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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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38. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 23, 2010, 02:48 Kxmode
 
Nameless Again wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 21:28:
Never played an MMO, and don't want to. I never understood paying a subscription fee for something that you could own outright.

And yes, I've heard the tired old argument that your $15/mo goes back into the game while you get new content, but their is NO MMO gamer that can say that they get the content of a brand new game every 4 mos. for their subscription. To get that, you have to buy another expansion for an additional what? $40?

One game did that. Asheron's Call. Amazing content delivered every month. I only left AC because the grind was awful; but when it was fun, boy, was it fun! I still remember doing the quest for the Peerless Atlan Sword, then doing the quests to get all four Major Atlan Stones. Or the Hollow Weapons. Or the Lady Aerfalle quest. Or the Hoary Mattekar Robe before they retired it. I realize my fond memories of AC are quests and loot, but the game itself was amazing!
 
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37. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 23, 2010, 02:16 Dr. D. Schreber
 
PHJF wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 23:11:
Fallout is about capturing the essence of wandering through a post-nuclear wasteland. Hard to do when there are people everywhere.

To be fair, having a hundred thousand subscribers would give you an optimistic post-nuclear population. Just make the map large enough for population density to be low and voila.
 
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NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES THEY'RE IN MY EYES AARRGRHGHGGAFHGHFGHFG!
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36. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 23:13 xXBatmanXx
 
kxmode wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 17:46:
Golwar wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 17:30:
Such a lie! Pip-Boy alone was worth 40m bottlecaps.

FTFY

omg, that would be hilarious! Deliver 50 million bottle caps to them as a big FU.
 
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In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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35. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 23:11 PHJF
 
Fallout is about capturing the essence of wandering through a post-nuclear wasteland. Hard to do when there are people everywhere.  
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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34. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 23:08 xXBatmanXx
 
I don't see the Fallout world being an open ended MMO. It plays great in short story format, and I would rather have continued game support of multiple story arcs in different locations as individual games than a 15.00 a month fee for grinding and having to deal with the MMO world and attitude.  
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In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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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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32. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 21:28 Nameless Again
 
Never played an MMO, and don't want to. I never understood paying a subscription fee for something that you could own outright.

And yes, I've heard the tired old argument that your $15/mo goes back into the game while you get new content, but their is NO MMO gamer that can say that they get the content of a brand new game every 4 mos. for their subscription. To get that, you have to buy another expansion for an additional what? $40?

Plus the inevitable boring grinding, etc. just to get the cool shit. It has the same stale flavor of solving Super Mario 64 with all stars, for instance, just to get 100 lives? To do what with? You already beat (and got bored with) the game. Oh well, on to the next big game that just came out.

That's the beauty of addiction. It's called World of WarCrack for a reason.

 
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31. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 21:03 entr0py
 
Talisorn wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 15:26:
Interplay snapped up the rights to a Fallout MMO just so they could squeeze money out of Bethesda. Well color me surprised.

Of course Interplay owned the rights for their IP from the beginning. So you're saying they snapped up the right from THEMSELVES?! That really is devious.
 
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30. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 20:05 Warskull
 
I have to agree with the sentiment that for the most part MMOs suck. The leveling is incredibly boring and the mechanics/design tend to be weak. They usually use addictive leveling and drop mechanics to keep people around. Furthermore when you step away from WoW, things get really ugly.

The big problem is people keep trying to use 10 year old MMOs as templates. Most of the design and ideas that went into those original MMOs have been surpassed.
 
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29. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 20:01 bhcompy
 
Brumbek wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 18:23:
The Advocate wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 15:21:
ALL MMOs suck. ALL of them. They're all grind, extermination and Fedex quests. Booooooooooring. Not one of them is deep, not one of them holds even the dimmest candle to a solid single player RPG.
I completely agree with you. I've tried many times to enjoy MMOs but I quit after about 5 hours because they are so incredibly boring and feel dead to me. They strike me as big and heartless worlds.

Basically, they can never be as carefully crafted and immersive as a well-made single player RPG, as you say.

Moreover, I've never had any MMO players honestly say they enjoy the game for the game itself. They always talk about the social aspects and even though it's a grind for the first 100 hours, it gets better at max level, blah blah blah. Sort of reminds me of smokers or heroin addicts where they know it's a bad thing but just can't/won't stop.

I'd challenge any MMO addict, to tell me what story/quest/characters can match a solid SP RPG.

Depends on how you get in to it. EQ and DAoC were both very immersive because the worlds were incredibly detailed and incredibly dangerous. Wandering around Cornwall searching for Stonehenge for the first time was very engaging and brought out the character of the world. Much of DAoC was like that as it was based on history, myth, and legend and you get to explore it. EQ was much the same, even at the highend. Going in to Castle Mistmoore for the first time was an experience in itself.

And as a former EQ Guide, the fact that GMs in early EQ days played live NPCs for daily events and major storyline updates added to the dynamic world.

The story/quest/characters of single player RPGs are different, but they're a different genre. Not to mention that most RPGs are mostly linear regardless of the fact that they are set in a sandbox of sorts.
 
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28. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 19:30 Brumbek
 
kxmode wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 18:50:
Speaking strictly from a WOW perspective:
Point taken, I appreciate your perspective and admit your experience sounds very enjoyable! And WoW is definitely the strongest of all MMOs in this regard. Blizzard are very talented at crafting characters and lore, and I commend them for that...

But! I'd guess the main reason you enjoyed taking down the Lich King was precisely because of how you helped him in the Warcraft 3 single player campaign. If that had taken place in the WoW framework, it would have been a much less emotionally compelling story arc, IMO (speculation naturally).

Moreover, I notice your other two references are to Warcraft books. Books are the ultimate in story/characters/lore immersion. So when you witnessed the WoW versions of said elements, you had a tremendous extra-game knowledge. I would argue that knowledge is what made the events meaningful. If you hadn't read the books, the strictly WoW experience would have been fun but not very deep and not nearly as well presented as say, a Witcher or Dragon Age version of the same events.

And to me it is very telling when I have to read books or read the official WoW webpage or wiki to learn the lore and story of a game...it occurs to me that good storytelling in games is built within the game...right? When did we start accepting that we only get the full story from extra-game sources? (When MMOs started, that's when...)

But don't get me wrong, I do envy you sort of. I love the Warcraft lore and I really wanted to play WoW for the main story experience. But all three times I've attempted it I've gotten frustrated about 4-5 hours in after completing my 30th fetch quest where I have to walk across the entire map at a snail's pace only to accidentally "aggro" one to many enemies and get killed even though on-screen I'm running away and am many yards away from the enemy.

At this point I rage quit and curse Blizzard for making an MMO. (And wish there was an invincibility cheat Blizzard would implement for players like me, seriously, I'd pay to play if I could just ignore all enemies and experience the story!) (Man, that's a really good idea, methinks...let me be alone and invincible or remove all enemies, give people like me our own servers even.)

How anyone has the patience/discipline/work ethic to get a level 80 character is truly beyond me...

But I digress...your post seems to confirm what I initially said. The actual game of WoW is quite weak on story and characters and must rely on prior games and books and such, IMO. (But again, Blizzard does the best job they can with the MMO format...I view this whole issue as a fundamental flaw (or more nicely put, design decision) of MMOs.)

This comment was edited on Oct 22, 2010, 19:40.
 
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27. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 18:50 Kxmode
 
Brumbek wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 18:23:
I completely agree with you. I've tried many times to enjoy MMOs but I quit after about 5 hours because they are so incredibly boring and feel dead to me. They strike me as big and heartless worlds.

Basically, they can never be as carefully crafted and immersive as a well-made single player RPG, as you say.

Moreover, I've never had any MMO players honestly say they enjoy the game for the game itself. They always talk about the social aspects and even though it's a grind for the first 100 hours, it gets better at max level, blah blah blah. Sort of reminds me of smokers or heroin addicts where they know it's a bad thing but just can't/won't stop.

I'd challenge any MMO addict, to tell me what story/quest/characters can match a solid SP RPG.

Speaking strictly from a WOW perspective:

I killed Arthas eight years after helping him become the Lich King. His death felt really epic and well played. It gave me closure to this story line.

I read The Last Guardian then raided Karazhan and really enjoyed the comparisons between what I saw and read.

I read War of the Ancients and enjoyed how all these heroes and villains from the past are making their entrance into WOW via the expansions.

You can play WOW, or any MMO for that matter, on the surface, or you can choose to dive into the story arcs the expansions are trying to tell. I was always into the story of Warcraft, and the transition from the single-player RTS to MMO worked for me. In fact it wasn't until WOW when I really got interested in the lore. I do realize most of WOW is copied from other IPs but there's a enough history that WOW now stands on its own lore. All someone has to do is visit http://www.wowwiki.com to see what I mean.
 
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26. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 18:23 Brumbek
 
The Advocate wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 15:21:
ALL MMOs suck. ALL of them. They're all grind, extermination and Fedex quests. Booooooooooring. Not one of them is deep, not one of them holds even the dimmest candle to a solid single player RPG.
I completely agree with you. I've tried many times to enjoy MMOs but I quit after about 5 hours because they are so incredibly boring and feel dead to me. They strike me as big and heartless worlds.

Basically, they can never be as carefully crafted and immersive as a well-made single player RPG, as you say.

Moreover, I've never had any MMO players honestly say they enjoy the game for the game itself. They always talk about the social aspects and even though it's a grind for the first 100 hours, it gets better at max level, blah blah blah. Sort of reminds me of smokers or heroin addicts where they know it's a bad thing but just can't/won't stop.

I'd challenge any MMO addict, to tell me what story/quest/characters can match a solid SP RPG.
 
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25. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 17:46 Kxmode
 
Golwar wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 17:30:
Such a lie! Pip-Boy alone was worth 40m bottlecaps.

FTFY
 
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24. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 17:30 Golwar
 
Hyatus wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 13:46:
Fallout was a dead franchise that was resurrected by Bethesda. I do love the original two Fallout games, but the only thing that has made the IP worth anywhere near $50 million at this point is Fallout 3.

Such a lie! Pip-Boy alone was worth $40m.
 
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23. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 16:00 Creston
 
I think Bethesda, off the back of Fallout 3’s success, realised that Hervé was probably right about the value

Ehm, Fallout's value was boosted IMMENSELY by the sales of Fallout 3, so for Interplay to sit there and bleat how massively value the IP (that they weren't doing SHIT with) is, is just beyond laughable.

Anyways, Interplay is just a PO box nowadays, so whatever. I'll believe this dipshit when he actually releases a game.

Creston
 
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22. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 15:51 Kxmode
 
The Advocate wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 15:48:
kxmode wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 15:42:
Kind of like life eh?

Only if you're French.

Oui.
 
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21. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 15:48 Burrito of Peace
 
kxmode wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 15:42:
Kind of like life eh?

Only if you're French.
 
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20. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 15:42 Kxmode
 
The Advocate wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 15:27:
If you really look at it, MMOs are not games. They're endless systems of addiction. There is nothing to "win", ergo they can not be games.

Kind of like life eh?
 
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19. Re: Bethesda Passed on Fallout MMOG Rights Oct 22, 2010, 15:31 bhcompy
 
The Advocate wrote on Oct 22, 2010, 15:27:
Not angry, tired.

I left an MMO publisher because I realized that all they were doing was helping destroy the very hobby I love.

If you really look at it, MMOs are not games. They're endless systems of addiction. There is nothing to "win", ergo they can not be games.

Based on that logic, no multiplayer games have definitive "win" conditions because you can continue playing forever. You gain victories in battle, but there is no end to the war, be it TF2, EQ, whatever
 
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