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More Legal Fallout

The Fallout Wiki has excerpts from another round of court documents related to the ongoing legal action between Bethesda and Interplay over the rights to the Fallout franchise, as Interplay continues to pursue development of Fallout Online. Here's bit of their summary: "Among other things, Interplay asserts that 'Bethesda has breached its agreements with Interplay by refusing to allow Interplay the right to use the Fallout related intellectual property assets'. However, Bethesda lawyers now claim that when Interplay licensed the rights to develop and publish Fallout Online from Bethesda back in 2007, it actually never had the rights to use any elements of the Fallout universe and Fallout games aside from the title Fallout itself." Thanks Acleacius via rpg codex.

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35. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 25, 2010, 11:26 bobby
 
So much disinformation is here i have to post.

Brian Fargo ran interplay into the ground. He went to Titus to keep Interplay going and when the funding ran out he was kicked out and Herve took over and then the company that was terminally ill almost died. Herve took the company from -56 million in the hole to just having -2.5 million now (he sold hunter to atari, matrix game license, fallout etc etc)

now fast forward Bethesda wants fallout and Herve sold him the rights to fallout 3,4, and 5. Then a pissed off former employee (i summon the CORITH) called corith sued interplay and forced them to sell fallout to Bethesda. Interplay wanted to sell the rights to the MMO for 50 million http://www.escapistmagazine.com/
news/view/104632-Interplay-Wanted-50-Million-for-Fallout-MMO-Rights which at the time seemed like a lot obvously but in retrospect is a fair deal. (url was too long.. just copy and put it back together)

now Bethesda assumed Interplay would fail but put in a few stipulations. 1. Interplay had to 'secure' 30 million by April 6, 2009. It did not say spend or put in a bank but secure. What that means was never defined in the contract. Interplay has a 90 person team in europe working on fallout http://www.thatgamingsite.com/
id958-Fallout-Online-Development-Team-90-People-Strong.html .

The court will have to look at the intent of the contract on this. Part of the problem that bethesda will run into is they actively tried to deny Interplay the right to advertise for fallout online (aka FOOL) this made collecting money more difficult. also court documents state that bethesda internal email says they wanted interplay to fail. so you can see the intent here. they wanted interplay to fail and damn.. they didnt. so they sued them thinking no biggy. we will just sue them into 'oblivion' (ha). BUT interplay had funding and cash to the battle rages.

2nd Interplay could not use any material based on fallout 3 onwards, yet they have full right to use anything from Fallout 1,2, tactics and the abomination that is Brother hood of steel.
IF interplay had only in effect licensed the name Fallout but no content this would not have been put in the contract since it would have been obvious. This shows intent once again.

3rd Bethesda required 12% of profits from the game. I'm only including this since it shows that bethesda is greedy. Hell, let them make the damn game. If it fails so what your getting your cut.

4. Interplay kept the right to sell all fallouts made before fallout three. Bethesda got pissed b/c interplay was making money doing this and sued them saying consumers were confused when no one was confused. When a box says Fallout Trilogy and the back of the box shows and spells out that i get fallout 1, 2, and tactis its clear as day. They also didnt like the online distribution of fallout games. This is a mute point really. It does not matter where interplay sells the games or how they sell them. The have the full rights to sell the games on any PC.

5. The new copyright thing is too funny really. Its just bethesda trying to suck money out of interplay by forcing interplay lawyers to waste time.

IF by chance interplay is successful in their counter suit the 2nd contract could be null and void (1st contract was a license to fallout 3,4,5, the 2nd contract sold fallout to bethesda), thus fallout would revert 100% back to Interplay.

enjoy.

This comment was edited on Dec 25, 2010, 11:33.
 
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34. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 25, 2010, 11:04 bobby
 
You are incorrect. Interplay as part of the agreement had to 'secure' 30 million and start full scale development before April 6, 2009. Both things are subject to opinion and interpretation thus the court will have to look at the intent of the parties.

Now things get sticky. Bethesda, according to court documents, denied Interplay the right to advertise for the game thus hurting funding, Bethesda also according to the court documents, in internal email wanted Interplay to fail so the rights could revert back to bethesda.
 
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33. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 24, 2010, 05:00 Ray Ban
 
I'm afraid Bethesda working on a Fallout MMO would end the single-player games. We just have to look at Bioware and their "TOR is KOTOR 3, 4, 5, 6" bullshit.

But I agree that Obsidian should make all future Fallout games
 
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32. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 24, 2010, 02:42 Jerykk
 
HOWEVER - This may be good for us PC gamers. Why? It forces Bethesda to keep making single player Fallout games and not going stir crazy over an MMO Fallout with all their brain power and employees focusing on that project. I for one would not want an MMO Fallout because I believe that all MMO's, being profit driven, fail in their design.

I'd actually love it if Bethesda focused on making MMO Fallouts while Obsidian focused on making single-player Fallouts. Obsidian is much better at making RPGs than Bethesda.
 
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31. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 24, 2010, 00:58 venomhed
 
Interplay are just being greedy cunts and have zero abilities in making ANY game at this point.

HOWEVER - This may be good for us PC gamers. Why? It forces Bethesda to keep making single player Fallout games and not going stir crazy over an MMO Fallout with all their brain power and employees focusing on that project. I for one would not want an MMO Fallout because I believe that all MMO's, being profit driven, fail in their design. Their must be an ending, and I have no desire to play any game ever made for more than 6 months (Exception are online shooters like BF1942, BF2, Counter Strike).

So for me, right on, keep making single players games and give a stiff middle finger to MMO's. MMO's are fucking stupid at this point, WOW won, give up.
 
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30. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 22:19 Dev
 
Golwar wrote on Dec 23, 2010, 19:31:
Well if that ain't funny. Bethesda didn't want to pay for MMO rights as they rated them rather worthless, but they request a $40m investment into a game that should receive nothing besides the title?

I don't need any further info, this alone qualifies Bethesda's management as jerks. Did they hire Kotick? Or do they just want to meet his level? I wonder how people would rate that behaviour, if the victim wasn't Interplay.

Thats not what happened. Interplay wanted a ridiculous price for adding the MMO rights into the Fallout IP mix, probably because they saw the succeess of WoW and had pie in the sky dreams about having the same 5 or 10 million subscriber like all these failed MMO companies have. So Beth asked the price of everything but the MMO rights and it was much more reasonable. Beth said, fine, we'll take everything but the MMO, however you have to make a serious effort to develop a fallout MMO by such and such a date (serious as defined by XX amount of millions invested by interplay in the effort), or else we get the rights to that too. Beth knew full well that there was no way interplay could have that many millions and that much of the game completed by that date since they were going down the tubes. However interplay's unrealistic management had those pie in the sky dreams and figured they could push some crap MMO out to gamers by that time (look at the previous fallout crap they pushed out to people, they were going to continue that pattern).

Beth never rated the MMO rights as worthless.

A brief perusal of the wiki article on interplay can show details of this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interplay_Entertainment
There's attached financial filings from INTERPLAY saying about how they have to have $30 million invested into the MMO development by certain dates or forfeit. Interplay is not about to lie about that kinda thing on its own financial filings to the SEC.
Interplay themselves estimated it would take $75 million to make the MMO. Beth bought the IP for under $6 million.
If I remember right, interplay was going to charge $50 million!! for the MMO rights. Then if it would have taken $75 million to develop, you are already talking a price tag of $125 million for the MMO. Keep in mind that APB failed with a $100 million MMO investment.

Rilcon wrote on Dec 23, 2010, 14:05:
Someone please explain to me why Interplay gets so much hate. I canīt really remember what happened between them releasing good games and them half-dying.
I quoted sources/links and history in the last thread like this, as did several others. Run down my post history if you are interested in sources. Basically Harve ran the company into the ground when he consolized it. Harve being the guy the french owners forced into being in charge after they bought the company. Thus you had crappy console only Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel game released under his charge. Basically he stopped all PC development in the company to focus on consoles, kinda like MS did when they purchased bungie's souls, except harve did it first.

Remember EA getting in trouble for not paying employees? Interplay did that before EA did.

Like someone else said, interplay pulled a lot of the stunts you see EA and friends doing, only they did it first and in some cases worse.

This comment was edited on Dec 23, 2010, 23:26.
 
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29. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 21:57 wtf_man
 
Warskull wrote on Dec 23, 2010, 14:08:
Interplay offered Bethesda the rights to the MMO, told them it would be worth a lot of money, Bethesda said no. Now they realized Interplay was right (Fallout sells like crazy even if it is a buggy disaster) and now Bethesda wants the MMO rights for free.

Woah... that is way off!!! Interplay sold the IP / franchise to Bethesda... but Interplay WANTED to retain MMO rights. (Not the other way around) EDIT: It may have also been the way that "Citizen P", just described a few posts down... but my recollection is Interplay wanted to keep the MMO rights (Whether it was just to sell them later for more money or not... I don't know)

Bethesda said sure.... under "these conditions" (to ensure minimal harm to the franchise), or the rights revert back to Bethesda.

Interplay DID NOT meet the conditions, and so Bethesda tried to get the rights back via what was in the original contract. Where Bethesda is shaky... is on whether Interplay had still had the right to sell their old games, and whether they could still use assets based on the old games. Remember... Bethesda BOUGHT the IP... (all of it, or so they thought, with the exception of the "conditioned based" MMO project)... Apparently a judge sided with Interplay regarding the old games. Interplay is STILL in breach of contract for not raising the "agreed upon" funds for the project. So, yes, Bethesda is STILL fighting for the rights to revert.

This comment was edited on Dec 23, 2010, 22:05.
 
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28. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 20:47 Ashley
 
Money will win.
Fallout NYC with a string of DLCs is a much safer bet for the future than Fallout MMO.
Given a choice, I'd invest in FO NYC over FO MMO in a New York minute

 
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27. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 20:23 Citizen P
 
After years of lurking, I feel obligated to create an account:

I'm going to refer to Interplay as Herve, because Herve and his lawyer, were the only two employees of Interplay at the time of the selling the IP.

They whored out the IP of Fallout to create Fallout: Tactics, an at best, mediocre title. And the last title they made using the IP was Brotherhood of Steel, some horribly bad FPS knock-off. All in the name of playing to what was popular, to try and turn a buck. Deciding to cancel Fallout 3, being made by Black Isle.

The Fallout IP was shit, because it had been run into the ground and whored out. What Herve and his lawyer wanted, was to sell the MMO rights of Fallout - on the grounds it would be successful as the brand-new World of Warcraft: and that by proxy, since Fallout and Warcraft were both popular and almost the same age, was worth piles of money.

Having fired and not paid the remaining developers they had working for them and having already skipped paying for the offices for Interplay. Herve wasn't really in any position to argue about anything.

Beth, said, we aren't paying you shit for the MMO license at a gross exaggerated figure: but we will buy the entire IP and you will thank us. While Herve is require to find investments of 40 million to preserve the integrity of the MMO license if he chose to develop it to preserve what little integrity is left in this IP and not ruin Beth's new purchase.

Fallout 3 becomes insanely popular. Herve sells stuff he wasn't suppose to (ie. the old versions of Fallout that still existed, and then sold the rights for online distribution that got him into legal trouble). Now, this greedy little prick is using the efforts of Beth to try and line his pockets with all this bullshit, all on the coattails of Bethsoft and their efforts. And naturally, any two-bit lawyer can taste the blood in the water and are more than happy to leech onto Herve's cause for a nice fat cut of the money.

Wipe out Interplay.

I wanted Troika to get the license, not Beth.
 
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26. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 19:31 Golwar
 
Well if that ain't funny. Bethesda didn't want to pay for MMO rights as they rated them rather worthless, but they request a $40m investment into a game that should receive nothing besides the title?

I don't need any further info, this alone qualifies Bethesda's management as jerks. Did they hire Kotick? Or do they just want to meet his level? I wonder how people would rate that behaviour, if the victim wasn't Interplay.
 
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25. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 18:14 Cutter
 
Jerykk wrote on Dec 23, 2010, 16:55:
Interplay was the Activision of today. And actually beat EA in terms of pure stupid shit that you shouldn't do.

That's a bit harsh. Interplay was awesome when Brian Fargo was leading it. They released tons of classics and took risks on weird or niche games that nobody else would. When Fargo left, things went downhill quickly and Interplay became more like Activision. Before that happened, though, Interplay was the best publisher for PC gaming.

Spot on. Interplay used to be my fave company and Fargo was a good dude. Herve's the jackass. And who gives a shit either way it's not like these companies give a rats ass about you, they just want your money.
 
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24. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 16:55 Agent.X7
 
Creston wrote on Dec 23, 2010, 15:59:
Tumbler wrote on Dec 23, 2010, 13:33:
Ehm, yeah. That's because they, you know, OWN IT. That happened when they BOUGHT IT FROM YOU.

Interplay is like a fucking cockroach. It just won't die.

Creston

Why are people mad at Interplay here? Bethesda agreed to something, has already gone to court and they sided with Interplay, now Bethesday is just throwing a lawsuit at the problem hoping Interplay will give in rather than fighting them in court.

Welcome to America. Also, Bethesda has given us FO3 and FO:NV. Interplay has given us... ehhhh... a funny Penny Arcade comic about a hobo in a box with a rat.

So, I dunno, I guess I'll side with the studio that actually makes great fucking games with the license, as opposed to the studio that does fuck all except whine about how all its rights are being violated.

Also, knowing how fucking inept Interplay is, it wouldn't surprise me if they're just trying to copy-pasta entire cities straight out of FO3 and NV into their MMO. And I can easily see the argument that they have no rights whatsoever to those parts of the IP.

If they're trying to use stuff from FO and FO2, they should be allowed to use that in their MMO.

Anyways, Bethesda is just trying to kill interplay so all this negative shit around the Fallout property vanishes. I mean, what are the odds that the Fallout MMO is going to be even slightly decent? A thousand to one? Interplay hasn't developed a single line of decent code since like 1998. How are they going to build a game that's not going to just shit all over the Fallout name?

So yeah, I know everyone here hates Bethesda since that's apparently the thing to do, but they can't wipe Interplay off the map quick enough for my tastes.

Creston

Totally agree.
 
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23. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 16:55 Jerykk
 
Interplay was the Activision of today. And actually beat EA in terms of pure stupid shit that you shouldn't do.

That's a bit harsh. Interplay was awesome when Brian Fargo was leading it. They released tons of classics and took risks on weird or niche games that nobody else would. When Fargo left, things went downhill quickly and Interplay became more like Activision. Before that happened, though, Interplay was the best publisher for PC gaming.
 
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22. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 16:48 sauron
 
TurdFergasun wrote on Dec 23, 2010, 15:54:
why would anyone sell someone the rights to piggyback of their work in the future without heavy royalties or concerns of future quality as to what they do with your work? is anyone really that stupid?

^This. What on earth were Bethesda thinking when they made this deal? Either buy the rights outright, or leave it the hell alone.

Goodness knows Bethesda had more than enough cash to leverage this deal. Why did they spend years developing this IP in the absence of complete and absolute rights to all parts of it?

Their lawyers need shooting (even more than other lawyers ).
 
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21. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 15:59 Creston
 
Tumbler wrote on Dec 23, 2010, 13:33:
Ehm, yeah. That's because they, you know, OWN IT. That happened when they BOUGHT IT FROM YOU.

Interplay is like a fucking cockroach. It just won't die.

Creston

Why are people mad at Interplay here? Bethesda agreed to something, has already gone to court and they sided with Interplay, now Bethesday is just throwing a lawsuit at the problem hoping Interplay will give in rather than fighting them in court.

Welcome to America. Also, Bethesda has given us FO3 and FO:NV. Interplay has given us... ehhhh... a funny Penny Arcade comic about a hobo in a box with a rat.

So, I dunno, I guess I'll side with the studio that actually makes great fucking games with the license, as opposed to the studio that does fuck all except whine about how all its rights are being violated.

Also, knowing how fucking inept Interplay is, it wouldn't surprise me if they're just trying to copy-pasta entire cities straight out of FO3 and NV into their MMO. And I can easily see the argument that they have no rights whatsoever to those parts of the IP.

If they're trying to use stuff from FO and FO2, they should be allowed to use that in their MMO.

Anyways, Bethesda is just trying to kill interplay so all this negative shit around the Fallout property vanishes. I mean, what are the odds that the Fallout MMO is going to be even slightly decent? A thousand to one? Interplay hasn't developed a single line of decent code since like 1998. How are they going to build a game that's not going to just shit all over the Fallout name?

So yeah, I know everyone here hates Bethesda since that's apparently the thing to do, but they can't wipe Interplay off the map quick enough for my tastes.

Creston
 
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20. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 15:54 TurdFergasun
 
why would anyone sell someone the rights to piggyback of their work in the future without heavy royalties or concerns of future quality as to what they do with your work? is anyone really that stupid? who fucking knows, and you're a fool to think you know otherwise without having been at the bargening table.  
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19. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 15:17 Tumbler
 
It almost sounds like Interplay is pissed because they didn't get the art assets from Fallout 3 from Bethesda. Which didn't exist at the time of the contract.

Bethesda is saying that the only thing Interplay has is the right to make an MMO using the name Fallout Online. They are claiming that all stuff that has happened in the fallout universe up to this point is not included, they have to create all new content and can't use anything that'd we'd expect to see in a fallout online game. Vault's, post apocolyptic world, wasteland where people are surviving with radiation, brotherhood of steel, etc, that is all off limits according to bethesday, they only bought the name...

It's simply an insane statement. Unless Interplay's lawyers were incompetent and didn't understand what needed to be said in a contract that would enable them to create a fallout MMO, and even then the courts would probably side with Interplay anyway as that would be a bullshit contract written to rip someone off. Who would buy a name that everyone knows because of the universe behind it, then not want to use those ideas/concepts etc. I'm certain that they can't use events and such that happend in fallout 3 and on, but I cna't think of anything they've done in those that were all that new...Maybe the MMo wants to take advantage of the newer content that people would love to see, but that is not what this case is suggesting.
 
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18. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 15:05 Mashiki Amiketo
 
JoeNapalm wrote on Dec 23, 2010, 14:10:
What did Interplay ever do to you?

They gave us Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Freespace, Wasteland, Bard's Tale, Descent...
They pissed on every different franchise you mentioned(you messed up the titles), and more, pissed on developers, pissed on their customers, pissed on everyone. Interplay was the Activision of today. And actually beat EA in terms of pure stupid shit that you shouldn't do.
 
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17. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 14:46 Flatline
 
Overon wrote on Dec 23, 2010, 11:15:
I find that very doubtful that Interplay would not have any rights to the Fallout universe, just the name. Why would anyone agree to that?

When the transaction was made, what IP assets existed?

It almost sounds like Interplay is pissed because they didn't get the art assets from Fallout 3 from Bethesda. Which didn't exist at the time of the contract.
 
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16. Re: More Legal Fallout Dec 23, 2010, 14:39 Shineyguy
 
No, Black Isle gave us Fallout, Baldur's Gate. Parallax gave us Descent and Freespace... They may have given us the others.

When Interplay killed Black Isle, they were still at their prime. Many people had left to do other things already, but they were still churning out good games.

Interplay sold the franchise IP to Bethesda, and part of that deal is that Interplay still had the rights to a Fallout MMO provided they raised $40mil for development. They didn't raise that cash. Now they continue to develop it and also continue to bitch about how heavy handed Bethesda is about the IP. Bethesda is within their rights to be assholes, they spent a lot of money securing the IP, they want to ensure that the franchise keeps up a good image lest they lose money on the deal.
 
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