Bethesda Pays Interplay $2 Million to Stop Being Annoying, Paving the Way for a Fallout MMOG

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ZeniMax MediaThe litigation saga between ZeniMax (and its Bethesda Softworks unit) and Interplay over the right to make a Fallout massively multiplayer online game has finally come to a close. It has been obvious since 2002 that Interplay is barely holding on to its very existence. Since April of 2009, the rights to develop a Fallout MMOG should have reverted to Bethesda – Interplay clearly did not have the funds or the ability to build the game, but Interplay has been holding out. The obvious conclusion is that Interplay was simply being a pain in Bethesda's side in an effort to get a little more cash before giving up the ghost. Today, Bethesda confirmed that it paid Interplay $2 to settle the litigation and make Interplay go away. Read on for the full story and more details...
When ZeniMax Media originally purchased much of the Fallout intellectual property from Interplay, Interplay retained the right to make a massively multiplayer online game based on Fallout while ZeniMax's Bethesda Softworks unit went on to release Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. The catch was, according to the contract, Interplay needed to secure financing for and to commence development of the Fallout MMOG by April 2009. So, in April 2009, Bethesda argued that the right to make a Fallout MMOG reverted to Bethesda. Interplay had signed a letter of intent with Masthead Studios to develop the Fallout MMOG, but nothing really ever surfaced beyond a bit of concept art and minor marketing for the project, dubbed V13.

ZeniMax and Interplay have been litigating ever since, and a few days ago achieved a settlement. Today, Bethesda announced that Interplay will give up on working on any Fallout-related property and the right to make a Fallout MMOG reverts to ZeniMax's Bethesda unit. Interplay will also lose the right to resell the original Fallout games published by Interplay on December 31, 2013. In return, ZeniMax's Bethesda unit is paying Interplay $2 million.

In a separate agreement with Masthead Studios, Masthead has agreed that it has no right to work on any Fallout property.

Now that Bethesda has the rights to make a Fallout Massively Multiplayer Game, free and clear, you can expect ZeniMax Online Studios (perhaps through Bethesda Softworks as publisher) to announce a Fallout MMOG. It probably won't surprise anyone to discover that ZeniMax Online Studios currently has a lot of job openings to fill.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on January 9, 2012 4:44 PM.

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