Bethesda puts Fallout IP in vault

Three years after landing the rights to the futuristic RPG series, Oblivion developer now owns the property itself; Interplay to continue with Fallout-branded MMOG.

It's been long known that Bethesda Softworks is working on the post-apocalyptic sci-fi role-playing game Fallout 3--which is rumoured to be coming to the Xbox 360--some might have forgotten that Interplay is also planning a Fallout massively multiplayer online game, due in 2010.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission ruling this week uncovered by fan site No Mutants Allowed, Bethesda has bought the exclusive rights to the Fallout brand, for a sum of $5.75 million. Previously, the company had only licensed the rights to make a game, while Interplay retained ownership of the Fallout IP.

Under the terms of the agreement, Interplay will still be allowed to go ahead with its MMOG game, although "all the rights, titles, and interest" to Fallout are now the sole property of Bethesda. So, in essence, now Interplay is licensing the Fallout MMOG rights from Bethesda.

Under the terms of the deal, the Fallout MMOG will be not playable in a single-player mode or offline in any way--it will require some kind of monthly subscription, and a minimum of 10,000 subscribers. On top of that, the license specifically states that the game must only be for non-console platforms like the PC or Mac, and not use any console online services such as Xbox Live.

The Fallout MMOG might not be out until around 2013, however. 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.

The original game, Fallout, was released in 1997 for the PC as an unofficial sequel to the 1987 game Wasteland. It was set after a series of nuclear explosions had devastated the world and people survived by living in huge underground vaults. A sequel, Fallout 2, followed in 1998, along with various spin-offs, including Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 in 2004.

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222 comments
gamemaster_650
gamemaster_650

Oblivion is only good on PC. i've never played a fallout game before, but i'm getting Fallout 3. Oblivions MQ was good, but it should been able to end in several ways

HummaKavula
HummaKavula

Bethsoft will not be able to surpass two previous masterpieces. All the more proof is Bethsoft has actually never done a decent RPG. Oblivion was an action-adventure game.

zdserx
zdserx

I've been scouring the web for years for those golden word: Fallout 3. Hopefully something good will come out of this development. Don't really care much for Interplay's Fallout MMOG though. Don't have an XBox, so i don't really know how bad an experience playing Oblivion on the XBox is. It plays well on the PC though. As far as RPGs go, I personally feel Oblivion is one of the best ever to come out, yet certainly not the best. There's lots of sidequests, you're free to roam around wherever you please, and you can interact with the local populace, to a certain extent. What kinda sucks is that as soon as you level, everyone else does too, so suddenly you find yourself with tons of glass armor and other high level items. Money was no object. I can only hope that this wont happen in Fallout 3 and that Bethesda makes a game for gamers whereby players get to choose what they want to do, what skills they want, perks and such, as is the core of RPG games. But then again, its really up to them, whether they want to make a sequel worthy of the Fallout name, or just some mess that won't even be mentioned the next year. On the other hand, I'd rather see Bethesda doing Fallout 3 rather than Interplay, seeing the how the PS2 Brotherhood of Steel turned out. Frankly, BoS is maybe one of the biggest insults to the Fallout name. However, Fallout Tactics for the PC did see some interesting innovations, such as squad management and tactical combat utilizing the 'paused real-time' methods prevalent during that era. Perks were one of the thing that stood out in the original Fallouts. As did weapons and their various upgrades. The brillant combat system was also another thing to take note of. It gave control to the player, in terms of the many number of choices it gave. For once the player actually felt like playing a game, instead of the computer randomely rolling dices and saying 2D so and so damage. In fact, personally, I think the best thing about the previous fallouts was the freedom it gave to players. Players were free to immerse themselves into the game anyway they can. That accounted to the best gameplay I've experienced ever, almost nothing felt impossible. One time, I even went around killing everything on site. Yet, its funny how most games don't offer this sort of flexibility or adaptability, but rather expect the player to adapt to the game. All in all, I think Bethesda could make a good job of Fallout, considering their fame in developing RPGs. However, they have to differentiate between Elderscrolls and Fallout. The images released look fabulous to say the least, but as in any RPG game, gameplay is much more important than any amount of graphical finesse. So heres me hoping that Bethesda can pull this one off and come up with a worthy heir to the Fallout name.

Alucard7321
Alucard7321

ahahahaha....Fallout online: Player: *runs up to player 2* Want to go kill mutants? Player2: You know, about 7 years or so ago this game used to be ACTUALLY open ended. Used to be about the player's choice not about some francisial corporate mad man's seek for cash's decision to make players do the easy thing and conform to a single goal of leveling up and not caring about the consequences of losing your quality control. Player1:.....well this quest will get you $100000 on completion! Player2: I'm in!

RoC1909
RoC1909

xikr0n Ya. And let's not forget that crappy, horrible game called Oblivion that they released awhile back and just recently on a certain platform. Hell, every person that owns it as well as every review site has loathed this game. Millions of buyers were fleeced of their money due to all of the lies spread . Whatever. I bet you don't even remember ANY of the Fallout's and especially Wasteland.

NotAFurry
NotAFurry

Wow, 5.75 million $ for Fallout rights? With a company in such a poor financial state it's barely hanging on, I'm sure Bethesda could have gotten a better deal. Anyway, this should give Interplay some much needed cash, let's hope they get out of at least one hole they're in.

BakNBlack
BakNBlack

I think any speculation at a point like this is patently absurd. Even if it came out at the earliest point mentioned in the article (2010), that's still a virtual ETERNITY in gaming terms. And if it lags until 2013, the entire gaming landscape may change. That's also assuming any of these companies survives that long, when we've seen how quickly companies go down the tubes or become bought out and turn into entirely different entities. Think of it another way. Fallout came out in 1997. It's been ten years. Fallout 3 might not come out for another five. That means people who played Fallout (even 2) when they were thirty will be forty-five years old. That's a heck of a long time for a sequal. Anyway, we'll see how it turns out. Series have been proclaimed fundamentally dead before and came back to life even after change of ownership (see: Command & Conquer). It's just too early to tell.

elrod92
elrod92

Veveqa you are one sick puppy. Any contemporary crpg that strips the values of cause and causality is simply NOT an rpg but an action adventure with stats. Do your research before posting gibberish.

Dukman
Dukman

The older games like Fallout, Fallout 2 and a few other games didn't have limitations on the kids (in game) like the newer games do. I think it was sometime in 2001 or 2002 (I could be wrong) the gaming companies quit allowing, for lack of a better description, children caps, after a few governments got rather offended by the fact. As for where did you miss killing junkie kids in Fallout 2? Well, you probably didn't get annoyed with them like we did and start mowing em down with the plasma cannon.

Al_Ka_Pwn
Al_Ka_Pwn

Where in fallout 2 did you get to shoot junkie children, i musta missed that part, and another question on the fallout 2 box it said you could have children and then pimp them but i never figured out how to, anyone know the answers to either questions?

Scott_the_Snow
Scott_the_Snow

From interviews with bethesda, we can expect a major tone down of subject matter (including the pressence of children). So, no trying out for fluffer positions, or blazing away with plasma rifles at junkie children. Sadly that was a great part of the original. The first person aspect, combined with action rpg elements...removes the rest. The upside is that it may be as moddable as Oblivion. The construction set might be included as well.

xikr0n
xikr0n

Bethesda is going to butcher this classic just like Obsidian butchered Neverwinter Nights 2. Sad indeed...

sormahic
sormahic

I agree with HawkAlmighty, Bethesda should keep it close to the original. veveqa, you are right, the freedom may be increased in Fallout 3. However, the freedom should not be dependent on the unbalanced nonlinearity. Because nonlinearity is just a tool to make a good RPG atmosphere and Fallout is the best game using balanced nonlinearity. I dont want to compare oblivion (or morrovind and daggerfall) with Fallout. I want to believe but I dont believe that first person view is suitable for Fallout atmosphere.

NereusLaceee
NereusLaceee

News about the fallout3?... hmm I waiting for the game :)

brownba3
brownba3

Good points Hawk - I'm now replaying Brotherhood of Steel (on PC - don't own a console!!)- not really an RPG - it lists it as a strategy more than RPG. Oblivion has so many options but they all seem to repeat - I never finished it - got tired of playing it after lots of time doing all the side quests - As someone pointed out though Oblivion wasn't really turn based (- I think...). However, it definitely is one of the cornerstones of RPGs - just look at any fan rated survey - I am hoping that someone will be able to make another RPG similar to Baldurs gate, Fallout, and Icewind dale, even Dungeon siege or Temple of Doom- I think that the developers would find a lot of us older gamers would buy it - I like that engine better than the 1st person 3D. It would be interesting for them to try a gamma world (for all of you old D&Ders out there) conversion from something like Baldurs gate into a world like Fallout. Anyway - Make mine Marvel and here to a long and eagerly awaited Fallout 3!

HawkAlmighty
HawkAlmighty

What a lot of people fail to recognise is that games such as fallout paved they way for games such as oblivion. They had so much scope and vision that just boggled the mind. Just recently i was talking to someone about fallout 2 and they couldn't wait to play it even though they have played oblivion or other such games that are graphically superior, their words were. "I have to try it, it sounds amazing" All Bethesda have to do is create a good story update the look of the game but keep the wit, character creation, skills and perks as well as the turn based gameplay, because we know the "Bastardisation" of the fallout series that was on xbox. Keep it as close to the original series but with a little touch of Bethesda magic.

draarrowgant
draarrowgant

@veveqa: Good points... hmmm... I will be VERY impressed if they can develop a FPS interface that allows for tactical shooting as well as strategic placement of you and any members of your party- especially for non-projectiles. Oh- and anyone who says there are not consistant designs trends for developers (NOT publishers) is idiotic. Totally idiotic.

veveqa
veveqa

Anyone who thinks Oblivion is either: A) Not a good game. or B) Not a CRPG. Needs to hand in their license to play CRPGs and give their CRPG-mouse to the desk-sergeant on the way out. That's some saaaaad gibberish! If you've never played it, you also need to shut the hell up, because you're talking utter nonsense. I've played CRPGs since there were CRPGs, more or less, certainly seriously since 1989. I've played most major and many minor CRPG releases since then. Oblivion was most certainly a CRPG by ANY reasonable standards (i.e. that include Dungeon Master, Ultima Underworld, System Shock and so on), and not only is it a CRPG, it is ONE OF THE GREATEST CRPGS EVER MADE. I am not saying this as some 14-year-old who has just played it on his Xbox 360 and wet his pants, I am saying that a 29-year-old veteran CRPG gamer who has seen it all, and Oblivion impressed the heck out of me (I played it on the PC, too). I would happily put it in my top 10 CRPGs ever, certainly high on the list (Fallout 2 would be in the number 1 spot, of course). I will admit that before I played Oblivion, was a Doubting Thomas smack-talker like Diablobasher. I didn't believe Oblivion was a good game, and I didn't believe it was more than an "Action RPG". However, unlike Diablobasher, I went on to actual play it for real, and I found it was one of the most amazing CRPGs I'd ever experienced. It's certainly got action elements, but there's a 20-year+ tradition of CRPGs having some action elements, so that's not a problem unless you're bonkers. What's more Oblivion was freeform, just like Fallout. You could make a run for the endzone (with some very limited chance of success) right at the beginning, you could take your sweet sweet time, and you could play a lot of situations in dozens of different ways. Now, worrying about the rating seems silly too. Whilst Oblivion was clearly less "obscene" than Fallout, both games were M-rated, and would be M-rated today. I have no doubt that Bethesda can do the same level of freedom or greater in a Fallout game, than in Fallout 1 or 2. The other worry is the combat, and I have to agree, that's a worry. I hope it's possible to play in a wide variety of ways in Fallout 3. It wasn't as possible in Oblivion as I'd have liked, but I think making a game slightly more FPS-like could actually help, there. If there's some way for light-armoured/sniper-type characters to get a "slow-motion" precision aiming mode with boosted damage for certain locations, we could get something very close to Fallout, even in first-person 3D.

bka4u2c_basic
bka4u2c_basic

To all the people who are stating this game will suck: I'm glad you are psychics and can see into the future. Can you please email me lottery numbers for the Big Game? How people can state this game will be like any Elder Scrolls game is beyond me. Just because its made by the same company. Give me a break. And yes, the Fallout series was original and fun. I hope the tradition continues.

draarrowgant
draarrowgant

@ fastpunk fugori et al: The fallout series did make you fall in love with the environment- not necessarily the characters. In fact one of the greatest aspects of the game is that if you didn't like a particular characters reaction/demeanor to you could remedy that in your next play through by being intelligent and sexy or a manipulative prick Point is- the glory of the fallout games that is in jeopordy of being dev by bethesda are: 1) The slimy horrific laciveous lewd very Mature overtones of nearly all aspects of the setting 2) The simplicity of the turn-based strategy that allowed for COMPLETLY different ways of defeating your opponents and gaining exp (difference between being a sharp shooter and taking out eyeballs or wearing combat armor and crushing legs etc) dependent upon your stats. **AND I am NOT talking about different ways to kill people in FPS manor (spells vs hack & slash vs ranged weapons. You could take 5 minutes in Fallout counting your steps and AP and figuring out if you wanted to go for an eye shot with your gun or get three kicks to the groin. OR run away. All in one event- the joy of strategy! 3. Completely non-linear play. In fallout 2 for example you could at the beginning of the game make a run for San Fran which in analagous to taking the hobbits and going for Mordor in the first Lord of the Rings trillogy. There is a big difference in having a lot to do in a game and playing a game 10 times(not exaggerating!) and never doing the same thing twice other than the opening seqence. Please dont let us down Bethesda!

Villerainamo
Villerainamo

Well, Fallout is either screwed or saved now. There is about 20% chance of Bethesda not making F3 a piece of console "RPG" carbage then ported to PC. Well, atleast F1 and F2 will always be available to me, as the true owners of the Fallout title.

masterofobvious
masterofobvious

Good god! Remember the doctor from arrested development who uses the worst possible words to describe a situation? YOU ARE THAT DOCTOR. The title of this article almost made me lose it. I've been waiting for-freaking-ever for this game to come out.

RoterHund
RoterHund

@PiMacleod_basic Sophisticated games such as fallout, neverwinter nights 2 or civilization 4 are not an option for consoles...

diablobasher
diablobasher

Dryker: Call of Cthulhu was an excellent game by any standard. But people really need to get over Oblivion, it's really not that good a game. And by many accounts, is not even an RPG.

mastergerard
mastergerard

wow ^_^ no comment .. im just excited :P

SR_Caveman
SR_Caveman

I was just in London a few weeks ago and found a "pack" with all three at HMV. It was 10 pounds. So you can still find it.

PacoL250
PacoL250

@polsci1503: I COMPLETELY agree with a re-release of the 1st one. Heck, throw in the second one too. Honestly, they wouldn't need to completely redo the game, IMHO. Some graphical and gameplay tweaks and they could re-release 1 and 2 in some form of "Classic Compilation." Heck, I can't find my 1 and 2 discs anywhere (I think I let my cousin borrow them and he's probably lost them). :(

polsci1503
polsci1503

I'd love to see a re-release of the 1st one...

PiMacleod_basic
PiMacleod_basic

heh, PC only?! That's horrible. I have nothing against the PC, but don't limit your options! Any game that can go cross-platform just makes more sense, and more money, despite any extra costs required to convert it.

gibrantristan
gibrantristan

Fallout 3.... excellent. I'll be eagerly waiting for this one. Fallout 1 and 2 were (and still are) great games, hopefully Bethesda can deliver another great game and live up to the series. Fallout 1 and 2 had unique stories, great concept and excellent gameplay. The developers would be wise to take all the positives out of those games and innovate to improve, but at the same time be careful not to implement overambitious designs that ultimately don't deliver. As a side note, I would love to see a construction set for Fallout 3. That would certainly expand the game's value and keep it alive for a long time, just like TES series. Let's wait and see, and hope for the best.

GizmoVirus
GizmoVirus

so they pay a fortune for a brand that could be dead by 2013 anyway? I know it takes a while to make games but come on

Dryker
Dryker

Interplay was probably becoming concerned about the success of their Fallout game and had incurred huge expenses in its development and decided to cut possible losses and take the five-odd million bucks from Bethesda and still have the right to continue what they had started with a fresh injection of cash. The MMOG has the possibility of being better because of this deal.... hey, so far... World of Warcraft has been hugely successful following the same guidelines that Interplay is now contracted to maintain. Bethesda may even help Interplay in creating a good game. If Interplay's game is successful it would be free advertising for Bethesda's new property and they could then release a game on consoles riding on Interplay's work! Of course it would be good.... it is Bethesda, although I don't know how many Bethesda fans ever played Call of Cthulu for Xbox ( based on the short story by Howard Phillip Lovecraft) which was excellent by the way, if not a bit too hard. Anyways, Bethesda rocks, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is RPG God, and I would continue to buy every quality download Bethesda offers for Elder Scrolls for years to come, so I hope this property doesn't distract them from Elder Scrolls. Whew.... nuff said.

canuter
canuter

Great, they will screw the series, stuffing it with action elements, forsaking its RPG origins, as they did with The Elder Scrolls saga.

PackersRock
PackersRock

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mrklorox
mrklorox

Humorguy_Basic... you obviously don't realize that it's 'ALSO' coming to the 360... not 360 exclusive. Its roots are in the PC market and Bethesda would NEVER ignore that. As far as Oblivion goes, you obviously missed that this last PC gaming generation required upgrades like all generations before it.

mrklorox
mrklorox

This is INCREDIBLE news! Interplay blew it but Bethesda could definitely pull this off correctly. RIP Troika ... you had your chance.

killercuts
killercuts

I'm really excited for this one. Fallout 2 was one of my favourite games. I'm glad Bethesda has taken on the reigns because to me they are all about quality.

moocow21
moocow21

Jeez, Interplay has a lot of restrictions around that MMO they're making.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

The greatest PC RPG series now on 360!!! That and the Oblivion PC demands means I now give up on Bethesda. Yet another company that has millions in the bank and millions more in assets and property rights off the back of PC game buyer who bought Arena and Battlespire and Daggerfall and Redguard and Morrowind and gave them the ability to still be around to produce Oblivion, and how do they repay us? With a 360 Fallout 3 and an Oblivion that barely runs on a single regular home PC but fine on the 360. Go take a running jump Bethesda. As a PC game supporter of yours for 20 years, I give up on you.

m0ver
m0ver

Well, I'm drooling over Bethesda's game. FPS chocolate in RPG peanut butter. Interplay's game scares me because it sounds like it will be in development hell playing canasta with Duke Nukem Forever. I'm hoping IF it ever comes out, it will have similar gameplay to Fallout 3.

Pip_Boy
Pip_Boy

Thank you Rat God of the wasteland, thank you. I hope it's still isometric 3d point and click, it'd be a shame to be anything else. Although, Bethseda could pull off anything else pretty damn well.

The_Fell_One
The_Fell_One

Sweet, a good IP to a good developer. Let's hope they make a game so awesome, even the skeptics will rejoice.

the3game
the3game

Im a huge fan of Fallout, just hope Bethesda don't screw up with this game.