Interplay countersues Bethesda over Fallout

After 10-day extension request, postapocalyptic RPG creator claims current rights holder breached acquisition agreement, meddled with business deals.

Bethesda Softworks unleashed its legal hounds on Interplay last month over the two companies' dealings with the Fallout intellectual property. The suit accused Interplay of 10 counts of breach of contract and trademark infringement by not abiding by various agreements that arose following Bethesda Softworks' purchase of the Fallout IP from franchise creator Interplay in 2007.

The Brotherhood of Steel are ready and willing to...arbitrate.

Late last week, Interplay responded to Bethesda's suit, petitioning the court for a 10-day extension as well as countersuing the Fallout IP owner with its own breach of contract charges. Specifically, Interplay claims that Bethesda violated the terms of the trademark licensing agreement (TLA) and asset purchase agreement (APA), which were both entered into in April 2007.

As part of the suit, Interplay states that it had the rights to grant Glutton Creeper Games the license to make a Fallout-based pen-and-paper role-playing game based on the original RPGs. Interplay claims that while Bethesda could have prevented the licensing deal immediately, it waited until August before notifying Glutton Creeper that it must cease and desist work on the pen-and-paper RPG. Glutton Creeper subsequently sued Interplay, the suit states, causing the studio to incur substantial legal fees.

The Fallout creator also claims that Bethesda acted in bad faith in its dealings with Interplay's business partners, specifically those that dealt with merchandising rights. The suit states that Bethesda sent on-demand PC game service GameTap a letter informing it that Interplay did not have the rights to license out the original Fallout RPGs, a charge Interplay denies. Therefore, Interplay claims that Bethesda's actions caused it to incur further financial hardship.

By way of its countersuit, Interplay seeks a declaration that it continues to hold and make use of its licensing rights under the APA and TLA. In the alternative, the publisher seeks that Bethesda's purchasing agreement from 2007 be rescinded, and all Fallout rights return to Interplay. The company has also petitioned the court to award it royalties it would be due under Bethesda's original licensing agreement from 2004, a figure it estimates at $15 million thanks to the highly successful Fallout 3.

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360 comments
Mortifiedluke
Mortifiedluke

honestly after reading several comments i notice not many people read the entire post they just saw Bethesda and Interplay were suing each other and picked their favorite company which isn't right i personally hope interplay wins this case because it stated in these documents each and every rule of the purchase and Bethesda's new owner didn't abide by them thus making the contract forfeit and interplay should gain rights to fallout 3 and New vegas as well as all the money both made nothing against bethesda, i love em but play by the rules

simplyTeejay
simplyTeejay

Fallout is fantastic, with a few glitches here and there. The gameplay was very intellectual and easy at the same time. Dumping stats, choosing perks, finding great guns, destroying whatever the wasteland has to offer. All of the games have these basic components, Bethesda just did a great job of portraying those components. All i hope for is 1 of 2 things (or both if we get lucky) 1. Fallout: New Vegas (or 4 or whatever you want to call it) 2. Fallout MMORPG. either one with the style from Fallout 3 would be phenomenal.

Cloud_in_midgar
Cloud_in_midgar

Bethesda have to keep it, behesda are the best games developers on the planet

Underworldy69
Underworldy69

wow I do not know what to go for. Bethesda gave me a great Fallout game and I think New Vegas could be maybe better, and I love Fallout and their style of RPGs. But of course Interplay did start a fantastic series and the MMO looks great. idk.... maybe they have ZeniMax just buy Interplay? it would support them considering they went bankrupt.

Edricane
Edricane

They should kiss and make up and make Fallout Babies..

fatredfu
fatredfu

the only complaint i have of Bethesda is that they make games so big that they freeze often... but otherwise... i can spend hours and hours in their worlds and not ever come up for air... interplay had what... clay fighters? SNES/Genisis

bagehi
bagehi

Interplay has always been good at making video games and bad at business. Some things never change. Sad to watch.

redalertgamer
redalertgamer

ok interplay is acting like a child now. seriously they sold the ip to bethesda and they made fallout 3 a FANTASTIC game and now interplay wants it back because all of a sudden the ip's doin great. seriously grow up interplay.

River_Horse
River_Horse

How do we find out who wins and whats going on other then thay are suing oneanother back and forth? This is SO childish of Interplay the definition of imature. Thats what i think.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

DredWulf, I hope interplay wins. Why? Because you have to look at the history of both bethesda and interplay. Interplay got rid of the few bad apples which caused the loss of Black Isle Studios and is being run by better people who, in fact, hired and use chris taylor, one of the original devs. Thats said, Bethesda went out of its way to prevent the original devs from working on FO3. Bethesda did something opposite of interplay. With the help of Todd Howard, Zenimax took over Bethesda and kicked out its original founder. In fact, Bethesda has become a more corrupt company being run by an ex lawyer who was sued for numerous occasions for fraud and shady business. Go figure. Bethesda once acquiring the full rights went on a legal spree trying to prevent others from playing and obtaining previous fallout products. This is disgusting to any fallout fan. Todd Howard also stated that he felt like the IP was always his. Its disgusting.

DredWulf
DredWulf

I really hope interplay loses, because of their poor business practices they lost some of the best teams in VG history like Black Isle Studios..and made utterly horrible games like Fallout Brother Hood of Steel...Slipknot Soundtrack FTL.

DragonMage2k4
DragonMage2k4

I love how people seem to believe that Interplay is still an actual game developer. Interplay is essentially Herve (who doesn't know how to make video games), his lawyer, and a few contractors. The "company" has been in a virtual existence since they closed the Irvine studio, and all the real talent has gone on to Obsidian, InXile, Blizzard, and Massive Black.

toadman682000
toadman682000

I just hope Interplay sticks around long enough to make Descent 4 Or sell the rights to someone who can :(

Fed__X
Fed__X

I think I would love to see interplay make another fallout. Fallout 3 is amazing but really it didn't bring anything new to the table. The character models looked too much like oblivion. The landscape is awesome and vats is a nice touch. hope no one flames me for this. I love the game don't get me wrong and invested over a hundred hours. I just hate most of copy past approach developers are taking.

smyden01
smyden01

Those are all great games and Bethesda wasn't going to re-release them to the public so good job Interplay this new game is Fallout 5 anyway so Bethesda has falsely named it too

partytimekegs
partytimekegs

Interplay, you should have thought about all this when you sold your IP to Bethesda. Honestly if I were the judge I would just say, "Well, you should have thought about that."

JM_Lerris
JM_Lerris

Interplay is still around? WTF? Seriously thought they were long gone. Clearly they should be.

BtmnHatesRbn
BtmnHatesRbn

How about Bethesda just buys Interplay? Who knew all the trouble of a faraway Decent sequel would cause all of this?

Alexrmf
Alexrmf

I see people here feel sorry for Interplay, and I'm not sure why that is, they're not the creators of any of the great games like Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Interplay was just the publisher and the one that help the IP for Fallout (for Baldur's gate it was WotC-Atari). From my point of view, Interplay can whine and cry as much as it wants, they did nothing for these games but to sell them, what I's really sorry is Black Isle... thanks to them we spent so much time in front of the monitor enjoying each game.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

This is turning into quite the mess. I think the court will recognize Interplay is desperately flailing.

Briantb_2008
Briantb_2008

So this is where the Bethesda's money is going that explains why they havent made a Patch for Fallout 3 to fix the Glitches, And why even the game of the year edition which just came out has all the glitches still plus even more for the dlc content

roosteraxe1
roosteraxe1

Interplay is just getting sad with all this. Honestly they should have never sold the rights to Fallout since they obviously aren't happy with the results. Sucks for them. Bethesda made a great game off the franchise and now Interplay is kicking themselves for not being in on it. Tack on the MMO they failed to deliver on and this new business with the pnp and they're pretty much SOL. YOu can't sell rights to or rerelease a game you already sold all the rights to. They should have kept partial ownership of the Fallout franchise if they still wanted say-do over it. If you sell a car to someone you can't turn around and sell the tires to someone else after it's sold. It's really sad. I like a lot of Interplay's games, but they made some really dumb choices and keep on doing it.

Keasar
Keasar

This dead horse is still twitching?

blueliquidplus
blueliquidplus

I loved Fallout, Fallout 2, and even Fallout Tactics... although Fallout3 is a step away from the gameplay style of the previous games I enjoyed it a lot and am still playing it (PC & XBox.. kinda crazy like that). Personally Interplay (Which I thought long dead) needs to shut up.

DJCartmell
DJCartmell

With Bethesda owning the IP now they do have the right to not want Glutton Creeper work on the pen-and-paper RPG not Interplay (who frankly are dead ducks in the water!). As far as I'm concerned I've played all the Fallout games and I prefer hands down the Bethesda Fallout! If Bethesda loses the IP (which I doubt they will and for the love of God hope not!) it's a waste of a good franchise losing it to a company which didn't care for it let alone is finincially able to make any games barely!

bjmage16
bjmage16

Interplay sold it's rights to the Fallout IP to Bethesda. Interplay needs to drop it's former flagship series and realize they are a dead company. Bethesda will win this one pretty easily, and Interplay will cease to exist after this fiasco.

Vault_Ausir
Vault_Ausir

"Bethesda just let Interplay to release the games, come to an agreeable cover and allow Glutton Creeper to create their PnP game." No. Regardless of legal issues, Glutton Creeper's version of Fallout PnP was ridiculously bad and full of glaring errors. Actually, and actual established PnP publisher also approached Bethesda about licensing the rights, but they don't currently want to license out any PnP rights at all.

mine20000
mine20000

Oh and: Interplay made awesome RPGs Bethesda made wicked Action RPGs

mine20000
mine20000

As I understand it, Interplay sold the IP to Beth, part of the deal was that Beth would support Interplay in an MMO, on condition that they raised the necessary funds, which they didn't. So at that point Interplay would have been relieved of all and any fallout rights, correct? Now on a side note the whole deal with the PnP rpg is ridiculous. Neither Bethesda or Interplay will be making a PnP game so why not just let them go at it? And yeah, Bethesda could have said something when they first issued the rights to them, which I don't think they should have been able to, but that all aside let them make the damn PnP game. Legally though I don't think Interplay should have sold them the rights, because it was now Bethesda's to sell, so Interplay should be sued by this PnP company. Now this whole battle about Interplay re releasing the original Fallout series on Gametap and such, I think they should have been allowed to, like they said with the approval of Bethesda. Though it seems like Beth was stalling Interplay refund Glutton Creeper for the purchase of the rights to make the PnP game, and stop trying to get Fallout back, you sold it, get over it. Bethesda just let Interplay to release the games, come to an agreeable cover and allow Glutton Creeper to create their PnP game. As for the MMO I believe that Interplay did not follow up with their end of the deal so Bethesda should be able to create the game.

HuusAsking
HuusAsking

Now, stop me if I'm off the track here. Here's what I'm hearing. Now, while Beth was still under a licensing agreement, IPlay gave this PnP company the rights to make a Fallout PnP RPG. Clear enough. Now, Beth buys all rights to Fallout barring IPlay's existing RPGs in 2007. Also clear enough. But the PnP RPG isn't mentioned. So if the PnP company has an issue, who do they contact? Beth (as new owners) or IPlay (as the original party in the contract)? Next, as for the MMO, did the TLA or APA specify a condition that Beth actively assist IPlay in making this MMO? If not, I don't know if IPlay can get away with a claim that Beth reneged on helping if there was no stipulation that Beth HAD to pitch in.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Given the rights and the money, I would have more faith in a Fallout 4 from Interplay than whatever Bethesda have in mind for their next Fallout. I have already been bitten hard by loving Morrowind and then getting Oblivion. If Bethesda gameworlds continue to get smaller (same goes for Rockstar with GTA!), I can fully expect Fallout to take place in the city of Boise, Idaho!

kiramasaki
kiramasaki

true enough , but once again thats merely a technicality, fact is the majority of the black isle studio were the main guys working on all the fallouts, they then left completely; at this point Interplay as it stands now really has no ties

twit8876
twit8876

nice to hear some other "old fogies" who can remember the days when GFX were so crappy games had to have an incredible story and great game play to be worth a damn. i would really love to see interplay with the fallout IP back, i know it wont happen but i cant decide who i would like to see have it LESS: bethsoft or EA. interplay pitching the return of rights and all profits is just a retaliation after bethsoft demanded that interplay give them all the money they had made off of the fallout 1,2, and tactics digital download sales. bethsoft had every intention of screwing over interplay when they signed over the mmo rights and the only reason they did it was to get the ip a bit cheaper while fully expecting interplay to default. this counter lawsuit is saying that bethsoft did not provide adequate support per the contract, actively worked to undermine their efforts to raise the required capitol and only complained about the fallout 1,2, & tactics sales after an excessive amount of time had passed from when interplays request for a repackaging was was not responded to. the only reason bethsoft started complaining is because interplay got their games on steam instead of sticking to lower profile digital distribution sites, steam = more money and that made bethsoft scared that interplay would be able to raise the funding.

twit8876
twit8876

i could see it being frivolous and bethsoft being in the right if they had denied the repackaging request and / or had complained earlier about the sales (the physical repackaging was in target months before F3 shipped, kinda hard to miss that when your gearing up for a production launch) but they didn't, and in a legal setting silence is consent. what this lawsuit is saying is that the only reason bethsoft was sold the rights to fallout was on the basis that they would support interplay in developing a fallout mmo, they did not do that and had no intention of ever doing that when they signed the bill of sale, so the sale is void. who knows if that will hold in court, both bethsoft and interplay have had issues with fulfilling the deal but i side with interplay as the more deeply wounded party. my guess is that if this goes to court the judge will give all rights to bethsoft but require them to pay damages to interplay.

brownba3
brownba3

Interplay made great games, Bethesda's interpretation of Fallout was interesting and good graphics - but not sure it was really of the story caliber of the originals. That being said, Interplay did let it sit for 10 + years and so an above average something is better than nothing. Trog may be right about the $ ability. However we are coming up on 1 year after the release and haven't heard anything about another game. ME2 is on its way out, they are already talking about Dragon age sequels... Is Fallout doomed? Humorguy basic is rt on (as a fellow PC gamer who played all of those... and Ultima,Temple of Doom, the Bards tale,Arcanum... most of the older titles.) The most recent RPGs - really haven't been. Their stoorylines and plots as well as their character development is not what it was. That being said, we dinosaurs may have become fossilized. I enjoyed FO3 and ME2 and they are pretty much the only thing going on near the RPG genre rt now. (the MMOs are an option but still the farming and grinding is a bear). Hoping that Borderland and Dragon age surprise me and am preordering ME2 - as I said a better than average escape from reality beats nothing anytime. Not sure who I think should win this case - or who I want to win it - too bad the judge can't make them promise to deliver... Until then, Make mine Marvel - Game on and good nite!

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

@ Humorguy_basic Eh, it wouldn't surprise me, if Herve and co still owed some of the guys over at Obsidian money.. As in severance pay, backpay, 401K related stuff etc. If, so that would make them even more leary of dealing with them. Sure, we get X amount of money for doing this, just like last time, right.... We got this nice bridge for sale btw.

Trogeton
Trogeton

Fallout was cool, but not better than Oblivion you run out of ammo TOO fast, well when you play high difficulty..

Gamerz1569
Gamerz1569

@Humorguy_basic Yes I'm also and old school gamers and have played the original Fallouts, BG, Planescape etc.. Good old crpgs with open world, choices and consequences. But there is no point arguing with younger games (or console gamers) about the old classics as graphics asides, they'd hate the point and click fest (ironic since a lot of console gamers are awaiting dragon age) and are used to being tutored to the end of the game (Oblivion), so there is really no point arguing about it, believe me I've tired convincing some before, they'd never understand (unless they actually play it and give it a chance before going to conclusions). Again as I said, arguing which is the better Fallout pointless and its off topic. The news is about who OWNS who NOT who OWNZ who. (If you excuse the pun)

TheClown24
TheClown24

Interplay just dont have the resources to make another decent fallout game, bethesda saved the series and now they want it back? to do what with it? let the rights for it rot in a filling cabinet while they struggle to rub two coins together? do what you want interplay but for the fans, dont kill fallout by demanding it back

GulliversTravel
GulliversTravel

Whats wrong with these guys, why didnt they take the money and start making casual games? MMOs are lengthy, costly and most importantly, very likely to fail.

Plaidboy1
Plaidboy1

I really hope this doesn't wind up meaning there will never be any more Fallout games. Interplay had it's chance to make a Fallout 3 years ago and failed to do so. Now that Bethesda has brought the franchise back to life they want it back? Interplay should just go back to being irrelevant and pointless and leave the Fallout franchise in the capable hands of Bethesda.

Herenr
Herenr

@ solidstein I don't think Beth has much to fear from interplay in regards to losing the IP. They admitted that they didn't receive a response from Beth in regards to republishing the previous games, which was stipulated in their original agreement. They had to get approval on packaging and promotion first. Now Interplay is crying that Beth prevented them from getting the needed funds, despite interplay violating the MMO license and the original publishing deal. Seriously, I bet Beth is laughing at this counter-suit, since it's more like a twitch response.

Dinoblade
Dinoblade

Fallout 3 is the best game ever!!!

Khalathwyr
Khalathwyr

I hope Interplay wins. I've enjoyed so many more of their games in the past than I have of Bethesda's. I'm not saying Bethesda makes bad games, I just have enjoyed Interplay's so much more and would like to see them come back into the arena as a key game maker again.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

@Valas_Azuviir "Humorguy_basic - I wouldn't be so sure about Obsidian playing ball with I-play. Most of the guys working there, used to work at Black Isle Studios and Herve and his buddies burned those guys badly. Once burned, twice shy, as the saying goes." The odds are in your favour, but it's still a maybe because money could be involved!

solidstein
solidstein

also interplay knows theyre not gonna get any credit or cash there trying to scare bethesda into saying wait if this goes to court we could possible lose fallout ip and try to solve thiss out of court