During the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Interplay launched a teaser website for its upcoming Fallout-themed massively multiplayer online title, Fallout Online. Since then, the developer has been utterly silent on the project. Now, the company’s president has shared some new information.
Interplay president Eric Caen told British gaming magazine Edge Magazine that despite the legal tussle surrounding the title, Fallout Online will be released, in beta form, in the first half of 2012. He followed that up by stating that the title will be released commercially during the second half of that year.
To date, the developer has yet to release a single screenshot or video from the game. That said, Caen offered fans a hearty bit of information on the direction the game will take.
"Fallout 3 was a little bit too serious--that's definitely not where we're going. Our Fallout MMOG will be extremely funny," Caen said. "An MMOG must be a lot deeper than a stand-alone game. It's not a shooting game we're making. You can shoot, but it's a very small portion of the game. The game itself is about reconstructing the world."
Fallout Online has been the subject of a legal battle between Interplay and Bethesda Softworks, developer and publisher of Fallout 3. The dispute stems from a disagreement about the deal, which saw Bethesda purchase the Fallout IP for $5.75 million in 2007 and then license the Fallout massively multiplayer online role-playing game rights back to Interplay.
The license agreement had a stipulation that Interplay had to start full-time development within two years or the Fallout MMORPG rights would revert to Bethesda. Two years later, Bethesda attempted to terminate the deal, citing Interplay's lack of progress on the project. In a lawsuit filed in September, Bethesda accused Interplay of not having enough money to move forward with the game.
The following month, Interplay accused Bethesda of acting in bad faith in a countersuit. It quickly released the first concept art for Fallout Online, claiming that work on the game was proceeding apace. In December, a judge agreed, denying Bethesda's request for an injunction that would have halted all work on Interplay's MMORPG.