBounty
TripSolidBounty

I really just want Fallout 4. MMO's are overrated and the majoriy of them are always unbalanced or broken

Redrivar
Redrivar

as for all the modders... I think that argument is moot bc just bc interplay has the rights to an MMO fallout, it still will not interfere with fallout 4.

Redrivar
Redrivar

yeah... I'd rather have bethesda with the rights and no MMO at ll than interplay with the rights and a horrible game come out. Interplay is just trying to live off of investor's checks.

davet666
davet666

I thought this game was cancelled. A Fallout MMO would ruin the franchise in my opinion. Online capability yes, ie multiplayer, but a MMO wouldn't work well.

CptSpaulding
CptSpaulding

Go Bethsoft! I don't want a divorce-making MMOG! Just concentrate on developing Fallout 4 with the Skyrrim graphics engine. The Fallout games (FO3 & FNV) are modders' games, an MMOG will kill that and be flooded with sex mad teenagers! It is great that Bethsoft allows us modders to create countless mods and make the games unique in so many different ways and to encourage us to make even better mods that hopefully would be universally recognised and may gain new jobs. That would never happen with a MMOG! I can see the attraction of MMOG especially for console players though as console versions are almost unmoddable. Bethsoft has filled in a niche market (modding) and took advantage of that, not many other games are as moddable so Bethsoft should take care to keep and dominate said niche market while the other (moronic) companies battle over the multiplayer markets.

zrochance
zrochance

Can't believe you jokers that actually think Bethesda would make a decent Fallout MMO. Hell, all they would do is figure out how to turn their tired, broken-assed, Oblivion engine into an MMO and pawn it off on the lot of us. It would have the same bugs 10 years after they released it as it did in Beta and they wouldn't bother to fix it as long as the money kept coming in. FO3 is the most crash-tastic POS that I've ever allowed to inhabit my hard drive. You can't play it twenty minutes before it CTD's on you. Same problem the Oblivion engine has had since day one and they still haven't fixed it. Only reason that Bethesda wants to interfere with the MMO license is that now that the Fallout brand is popular again they want to cash in. Before FO3 and NV revived the name they were willing to write the MMO off as 'not marketable'. They have since changed their minds in the wake of the success of WoW. Those of you that think FO3 was awesome are probably forgetting that you modded the hell out of it to get it there. The game, as released, was piss poor because of Bethesda's lack of vision. You won't be able to mod the MMO, you'll be stuck with whatever they they give you.

Granpire
Granpire

@Joedgabe If you read my post, you notice that I didn't mention Geohot. But that is another matter. Should users not be allowed to modify their systems in any way they want? If you buy a toaster and you figure out a way for people to run apps on it that the toaster manufacturer hadn't planned, wouldn't you be happy? When I hacked my PS3, that's all I wanted. I committed no crime by modifying my system, and I believe Geohot had the right to modify his system and show others how to do so. Of course, there is a dark side to every upside, but there are still honest ways to use hacks. You're absolutely misunderstanding the term "hack" Suing hackers that try to steal people's information is totally right, and I'm not arguing that. Suing someone because they found a hole in Sony's messy code and used it to do cool things with their PS3 is a little more of a grey area. Anyway, this is getting off topic. I'm talking about legal abuse, and the corporate world today is full of this. Sony sued a japanese game exporter, which in my opinion was a stupid move, and probably didn't even benefit Sony in the end.

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

@Granpire If you mean sony because of the hacker you must be nuts. We have to have rules and regulations to limit peoples freedom or else they'll do what they want. Example the hackers that hacked nintendo / sony and now are attempting to hack xbox live accounts. The hacker did something he really knew he wasn't supposed to do and got caught, period.

Granpire
Granpire

Game development qualities aside, I think it can be said that Bethesda, along with Sony, can be quite the legal jerk lately. I don't care if it's your express right to (legally) do something, doing it still makes you a jerk in my book! Same with Bethesda's suing Mojang and Sony's successful shutdown of Japanese game exporters. Interplay created Fallout, and anyone who claims that Bethesda could do a better job may or may not be wrong, but really, all Bethesda cares about is money. But still, I love their games too much not to support their games. I guess I'm just a hypocritical consumer after all. :/

Scarab83
Scarab83

The only people who would do a Fallout MMO justice is Bethesda. Sorry, Masthead, but who the hell are you?

Leir_Bag
Leir_Bag

I am so sorry but I really don't care who is right or wrong in this battle. All I can say I that I really wanted Bethesda to win this right to develop Fallout Online, I've had enouth of other developers trying to make something out of Fallout anf comming up with a Buggy, messed up thing. Even Interplay had issues with this, despite having good ideas. But, sorry to say, Bethesda rules on development and if there is one developer I trust would make a great MMO out of this license, It would be Bethesda. Ohh, well, let's just hope Bethesda wins the Fallout rights so they can work on it forever, like The Elder Scrolls. Because if Interplay wins, we'll have a "buggy and messed up" half finished Fallout game once every 10 years, like Blizzard does with Starcraft. EDIT: Sorry, Blizzard does take some good 10 years to launch a new sequel but they don't make buggy and messed up half finished sequels. They're really good

cyborg100000
cyborg100000

What are Interplay doing anyway? A Fallout MMO of all things?

dkdk999
dkdk999

@stakex007 Of course people would make stuff. Why? because people want stuff. If people want stuff they will support developers. If it turns out people don't want to support developers they won't get games. But of course people will support developers. Wouldn't you give money to a developer who made a game you love? It might take some time to transition to this system. But I think it would be absolutely superior.

stabby_mcgee
stabby_mcgee

I think people need to remember that this Interplay is not the same company that made and published games like Baldur's Gate and Fallout. In 2002, a French publisher called Titus Interactive bought Interplay and made some horrendous decisions like completely shifting focus away from PC games to consoles despite not having much experience with consoles. As a result the founder of Interplay, Brian Fargo, quit the company. Not long after that, Titus decided to close down Black Isle. Right now, Interplay is still owned by [url=http://images.wikia.com/fallout/images/5/5b/Herve_Caen.jpg]this douchebag[/url].

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

Interplay used to make great games, then dug themselves into a hole they couldn't get out of. They sold the licence for Fallout to Bethesda, but clung onto the MMO licence in the hope of making something out of it. Bethesda are not being unreasonable going after Interplay on this, because they have had YEARS to make something with it. Interplay have yet to really show they have made anything with the MMO licence, while Bethesda made Fallout 3, an Obsidian produced FNV, which have both reinvigorated the licence. Interplay saying Fallout MMO will launch sometime in 2012 is about as reliable as Blizzard setting a launch date, or Valve saying the next "episodic" HL game will launch 6 months apart.

ruarz
ruarz

Bethesda's legal team are douchebags but I still love their devs :)

Orpheus_Evo
Orpheus_Evo

@stakex007 I disagree with you on the first part of your post. Unless you're not expressing a personal opinion. If that's the case, I'm with you. If not, I'm not entirely sure the "companies would never make anything". After all, are we not living today in the "Mod Nation"? Some kind of copyright protection should exist, but I think companies like Zenimax/Bethesda are just pushing the limits into Power-Hungry Monsters about all this nonsense. This would make more sense to me if Bethesda planned to develop and release some kind of MMO based on the FO Universe...but they don't have any interest in that. And the company that wants the MMO is THE ORIGINAL OWNER of the License they now exploit, so....

stakex007
stakex007

@dkdk999 - Without copyright protection, companies would never make anything. After all, who wants to spend millions of dollars to develop something someone can just steal from you after your done with it? @kkxtrouble - You have no idea whats going on here do you? Bethesda bought the rights to the Fallout brand from Interplay, and licenced them the right to make an MMO. Supposedly Interplay failed to meet certain deadlines, and Bethesda is trying to cancel their contract.... which is what this is all about. This is NOT, repeat NOT, about copyright issues. Its about a contract and licencing dispute.

dkdk999
dkdk999

who benefits from this besides bethesda ? We should all staunchly oppose this ridiculous copyright nonsense.

Phoenix534
Phoenix534

Bethesda, just save yourself the time and money and let them make the damn game. It's modern day Interplay, it's not like it'll amount to anything.

kkxtrouble
kkxtrouble

When will tehy learn they cannot own words? Its not like they invented the word, in that case it would make sense for them no to want other people using it.

501stormtrooper
501stormtrooper

Hell, Interplay and Bethesda should just ignore this craphole game and make an awesome Fallout 4. With this much trouble, I say that the game's not worth it, it won't sell much anyway.

Orpheus_Evo
Orpheus_Evo

It's a shame all this kids nowadays (OMG! I sounded like I was 50... o_O) never really knew what the REAL Fallout was...so, now an "Oblivion-Loving" generation praise the NEW FOs as if they were the best thing since...well... Oblivion. So, in conclusion, if Interplay decides (and manages) to release Fallout Online...I'll buy it in a heartbeat. If I'll play the game or not it's another question. But Bethesda should LOSE their rights to FO in some way. P.S: I’m Sorry for the “2-for-1” posting, it was because GameSpot doesn’t allowed me to post everything in just one go.

Orpheus_Evo
Orpheus_Evo

Oh...My...God... I just wanna CRY MY HEART OUT. @xsubtownerx, @SauhlGood... I LOVE YOU, GUYS. All this time I thought I was all alone in the Neverending Battle to SCREAM that Bethesda should have NEVER been in contact with FALLOUT in the first place. :( It was a really SAD day when Interplay's "Top Dogs" sank the company into the abyss... to this day, almost with tears I still remember the exact moment that I learned that those "brainiacs" shut Black Isle down (the ACTUAL GENIUSES behind FO, all this "All Hail Interplay" is BS. They were only the publishers). Bottom line is, the new FOs are CRAP to any REAL FO Fanboy. I have every single thing that ever had something to do with FO...even the Abysmal ones. And I still remember all the discusions we (as in Hardcore FO Fans) had in this same spot ;) when the news emerged about "Bethesda's buying FO rights"...and 90% of us thought "Oh, Lord...they are going to piss all over our beloved franchise"; "They're going to make "The Elder Scrolls: Fallout""; and all of that. Well... you know what? They did EXACTLY that. And now... I will not buy another Bethesda game EVER again. Idiotic, you say? Maybe. But, is mi humble way to say "Hey, Thanks a lot for making a prostitute of my Favorite Game of All Time... See ya all in Hell". I know Bethesda couldn't care less about me and my principles, but hey, I'm not entitled to anyway?

Runeforged
Runeforged

Geez bethesda just chill out will ya?

Golden_Gonads
Golden_Gonads

@Jessica_M_C Cheers, didn't catch that when I scanned through the contract earlier. Though according to that, Interplay have until April 2013 to release FO:OL Also, to anyone, where is it said that Bethesda have to approve of FO:OL before it can be released? Not mentioned anywhere in the contract I can find. @syafiqjabar Interplay cancelled Van Buren because they ran out of money. At the time they cancelled, Interplay were several million in debt, and none of the programmers had been paid in months.

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

I seriously don't want Interplay to ruin Fallout again. They cancelled the original Fallout 3 because they think a console-only action-RPG is a better Fallout game to make.

Jesse-Fett
Jesse-Fett

can't they just get along and work togethor, come one they both make awesome games! with their combined effort it could be epicly bad ass amazing!!!

retrofix
retrofix

What I want is Fallout 3, in an ever expanding world with continually added quests. That would be a Fallout Online I would be willing to pay a nice subscription fee for. Wouldn't be a MMO mind you, maybe call it a SPO? :D

Vodoo
Vodoo

Bethesda is suing Interplay because interplay is publishing this game for the developer. Interplay made a very bad business move.... Bethesda revoked the license for Fallout from Interplay but Interplay started having the game made anyway. Now they must get approval from Bethesda before they can release it. Does anybody ever think that's gonna happen? Hell no. Bethesda didn't want them using the license in the first place and they continued to make a game knowing that they have to get approval. So basicly they just flushed however many millions down the toilet on having this game developed.

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

Bethesda's lawyers are berserks!

blackace
blackace

@andyslaker said: Bethesda needs to stop and gtfo with all these stupid claims. What the hell is their problem? @blackace What are you talking about? Interplay created Fallout and a lot of other good games. Bethesda is the "unknown developer" here, when compared to Interplay. ********************************************************** Yeah, but Interplay isn't the ones developing the game. It's "Masthead Studios" who's working on Fallout MMO.

WafflePrime
WafflePrime

I love Bethesda games but this string of recent lawsuits is ridiculous. I'm glad to see them losing them.

zrochance
zrochance

As much as I would love to see this game I think it can be officially declared dead in the water. This injunction may be over but Interplay hasn't secured the capital they need to develop the game and they still have to have Bethesda's permission to publish it. Unless the two companies can broker a deal to secure this permission the game isn't going to happen and I don't see Bethesda making it easy for Interplay to do this. All they have to do is sit on their hands for a while and wait until Interplay has abandonned plans for Fallout Online. This will be the inevitable outcome as Interplay won't be able to secure funding if Bethesda still has them by the short hairs in terms of publishing rights. A big FU to Bethesda for fuxoring this all up and insuring that this game never makes it to market. Bethesda still pawns their broken a$$ed Oblivion engine off on us gamers, frought the same bugs it has had since Oblivion, bugs they have never bothered to fix even though a number of gamers have themselves written patches for. Too damn bad Interplay didn't end up with the rights to Fallout, we would at least have gotten a decent Fallout MMO out of that deal. Assuming of course that they didn't run out of capital and release it unfinished like they did Fallout 2 . It would take a miracle for them to release now and no chance of seeing that 2012 release date.

tachsniper
tachsniper

I think I speak for everyone when i say 'GOOD, MOVING ON!" this BS has been tied up in court far too long.

FoeCrusher
FoeCrusher

I didnt think Bethesda had a strong case from what I have read. Certainly it was much stronger than their Scrolls idiocy with Minecraft. Having said that, I cannot imagine that there is much money or time being put into the Fallout MMO. So I doubt it will ever be released. I do however, wish Interplay the best of luck with this.

Ilikemyname420
Ilikemyname420

@andyslaker Interplay isn't even developing it, and he's right it's some unknown developer called Masthead. And if you think Interplay is the same company it was when the original Fallout games came out you're deluded. Literally there isn't one person left at the company who was around during that period. And since those games came out they've gone bankrupt and haven't made a decent game in almost 10 years.

Jessica_M_C
Jessica_M_C

@Golden_Gonads Bethesda's contract looks pretty clear, that's why I'm shocked. And it does state when the MMO must be released. "The contract states that the project must be commercially launched within four years of the development commencement date, which could start any time within the next two years (from the date the IP purchase and license contract is signed.)"

andyslaker
andyslaker

Bethesda needs to stop and gtfo with all these stupid claims. What the hell is their problem? @blackace What are you talking about? Interplay created Fallout and a lot of other good games. Bethesda is the "unknown developer" here, when compared to Interplay.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@Reuwsaat You just described Fallout 3 and New Vegas... Not saying they're bad, but, ya, think about it.

blackace
blackace

I think Bethesda believes that game will be pretty bad and they don't want the Fallout brand tainted by a poor MMO coming from Interplay. For Interplay, it's all about the money. They've already invested a large chuck into this MMO, so obviously they want to see something on their return investment. With the Fallout brand at its highest rating, they are hoping to ride the popularity and sell millions of Fallout MMO games. I honestly wouldn't even touch that game until after others have tested it for a good 6 months. Having an unknown developer making a MMO for a decent franchise isn't something I look forward to.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

I mean really, you would think bethesda would approve it.Its more publicity for their fallout games, more purchases, more fans.So their next Fallout game will sell even more. No to mention they will get a nice percentage of profits if they work out a deal. Way to go bethesda.Hinder art and a worthy game just because you feel like no one else can do it. Way to look bad.

franzito
franzito

In the end, is all about the money... !UGLY!

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

@Barighm As much as I love the original Fallout series, you're absolutely right. Interplay has gone the way of the buffalo and this MMO project is just flat out denial. The amount of resources likely committed to the game won't be enough for it to make a splash, and this is the only thing Interplay has going. The new Fallout titles have a big following and don't need an MMO in their mix to help the IP.

Barighm
Barighm

Is it international Hater's Day? Millions of people love the new Fallout games and regularly show their support for them in this forum and yet in this thread we've got a whole lot of hate for Bethesda and love for a dev. that's practically defunct and could never develop an MMO in Interplay. We get it. You guys love the old school Fallout games, but pretending the new ones stink and Bethesda sucks just makes you look idiotic. Oh, and fyi, Skyrim is getting a brand new engine. If it works great, it will likely show up in Fallout 4.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

Bethesda is just trying to save them further embarrassment...

Kayweg
Kayweg

Tricky thisone. I don't really know who to side with here, or in fact if i want to side with anybody. My fear is, that Bethesda simply will drag Interplay to court so many times, that in the end the bottom falls out (:P) under the funding for a Fallout MMO. In other words, i think Bethesda simply have the longer breath here moneywise.

Ilikemyname420
Ilikemyname420

Interplay would just screw it up anyways. Seriously they got a studio who's only game released (another MMO) has a metacritic user rating of 2.8. It's not really a wonder why Bethesda doesn't want them anywhere near the Fallout license.