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Interplay: Bethesda Knew  Fallout  MMO Was About More Than The Name
Interplay: Bethesda Knew Fallout MMO Was About More Than The Name
June 28, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

In a new court filing, Interplay argues that Bethesda has long known a planned Fallout MMO was intended to include elements from the Fallout universe, despite recent arguments to the contrary.

The June 23 court filing -- obtained by Gamasutra -- comes in response to a motion for preliminary injunction filed by Bethesda to prevent Interplay from using elements of Fallout's story, setting and characters in its long-planned MMO, which has been tied up in legal limbo since 2009.

Bethesda has argued that it only licensed the Fallout name to Interplay, and not the crucial elements of Fallout's post-apocalyptic universe.

But the latest filing cites discussions with Bethesda from as early as 2007 to show both parties knew Interplay intended to use elements from the Fallout universe in its MMO, and accuses Bethesda of dragging its feet in filing for this latest injunction less than six months before a recently set trial date.

"For at least four years, Bethesda has known that Interplay interpreted its right to create the Fallout-branded MMOG to include copyrighted content from the Fallout universe in order to make the MMOG a recognizable Fallout game," the filing reads.

"Bethesda never objected and did not seek an injunction because it knew Interplay was doing exactly what the parties intended under their agreements," the document continues.

Interplay also takes issue with Bethesda's argument that a Fallout MMO would "confuse and confound" Fallout 3 players because of alleged plot conflicts between the games.

"This is ironic because Bethesda contends Interplay should have created an entire game of incompatible story, characters, and art and labeled it Fallout only in name," the document says.

The filing goes on to accuse Bethesda of refusing invitations to coordinate story details with Interplay during the MMO's design stage, and argues that any such plot conflicts are only a minor part of over 20,000 pages of design documents.

A judge blocked a similar Bethesda motion to dismiss in December 2009, and Interplay says Bethesda's latest move is a "belated motion for rehearing or repackaging" with no new facts.

Interplay's planned Fallout MMO has also faced persistent funding troubles, and the company as a whole is reportedly in dire financial straits at the moment.

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Maurício Gomes
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Lol, Bethesda complaining that Interplay has canon wrong, when Bethesda turned GECK (a central plot point of the series) from a bag of seeds to a magical high-tech thing that do unknown stuff, ranging from killing the player to filtering water.

I mean, minor errors are common even with the original author, but GECK was NOT a minor error, it went the way of "mu" it is not even wrong, it is invalid.

Tim Lang
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I don't get it. If Bethesda is so interested in keeping the reputation of the Fallout brand stellar (and I think they are)...wouldn't they want to work with Interplay instead of against them?

Germain Couët
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Most people I met think the Fallout series start with Fallout3. In fact, to the general public, Bethesda is pretty much writing the canon, even though almost everything that was actually good in Fallout 3 was just plundered from the previous games.

I was never that much disapointed in a game as much as Fallout3 (ok, maybe except FarCry2)

Glenn Sturgeon
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i agree and if bethesda wants to keep fallout as thiers exclusively they should have to repay interplay the licensing cost along with the dev cost of the MMO so far and be done with the bad publicity and lies.

I like bethesda but i don't think they should win this case.