As part of an out-of-court settlement
series creator Interplay has given up all rights to an MMO spin-off it claimed to be developing to current series owner Bethesda.
The decision marks the final step in Bethesda's complete takeover of all new products in the Fallout
franchise, and provides the troubled Interplay some much-needed capital.
According to statements released by Bethesda on Monday, Interplay surrendered those rights in exchange for $2 million received from Bethesda parent ZeniMax. Both parties will pick up the tab for their respective legal fees, which were undisclosed.
At this point, Interplay's only involvement with the post-apocalyptic RPG series it created is its continued sale of the first three games in the franchise: Fallout
, Fallout 2
and Fallout: Tactics
. It will retain the rights to continue selling the games through December 31, 2013, at which point they too will be surrendered to Bethesda.
The dispute stems from the original Fallout acquisition agreement
between the two companies in 2007, which saw new owner Bethesda agreeing to allow Interplay to develop an MMO in the series under certain criteria, namely that Interplay secure $30 million in financing and show that the game was under full scale development by April 2009.
While Interplay continuously claimed that the game was under full development by contractor Masthead Studios, Bethesda claimed otherwise. Because the suit was resolved out-of-court, no formal judgement was made as to whether Interplay held up its end of the deal.
Bethesda also settled a separate dispute with Masthead itself, where it claimed that the game it was allegedly developing represented copyright infringement and a violation of its IP rights. Masthead now acknowledges that it has no legal right to use any Fallout
IP. No settlement money was awarded to either party.
"While we strongly believe in the merits of our suits, we are pleased to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation while completely resolving all claims to the Fallout
IP," said ZeniMax chairman and CEO Robert Altman.
is an important property of ZeniMax and we are now able to develop future Fallout
titles for our fans without third party involvement or the overhang of others' legal claims."
Bethesda has published both 2008's Fallout 3
and 2010's Fallout: New Vegas
. No future titles in the franchise have been formally announced.