Fallout MMORPG future unclear, Interplay facing bankruptcy

After losing $1 million last year, publisher was left with $3,000 cash, $2.87 million in debt, and no credit; only seven developers on staff.

For the past two-plus years, Interplay has waged an at-times intense legal battle with Bethesda Softworks to protect its right to publish Fallout Online. Last week, the former company issued an annual report that revealed a set of finances so dismal that the company may soon be facing bankruptcy, endangering the nascent massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

Please Stand By.

For the year ending December 31, 2010, Interplay's net loss was approximately $1.034 million on revenues of $1.380 million, bringing its working capital deficit to $2.877 million. Interplay also has no new sources of credit to address its lack of cash on hand, which stood at just $3,000 at year's end. As a result, the company is on extremely shaky financial ground and acknowledged as much in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"If we do not receive sufficient financing or sufficient funds from our operations we may (i) liquidate assets, (ii) seek or be forced into bankruptcy and/or (iii) continue operations, but incur material harm to our business, operations or financial condition. These measures could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern," the company said.

In the SEC documents, the company also 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.

The latest salvo came last December, when Bethesda filed a motion to block Interplay from using iconic assets from the Fallout universe in Fallout Online, which is currently in development at Bulgarian shop Masthead Studios (Earthrise). If it survives, the game is currently slated for a launch sometime in 2012.

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205 comments
hitmanxmk
hitmanxmk

@godziothc So agree with you man, but fallout New Vegas (as i know) was developed by part of the team of the original fallout creators, so i think it deserve much more respect than fallout 3. Anyway I am a Fallout 1 & 2 fan and i love em more than any other fallout game...but its really sad what is happening to Interplay. This isnt the only situation at the game market...just look at other companies that make millions in this industry - like blizzard or EA games etc etc...they are over reacting with the game protection and their arrogance (suing even individuals). And even more sad is that while they getting more and more successful their arrogance goes sky high so they dont even care about real gamers / followers / fans...If you ask me...the politics of this economic giants will (as you said) forces more and more gamers to either rent or steal the game....

SOUP_MAN_242
SOUP_MAN_242

this sux.......interplay may have made the first FALLOUT but FALLOUT 3 was and is the best NV was a crappy spinoff....interplay will bankrupt just like there last like 4 attemps to make another FALLOUT

godziothc
godziothc

Its really sad what's happening with one of the best franchise games ever made. It looks like an all-out cock fight. Bethesda acts like a big shot for now, since at least a couple of games in the last 5 years turned (and probably still turn) a very nice profit for them, but they don't seem to respect anyone on their way. They get the rights for FO giving rights for a MMO for Interplay and they try to take that away for a while now, They don't seem to respect gamers, treating them like 50 euro beta testers. I mean, when I pre order a game (like i did with FO3 f.ex.) I do not wish to be a beta tester, and wait >2 weeks for a patch to finally enjoy my game just to see the same game on the shelves @10e cheaper at that stage Not to mention all those crappy games released recently under Bethesda's banner, even New Vegas couldn't keep me entertained. And I'm a real oldschool fallout fan, its not like i didn't try. Bethesda knows they have or had at this stage, a lot of die hard supporters but they are playing a risky game. I know they have problems with second hand games and piracy, but that direction only encourages gamers to either rent or steal the game.

Edge15
Edge15

@method115 I do like New Vegas more as well, I was just saying that I've seen lots of people bashing the game like its horrid. I feel sorry for Interplay, but this is what happens in the real world.

MarcJL31
MarcJL31

@Ghosthunter54 Obsidian is also published by Bethesda. Look at the forum and Bethesda staff were commenting on the problem. As the publisher, you take some blame too especially with one of you big titles. I never once said they had an history of it, granted even with Fallout 3 there were some problems. Yes it was made by Obsidian but Bethesda as the publisher does set deadline and how things work, just like Activision and EA have some control over their publishers. Just because it is not developed by them doesn't mean they have no control or input. And given their staff was replying to complaint just like Obsidian staff shows the case and point. In the end, publishers set the deadlines and have shareholder to please. There is no way to tell me that Bethesda as the publisher was not aware of the state of the game. So yes I may not put sole blame on Bethesda, but as publisher they take some responsibility and fault just like ever other publisher. Like I said, that is my opinion and my view of it. Feel free to disagree though.

Vargre666
Vargre666

Yknow...good. I hope they go under. They may have started the FO franchise oh so many years ago but Bethesda's reboot made Fallout something amazing. If Interplay had made FONV more than just an addition to FO3 I might feel differently, but NV was such a complete letdown. 2 years to make it and all they did was add a few mods and change the setting. I love the Fallout universe, and Ill forever thank Black Isle/ Interplay for making it. But its Bethesda's now. Interplay just doesnt have what it takes to give FO its due.

GreySeven
GreySeven

It needs to NOT be on it's last leg like this if it survives if it's going to be any kind of success at all. I'd rather see it go under and be rebooted by someone with the finances to make it work out.

Targzissian
Targzissian

This makes me think of a line from a game I used to play on the Apple II+ in the eighties. "Good idea but it did not work." Of course, I'm even more excited about the next Fallout single-player RPG, whenever that comes, than I am about a possible Fallout MMO.

Linex12
Linex12

I support interplay 100%.

BenFireFox
BenFireFox

noooooooooo :_(( the only new moorpg i was waiting for and now this makes me very sad

meaniceDX
meaniceDX

Who the heck thought multiplayer would be a idea. Single players fun but god it might be not worth it in the end. Bethesda is actauly doing the right thing, making sure my brain keeps inside my skul cause this is brain splateringly disgutsing thinking that the fun single player on Fallout3 and Newvegas is about to be made multiplayer!?! Shesh things are going to brown town right now.

schesak
schesak

I should add, I was a huge fan of Interplay back in the days when they released good games. But the Interplay of today is not that company. Today's Interplay is nothing but an office with a few people in suits trying to figure out a way to make money off of the shadows cast by the good people who used to be employed there.

schesak
schesak

@Briantb_2008 The lawsuit was not in any way stupid. Bethesda owns the rights to Fallout games. Interplay, maybe, has/had the rights to make an mmo with the IP of Fallout, but everything else about it is owned by Bethesda. And Bethesda has had great success with that IP. Allowing Interplay to release a shoddy MMO using the IP would reduce the value of it, because whether Bethesda has anything to do with the MMO or not, the Fallout name on it will cause the failures (or success) of that MMO to be associated with any future Fallout games that Bethesda does. Interplay has done nothing of note in a very, very long time. It is reasonable that Bethesda would expect any MMO they make to be horrible. If that MMO has the Fallout name, then it's failure would be associated with Bethesda's future Fallout games in the minds of many people. This would have a negative financial impact on the Fallout IP, and because Bethesda owns that, on Bethesda. In other words, they sued for a very good reason, and you would have done the same thing if you were running their company intelligently. Obviously, the other part of it is that Bethesday wants to be the ones that do a MMO set in the Fallout universe if such a game ever comes to light. But that, sir, is only the secondary concern regarding why they sued.

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

a multyplayer in fallout is the worst idea i ever heard its going to be like call of duty back at 2003 long single player that was good and a good multyplayer but then in 2009 its short ok to go single player and a sucky bugy multyplayer a multyplayer in fallout is the road to hell for the game they will make snall world,less activetes and less things to find and will do all there work in the sucky stupid multyplayer idea in fallout. fallout isnt about a bunch of kids screming or crying in your head thro your head set its a "SINGLE PLAYER FUN" which lots of people starting to forget what single player is but who im kidding its just thumbs down and go on but older players will understand me better. sorry for duble post lol

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

BETHESEDA brought fallout back to life with fallout3 which is one of the most epicly greatest games ever we need another fallout like fallout3 from bethesda the speech the charcters the monsters or mutants and the emotions that the game dilevers from sadness for some things to wounder leve alone the huge world filled with people and stuff to see the game was epic im not going with a crapy idea of a new tweked wow fallout3 is the best in the seris i say interplay are greedy idiots who had this same problem before but never lernt they sold the game now they saw it do good without them so they are back to cash from it aint gona happen dudes this safe is closed go find the open safe to salvge some where ealse lol.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

I dunno who thought a Fallout MMO was a good idea anyway. Keep it singleplayer please

Briantb_2008
Briantb_2008

@Nodashi well apparently my comment wasnt liked to much, but yeah I agree with you Interplay hasnt released any decent games well any games in quite a while.... wait strike that they released Death and the Fly...thou I dont think that would be consider decent. My main point was Bethesda knew Interplay wasnt doing good and decided to force them into debt. Or atleast sell off the rights to the MMO. @faceman4523 your right they had no right to use content made by Bethesda but did Bethesda need to sue them over the rights to a Fallout MMO when Interplay had the rights to make one, true enough they didnt think to make one intill after Fallout 3 but they still maintain the rights to make one. Instead of allowing Interplay to do this Bethesda sued them which they knew that Interplay could not afford the extra finicial liabilties it also probaly scared off any investors that may of come to back Interplay making a Fallout MMO. In the end Interplay probaly thought this was there best chance at a new start. It sad to see it didnt work out.

esqueejy
esqueejy

What they expected to do with $3M, Taegre, is develop enough of the initial phase of the game to show to potential investors and ganrner their support. What it looks like to me from everything I've read so far is that a gaming giant with tons of cash got caught with its pants down when people who probably still had rights decided to exercise them in a way that had potential to turn into a massive cash cow, so they decided that they would attempt to exercise their own rights in a belated manner (questionable to delay revocation until AFTER Interplay entered into a development deal that proved Bethesda had missed the boat) in order to use their superior ability to weather the costs of a protracted legal battle to shut Interplay down financially...thus functionally winning back its ability to usurp that development deal even if it loses the suit. It's a classic case of financially bigger guy throwing its weight around to screw the littler guy. I can just imagine the board room at Bethesda when they heard about the deal: "Oh crap...that's a missed opportunity...we should've revoked the rights sooner...launch legal torpedos, stat." Really tho, it all depends on the contracts' specific language and only time will tell.

Taegre
Taegre

I just have to facepalm at this whole issue. Half the gaming public has been screaming at the top of their lungs to Interplay that this was a stupid idea. Not just a Fallout MMO, but trying to put out a brand new AAA title to beat the competition when you're leading a company that just came back from bankruptcy and has minimal resources and experience. If MMORPGs like WoW cost at least 60 million to make, what the heck did Interplay expect to do with 3 million? All Interplay or their developers had to do was take the original Fallout engine and turn it into a free-to-play browser-based game. Fallout purists would have ate it up and new Fallout fans would love to have the chance to explore postapocalyptic America between internet searches. Instead... I honestly don't know what they were thinking. Maybe Interplay never learned anything after dissolving Black Isle.

Savvy30039
Savvy30039

Interplay was dumb enough to dissolve BlackIsle, the studio that actually did the work on the original Fallouts, Baldur's Gate, ect. Interplay deserves to fail. Whether you love or hate Bethesda's take on the franchise, at least they were classy enough to let the original creators have a go at it with New Vegas.

alexLmx6
alexLmx6

I see alot of potential in a Fallout MMO, although I think it would work best in a more Guild Wars style of instanced areas for questing, so not a true MMO I suppose.

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

I doubt that they would have made an awesome game but I still wanted to see how it turned out.

Nodashi
Nodashi

@@Briantb_2008 Interplay sold the IP EXCEPT for MMO usage, wich they retained. That show they know the franchise was great, they just needed the money - Interplay is not lucrative for MANY years now.

tobbe4321
tobbe4321

We dont need another MMO bankrupt k thx

Gen007
Gen007

well how can they be expect to make and maintain/support a good MMO when their in such bad shape? Sounds like a lost cause to me. Releasing a broken MMO will def be the final nail in the coffin for them.

lilflex1
lilflex1

the only thing i can think of is hire interns that a take less or willing to work for free (learning experience), lower prices for there current games or find another developer to help with the game to cut costs or all of them

Finsie
Finsie

So ignorant people. Stop saying stuff like GO BANKRUPT SO BETHESEDA CAN KEEP MAKING FALLOUT GAMES. Interplay used to be The biggest thing ever in gaming. They published all the greatest games in the 90's - Fallout, Baldur's Gate, and Wizardry just to name a few. If anything, I'd want Interplay to buy the Fallout franchise back from Bethesda who have made good games with it, but the games have had little to do with the original series. Interplay CANNOT GO.

gq_cjc
gq_cjc

Thank goodness. Nobody that I know wanted this to go MMO anyway.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

I'm not a fan of MMOs, so this loss doesn't hurt me a bit. I hope Interplay will give up on the MMO and go back to making good single-player games that they've done for decades (Bard's Tale 1 - 3, Wasteland, Deathlord, Dragon Wars, etc.). They've got ideas, so they don't need MMOs. As for Bethesda, as long as they keep putting out new Fallout single-player games, I'll keep buying them (provided they're not buggy as a bait store). And if Interplay decides to die fighting, I hope Bethesda will buy up all their IPs when they go bankrupt and make even more cool games. :)

parkurtommo
parkurtommo

wow i guess it can't get any worse... *starts raining*

p40tomahawk
p40tomahawk

tell ya how good some people can be with money

faceman4523
faceman4523

@Briantb_2008 If Interplay sold the rights for Fallout to Bethesda, why should they have any right at all to then use any portion of the Fallout universe to make a new game? Obviously if they sold the IP they had either no faith in it anymore or no plans to make another Fallout game .... UNTIL Bethesda made Fallout 3 and it was such a huge hit, making the Fallout IP valuable again. I hate to see people lose their jobs or to see a company go under, but the bottom line is if Interplay sold the Fallout IP to Bethesda then I believe Bethesda has a right to try to block Interplay from using the Fallout name and characters from that universe. If Bethesda hadn't made Fallout 3 and it hadn't been such a huge hit Interplay never would have thought of making the Fallout MMO in the first place. They were trying to cash in on the popularity of a product that Bethesda made. You sold the rights to Fallout, admit you made a mistake and move on. And if you had limited resources you should not have tried to take on something as big and expensive as an MMO in the first place.

Briantb_2008
Briantb_2008

Bethesda wanted this, they want the money for a MMO on fallout so in the end they probaly get it because they bankrupt Interplay with stupid law suits.

MertzaSkertz
MertzaSkertz

I do not think a fallout mmo would go over very well. I would much rather have another really good fallout single player rpg. People beg for these kinds of mmos, but don't realize that features are limited when you start to add multiple players. You will not be able to have the sense of choice that you have in the singleplayer games if they are other people involved.

jumalan75
jumalan75

Fallout 4 with the Crytek or Skyrim Engine! Make it happen! and make it so you can blow away little kids who are mean to you again... like in FO1 & 2.

bobdimstar
bobdimstar

heh to see one of the late 90's top publisher's goin down,thats just sad,i remember playin fallout 1 and 2 and it was fun,violent and innovative,yeah they didnt develop that game,but they published it,its like i have a project(black isle)and i present it to other companies(ea,interplay,westwood,etc) and wether this publishers like it or not,its up to them,and they gonna support under finance and manpower if interplay didnt like the idea of fallout,maybe it would be scrapped,and there wouldnt be any fallout,so please stop complaining bout who made the game or which company develop the game,without a publisher that believes in it, its still an idea only,and looking at this,i hope interplay pulls through(they gonna need a miracle)

dexter_graves
dexter_graves

I don't really care what happens to this project. I just know I want Fallout 4 to ditch the V.A.T.S. system in favor of online co-op. V.A.T.S. wouldn't really work well in a two player game. It'd be a blast to be able to play Fallout online with a partner, especially if the differing choices two characters can make result in changes to the storyline. This seems to be the emphasis in Bioware's Star Wars MMO, and I really like the idea. New Vegas didn't live up to the quality of the first game. It had a lot more bugs and, in general, didn't have the tight world design the first game had. Interplay's MMO seems like a cash in but so was New Vegas. I don't think we'll hear about the true successor to Fallout until sometime during the first two years after Skyrim's release.

amr_5m
amr_5m

fallout 3 is the best, new Vegas is good but lots of bugs now they want to make MMORPG this it is the worst idea i a have ever seen in my life

gexer64
gexer64

Looking at the posts below, logic dictates we should be cheering for Bethesda. Interplay did not develop Fallout, Black Isle Studios did. When Interplay DISSOLVED Black Isle their employees founded Obsidian Entertainment. Obsidian Entertainment's last game was Fallout New Vegas, which was published by Bethesda.

gexer64
gexer64

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

IAm_PUFF_FearMe
IAm_PUFF_FearMe

Ok I like Bethesda, they make good games, but they are being total d*ck's right now. I mean so yeah Bethesda owns the fallout name but come on they cant let interplay use the iconic parts of the fallout universe, in the MMO thats set IN the fallout universe.

andersonhm
andersonhm

Syafiqjabar guess you're right. The old and good Interplay was dead and gone since the end of Black Isle, and now it's just a matter of bury them for good. It's just kind of depressing to see the birthplace of so many classics going down...

nuschu
nuschu

Christ, did any of you idiots ever even play Fallout 1 and 2? I agree that Interplay is a shadow of its former self, but back in the day they published some of the best RPGs ever. I guess I just need to face the fact that if a Fallout MMO ever comes to fruition it will be a bastardized shadow of its former self. And to the dumb ass who said to give it to Blizzard, dear God, please keep them as far away from Fallout as possible. I love Blizzard but the last thing we need is Blizzard WOWing the crap out of Fallout.

sensesfail99
sensesfail99

wow that sucks. a fallout MMORPG would have been pretty cool. a change from all the same stuff spit out over and over. I thought about fallout as an MMORPG when i first played it and wondered why they didnt do it originally

Voqar
Voqar

What Bethesda did to Fallout should be considered a criminal act. Ruining one of the best RPGs of PC gaming history by turning it into a first person shooter was just wrong. Dunno, I love RPGs but have never enjoyed any of Bethesda's games - they are lifeless (feel like empty MMOs) with crappy character development system (to me). Anyways...if Interplay sold out to Bethesda and let them ruin Fallout it's hard to have any sympathy for them now, especially if they're trying to capitalize on the bastardization of their own game by Bethesda (by extending B's first person cheesery to an MMO).

AgamemnonRex
AgamemnonRex

There will still be a Fallout MMO, someday. Once the bankruptcy is over Bethesda will have the rights free and clear. The game will be better for it too.

KoruKinshi
KoruKinshi

And so the creators of Descent are on their way down...what a shame. :(

gix47
gix47

they should have left Fallout alone and did something like it, that battle is what broke them but now i bet EA will buy them and make that Fallout mmo for them..

Torque203
Torque203

@Roger_Smith they literally have no rights to fallout, they sold it to Bethesda. And then they blew the money away