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Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights

Edge Magazine has a follow-up to the ongoing legal battle between Interplay and Bethesda Softworks over the rights to a Fallout MMORPG, which Interplay is still pursuing, having retained rights to make a Fallout MMOG under specific conditions when they sold the Fallout franchise to Bethesda. Edge hears from Interplay president Eric Caen, who tells them his brother Hervé offered the full rights to the intellectual property, but Bethesda balked at the price tag. "My brother said: 'If you want the full IP, the value of it is $50 million.' They said: 'No way. Why $50 million?' We said: 'Because the MMOG strength of this universe is huge.' Bethesda said: 'We don’t want that. Let’s buy everything else but the MMOG. Do the MMOG.' They said that Interplay had to start development and by a certain time we had to have a full game in development," Caen tells them. "They bought everything, but left Interplay with the licence to do the MMOG - under certain conditions, thinking that Interplay would never fulfil these conditions. But Interplay did. Spring 2009 - this is public information - Bethesda sends a termination letter to Interplay, saying: 'You did not fulfil your obligation.' So all the litigation is about that. I think Bethesda, off the back of Fallout 3’s success, realised that Hervé was probably right about the value. They said: 'OK, how can we get that without paying?'"

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33. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 21:31 Dev
The fallout IP wasn't worth anywhere near $50 million at the time interplay sold it. They had some decently popular PC games which sold in the hundreds of thousands, not millions. I doubt interplay made anywhere close to that on FO 1&2 combined (throw in the tactics, etc if you like, and that console thing they crapped out).
More like Herve was trying to bilk Bethesda even when Interplay was going down the tubes.

Plus factor in that Bethesda was taking a risk. Just because a company purchases an existing reasonably popular IP doesn't mean they can produce a game with that IP that is a success, let alone a big one.

Remember the just failed APB? Their TOTAL developement was $100 million, and they didn't have to buy the IP from someone. $50 million is an excessive price for just about any MMO IP.

And I'm still not convinced interplay started development on the MMO by the deadline. Here it is, what two+ years after they were supposed to start? And we've seen nothing, except a cult propoganda pamphlet about the church of harald.

If I was bethesda, I'd file a lawsuit too, especially after interplay was thumbing their nose at them by not holding to the rest of the IP contract (remember how they were advertising the "trilogy" stuff without running it past beth first as was set forth in the contract).
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