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Court Denies Bethesda's Motion To Block Interplay  Fallout  Activity

Court Denies Bethesda's Motion To Block Interplay Fallout Activity

December 11, 2009 | By Kris Graft

December 11, 2009 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

A U.S. District Court judge denied Bethesda's motion for a preliminary injunction against publisher Interplay this week over a dispute involving licensing for the popular Fallout RPG franchise.

The ruling means that for the time being, Interplay will be able to continue selling Fallout Trilogy, a bundle that includes 1997's Fallout, 1998's Fallout 2, and 2001's Fallout Tactics, as well as the individual games themselves.

It also means that Interplay can continue to work on the Fallout MMO, a work-in-progress dubbed Project V13 that can exist because of a licensing deal that Bethesda struck with Interplay. Bethesda bought the Fallout property from Interplay in 2007 for $5.75 million.

A court order from U.S. District judge Deborah K. Chasanow, originally found by Fallout fan website Duck and Cover and confirmed by Gamasutra, did not list reasons behind the ruling.

Bethesda filed suit against Interplay over Fallout earlier this year. Bethesda requested the court enjoin distribution of Interplay's Fallout Trilogy pack, claiming that the bundle's packaging was not approved by Bethesda, and could confuse consumers into thinking the package included 2008's Bethesda-developed Fallout 3.

Interplay originally created the original Fallout, which still maintains a cult following, and the older games in the Fallout series did see a sales benefit from the high visibility of Bethesda's Fallout 3.

Bethesda's original complaint against Interplay also accused the company of breach of contract in regards to the Fallout MMO. While Bethesda purchased the rights of the Fallout franchise from Interplay in 2007 for $5.75 million, Bethesda in turn licensed the rights to make a Fallout MMO back to Interplay.

But Bethesda claimed that Interplay fell short of its contractual obligations by allegedly not beginning full-scale production of the MMO on time, or raising sufficient funds within an agreed upon time frame. Bethesda is now trying to win back the rights of the Fallout MMO.

A rep for Bethesda did not have a comment ready as of press time, and Bethesda lawyers did not immediately return a phone call, although we will update this story with any new information. Attempts to contact Interplay were unsuccessful.

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