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Legal Fallout Escalates

The rhetoric is escalating in the legal dispute between Bethesda Softworks and Interplay, as the two companies have expressed completely opposite opinions about the status of the Fallout intellectual property, which was sold by Interplay to Bethesda in 2007 with a provision to allow Interplay to create a Fallout MMORPG if certain conditions were met.

On the one hand, Interplay president Eric Caen tells Eurogamer that if Bethesda blocks their MMORPG, the IP will revert to them after one more Fallout game. "We sold the Fallout IP to Bethesda in exchange for a certain amount of cash and the right to do the Fallout MMO," he said. "If they refuse to let us do the game, then the sale of the IP is terminated, and they will be allowed to do only one more Fallout, 5." He explains: "The original licensing deal was for three games and their DLC," Caen states. "So they already did Fallout 3, then Fallout: New Vegas, and they can only do one more Fallout, 5, if the sale of the IP is cancelled by the court."

On the other hand, Bethesda's Pete Hines tells VG247 that Bethesda already owns the rights to the Fallout MMORPG, seeming to refute the idea that this was ever Interplay's. "We own the rights to the MMO," he says. "We own the rights to everything Fallout. The license is ours. Fallout belongs to us. Thatís what Iíll clarify. Beyond that, Iím not commenting on anybody elseís comments. Itís a legal matter. A specific MMO or project or any of that stuff, the lawyers are all going to sort it out."

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9. Re: Legal Fallout Escalates Jan 21, 2011, 12:10 bhcompy
Quboid wrote on Jan 21, 2011, 11:55:
avianflu wrote on Jan 21, 2011, 11:46:
I get the same sense that Mag does. Interplay says that violating the sale agreement means the Bethesda's rights to the brand are terminated. Lawyers are the only ones happy when stuff like this happens.

That was the impression I got, but then what's all that about 3 Fallout games? If Bethesda have violated the agreement, surely they can't make any more? Or was there another, earlier agreement that would still be valid, for 3 games + horse armour?

It sounds like that before they sold the IP to Bethesda, they licensed them the IP for 3 games + DLC. So if the sale is void, they fall back to the licensing agreement, which was never voided, which allows them 3 games + DLC.
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