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Bethesda Buys Fallout MMOG Rights

The Bethesda Blog offers details on recent indications that a settlement is at hand in the legal battle between Bethesda Softworks and Interplay over rights to make an MMORPG based on the Fallout franchise. According to this, Bethesda will pay Interplay $2 million, and Interplay no longer owns any Fallout rights aside from two more years of selling their three previous Fallout games:

Under the terms of the settlement, the license granted to Interplay to develop the Fallout MMO is null and void, and all rights granted to Interplay to develop a Fallout MMO revert back to Bethesda, effective immediately. Interplay has no ongoing right to use the Fallout brand or any Fallout intellectual property for any game development. ZeniMax will pay Interplay $2 million as consideration in the settlement, each party will bear its own costs of the litigation, and Bethesda will continue to own all Fallout intellectual property rights. Interplay will be permitted to continue to sell the original Fallout ®Tactics, Fallout® and Fallout® 2 PC games through December 2013, after which time all rights to market those games revert to and become the sole property of Bethesda. Under the original agreement pursuant to which Bethesda had acquired the Fallout property, Interplay was granted certain merchandising rights to sell those original Fallout games, but those merchandising rights will now expire on December 31, 2013.

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43. Re: Bethesda Buys Fallout MMOG Rights Jan 10, 2012, 19:53 Parallax Abstraction
Ruffiana wrote on Jan 10, 2012, 11:49:
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Jan 10, 2012, 08:52:
They continue to include mod tools because every game since Oblivion has been using the same 2006 edition of Gamebryo (despite the damned lie Todd Howard repeatedly told of Skyrim being an "all new in-house engine") and it's trivial for them to release them.

FYI, tools create data...that's all. It's entirely possible to have a completely different "engine" that utilizes the same asset data and thus works with the same mod tools.

Not saying that they are using a new engine, just that the ability to use existing mod tools from previous games doesn't necessarily prove they aren't.

Fair enough, I'll concede that. But yeah, from what I've read in forums and my own experiences with Skyrim, this is definitely still Gamebryo. Gamebryo's original creators went bankrupt and likely because of the license terms Bethesda had with them, they were able to appropriate the version of the engine they were using and just rename it (which is probably why they never updated beyond the Oblivion version). So it's really an "engine given an all new name, in house." This engine barely cuts it on current consoles though and it definitely won't on the next ones so at that point, I would imagine they'll either have to write a new engine or license something more recent.
Parallax Abstraction
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