Fallout Online teaser site launches

E3 2010: Legal battle not stopping Interplay from moving ahead with the Masthead-developed post-nuclear MMORPG; beta testers being solicited.

LOS ANGELES--The threat of a court-ordered shutdown isn't stopping Interplay from moving ahead with Fallout Online. This morning, the once-nearly bankrupt company launched a teaser site for the massively multiplayer game, which was previously known by its code name, Project V13. After offering some visual references to the first two Fallout games, released in the 1990s, the site asks visitors to sign up for a newsletter to be considered for the game's beta test.

Interplay is moving ahead with the Fallout MMORPG.

In development at Masthead Studios, the Bulgarian shop developing the postapocalyptic role-playing game Earthrise, 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 terminated the deal, citing Interplay's lack of progress on Project V13. 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.

However, even with a legal green light, Fallout Online faces many obstacles on the road to release--foremost of which is Interplay's shaky financial state. In a financial report released last year, the company reported a loss of $1.052 million on $854,000 of income for the nine months ending September 30, 2009, thanks mostly to $1.48 million in "general and administrative" costs. During that same period, the company reported it had only spent $195,000 on product development.

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96 comments
kazoo128
kazoo128

Sounds like Interplay is digging themselves a grave . . . . $195k of 1.4 million isn't the way that games get built. Spending way more than you make= economic fail. (I would like to see the game though)

azazelis
azazelis

I know there are a lot of Interplay fans on here (I myself have played Interplay before they made games for Windows) but I think everyone needs to understand this: Fallout 3 was released 10 years after Fallout 2. If Bethesda didn't step in, we might not have ever been able to experience another Fallout title. Interplay, for all the great games they have come out with over the years has had a habit of continuously sabotaging themselves by not sticking with their most popular titles. Now that Bethesda has resurrected the franchise Interplay executives come in and look for a way to bleed it again. My opinion - I like to see results, and Interplay just hasn't delivered lately.

doomsoth
doomsoth

IMO, Interplay should just move on and change the name of the game as well as some of the iconic Fallout symbols to something else, so they don't have to worry about Bethesda.

666NightsInHell
666NightsInHell

Looking forward only if game will be free to play, if pay for play then no point to play, tonns of great free to play games around

DevilDude19
DevilDude19

I may not have played any of Interplay's titles such as the FO games. The first FO I've played was FO3 for the 360 and i thought it kicked ass. If the game looks as good as the concept arts and screenshots i've seen then i shall give it a shot.

SuperYeti22
SuperYeti22

oh and @what I said earlier, really, it's more like like picking up a toy that a little kid wasnt even using, and then when you walk away he throws a tantrum because he wants it back!

mull20641
mull20641

@awarriorg bethesda is not the one that made Fallout 1 and 2 two of the best rpg's of all time. That's why you would buy this now.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@flyin_panda That is the most ridiculous claim I have seen this month. What do you know about game design? Can you even name the games the devs worked on? If you think they have only designed 2D isometric rpgs in their life...you are sorely mistaken. What would make you assume such a thing? Game design is a skill set that isnt dependent upon 2d or 3d, single player or online. If you know game design, it wont matter what the technology is you are working with. Producing is about the pipeline process, the scheduling and finding the right talent...it wont matter if the project is 2d or 3d, its still the same process. You also forget who is actually producing the content, Mast Head Studios. What do you know about costs and what is or is not possible? Tell me, do you know how investors work? Publishers? What about the current budget for Fallout Online? I dont think you have the answers for that. I work with game design and production, its pretty obvious you do not. Nice try though.

flyin_panda
flyin_panda

@shiftfallout, it does not matter if original Fallout devs are working on Fallout online, they only knew how to design Fallout top down 3rd person style. If they expect people to play MMO in a top down style, they better think again. Not to mention they don't have the financial means to develop a MMO in the first place.

ihatespam04
ihatespam04

@ronih Bethesda won't pay Interplay. They claim they already have, and that Interplay has violated the terms of the agreement. It seems like Bethesda wants Interplay to fold and just buy out the project for pennies on the dollar. It's sad, like a best friend who's parents are getting divorced and fighting who gets the child.

ronih
ronih

This is probably all a chess game to get Interplay to default in some way and hand over the remaining Fallout rights to Bethesda, which is totally fine with me. Interplay went sideways a decade ago and never recovered. *If* Interplay were smart, they would just sell the rights to Fallout to Bethesda which should also help fix their balance sheet. Pay off their debt, close up shop, and join Bethesda. Interplay as an entity has been comatose for 10 years and it's time for them to pull the plug and take a dirt nap.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@bodylotion, actually some original Fallout devs are working on Fallout Online, also the setting takes place awhile after the events of Fallout 2. The concept is that people are gathering trying to form civilizations once more, which would make sense. Also in Fallout 1 and 2, you still encountered a lot of people.

P8rt
P8rt

@sidzero A much more beneficial solution for all parties. The way the original contract is worded even if Interplay totally collapses down to two guys with part time jobs at 7 eleven who work on this in their spare time,they will still be meeting the vague terms set down in the contract.Bethesda signed the contract because that's what they had to sign to get the rights and it worked out well for them. This is the last thing of any real value they have left.

Herenr
Herenr

@ Gelugon_baat Seriously dude, if your "friends" can't accept the fact that you like FO3, then I would contemplate associating with them; particularly if they can't accept differing opinions. For one, this isn't the same Interplay that released FO 1 or 2; no where near. Furthermore, most of the original team are now working on New Vegas. Seriously, some people won't care about the quality of the finished product, just as long as it has "Interplay" slapped on the box.

Herenr
Herenr

Considering their funds, and the fact that this is being dragged out in court, I seriously doubt Interplay would be able to release a respectable game. This "teaser" site is more likely a response to the recent hype surrounding New Vegas; a game that is actually being designed by a good percentage of the original Fallout team. Besides, the guys currently managing Interplay are the ones responsible for Superman 64......That in itself leaves me skeptical.

sidzero
sidzero

You know, all the money Bethesda is spending on this lawsuit, why don't they just buy out Interplay altogether? It would probably be more cost-effective that way, and they would get a bunch of awesome oldskool IPs that they could either revive, or turn around and sell.

bodylotion
bodylotion

Most of the old Fallout crew members left Interplay (maybe all of them) so i'm not sure what they want with a Fallout MMORPG. Fallout universe is great but i don't want to see 5000 people in a 'deserted' Wasteland jumping around and whatnot. If Interplay somehow succeeds in creating a good MMORPG and so i was wrong all the time i probably will buy the game.

SuperYeti22
SuperYeti22

@RawDeal_basic Completely agree with you! They're giving us crappy concept art and telling us that they're actually making the game, which they don't even have a budget for! Interplay is like a whining 3-year-old. "We let you have the fallout franchise, and you gave us money and rights to the MMO, and you did a way better job with fallout 3 than we ever did, but we were slacking off instead of actually making the game, and you didn't like it, so you tried to take away fallout privlages, so we're going to take back project and shoot it in the face with a Fat Man! Waaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Interplay may as well fire a Fat Man down their pants and leave the project Bethesda's hands, or should I say, the truly capable hands.

chriscrimson
chriscrimson

I'm hoping it gets released. Hopefully in the end Bethesda keeps the rights but allows Interplay to continue with this concept or it'll be another 6 years before we seen any Fallout MMO. At least they did credit Bethesda with their copyrights.

Rob_101
Rob_101

I signed up for beta on that teaser site :D

Barighm
Barighm

A bankrupt publisher, who is clearly doing little more than paying themselves instead of actually making games, living off sales of their classics is relying on an unproven studio to create the Fallout MMORPG...this was "fail" worthy at "bankrupt"!

awarriorg
awarriorg

Interplay is not who made Fallout 3 one of the best RPGs of all time. Why would I buy their version of Fallout now.

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

Interplay shouldn't waste their time. If they really want to make a good mmo, they need money....and lots of it.

netzenopt
netzenopt

Interplay wont be able to invest enough money into this project so if it gets done i expect it to be a let down from expectations

Pajamasammi
Pajamasammi

@ warmaster670 Brotherhood of steel was a terrible game, I'll give you that. But maybe they'll do better at making an MMO rather than a top down? Who knows.

warmaster670
warmaster670

@Pajamasammi How would they do it? they already did it, just loot at fallout brotherhood of steel, all of the people who worked on fallout 1 and 2 are gone, the ones who didnt leave were fired when black isle was disbanded.

wookie10
wookie10

This Game Will Never Release, I Call For A Vote Of No Confidence on Interplay!

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

ouch, only 195 grand spent on an mmo would pretty much explain why they have only showed off artwork :(. I really really hope they can make something worthy of their talents, but without boat loads of money its hard to make a high quality game nowadays, and that goes doubly so for an mmo.

cloud_kai
cloud_kai

hmmm, curious how the artwork only appeared after they were accused of not making the game.... really? just artwork? they could have made them in like 5 minutes and then showed it as some kind of proof they were making the game, it's juts not enough

RawDeal_basic
RawDeal_basic

For years I patiently waited for another Fallout game, but those punks at Interplay wouldn't let it happen because they had no faith in the franchise. Now that Bethesda made money off the Fallout brand, those greedy bastards want their franchise back.

Pajamasammi
Pajamasammi

@warmaster670 How would they run Fallout into the ground? You do realize that they made the first 2 fallout games right?

malavos
malavos

Keep going, interplay.

Seifer-fx
Seifer-fx

In a perfect world, Interplay would do well with this MMO make some money, buy the Fallout IP off Beth and make the real Fallout 3. I can dream....

warmaster670
warmaster670

Time for interplay to run fallout into the ground again i guess, to bad a real company isnt doing this.

Bamul
Bamul

@Pierce_Sparrow Possibly, because they are way too confident and also, it's because they were the ones who created the original Fallout games and I think they obviously don't like the way that Bethesda revived the series (which on some points, I would agree with them). That's also why they bought back the rights for a Fallout MMO, and if they were that desperate that they had to sell the rights of one of the best video game series to Bethesda, then they were obviously broke. I hope Interplay will manage this one and if they do, I am more than sure that it will be a decent game.

mbarnard
mbarnard

I'm going to schedule time to play this right after Duke Nukem Forever is released.

BlackDevil99
BlackDevil99

love fallout, hate mmorpg's, maybey i was just waiting for thsi one. go interplay!

TheGravy02
TheGravy02

I'll be excited for this in 5 years when it's actually done. Never hype an MMO, at least for the sake of your own sanity.

Torque203
Torque203

burrito_tester So why are you posting here go to littlebigplanet 2, The sly collection, dead sace 2, or homefront page

burrito_tester
burrito_tester

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

I'm a little surprised. If the company is so broke, why are they taking this gamble. Running and maintaining an MMO is tough and expensive, and what could a broke company like Interplay do? Namebrand alone will not save this game, so it better be a damn good game. Sadly, I fear that Interplay is taking to big a chance and is destined to fail.

Blitz8529
Blitz8529

The company is so broke if they ever release a Fallout MMO it will be boring and riddled with bugs. If your going to make crap just pay Cryptic to make it and save money they make a new crap MMO every 6 months.

Torque203
Torque203

Morphine_OD Alright you want to discuss the matter with someone who has played fallout before they ever heard of fallout 3 or elder scrolls for that matter. fine ive been play fallout for a long time. way before i heard of Bethesda and they were damn good. i even liked fallout tactics. i couldnt understand how a company this good can do so bad. but when they start making games like fallout brotherhood of steel for the xbox/ps2/gamecube. its not a suprise why they went out of business. and there plans for there next game was the same idea of full spectrum warrior. a cover based military shooter. interplay was was and is still not in the right state of mind for fallout anymore. is fallout 1 and 2 better than fallout 3. depends on the person. i say fallout 3 is way better than 1 & 2. i read your review of Fallout 3 and it was very nastalgic and negative and offered no insight of fallout 3. it was like a history lesson of 1 & 2. i undersatnd you passion but its making you oblivious to the fact the Bethesda is making fallout now and there making a damn good job of it. it like allstate its in good hands cheer up

sk3sh
sk3sh

"the company reported it had only spent $195,000 on product development. " i assume you know that this amount of cash, is maybe enough for this screenshot posted in the article above. So is the game soon coming huh? XD content much!

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

@parrot_of_adun Good point, friend. @SIR-RAMBO-ROCKS I have a review on FO3 that explains my point of view, you can read it, thus, I won't discuss the matter further. I also express general concern and even distaste of number of people who like FO3. I find it quite insulting that a majority of them don't have enough base to argue with a long time fan of the franchise about what is right and what is wrong with FO3 gameplay taking into view the whole FO games lineup. @TheDreamSeeker I see that you didn't get it. Well, maybe the better. @BK-Sleeper Nice one. Should I consider myself then a basement nerd? If so, I find it quite offending.

nini92
nini92

its funny, on interplays site it states "Fallout® is a registered trademark of Bethesda Softworks LLC, a ZeniMax Media company, in the U.S. and/or other countries. All Rights Reserved. This game is not yet rated by the ESRB." so how can they make a game under that name? didnt bethesda cancel the deal once the 2 year period was up? so how can they make the game? either way,the site can be found here; http://www.fallout-on-line.com/ - it suggests that they are serious about their plans for v13. you can also subscribe for updates on their progress and the chance to be a beta tester :D once u have registered you can access a forum I don't know about having two companies working on the same title. this has the chance to ruin the fallout :( oh yeah, and they also have a press release here: http://www.interplay.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=651

raptures330
raptures330

I smell a fantastic belly flop from the highest diving board.