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Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears?

An article on The Fallout wiki attempts to summarize the current state of the long-running legal dispute between interplay and Bethesda over the rights to the Fallout series of post-apocalyptic role-playing games. This includes a Q&A that mentions that this no longer includes any conflict over the "Fallout Trilogy." Here's that: "Both sides have previously agreed to drop this from the case (Bethesda raised it, and Interplay agreed). The case now just concerns future Fallout games." There's also this update stating that Bethesda has filed a motion to seal portions of the case, saying that this can often be an indication that an out-of-court settlement is in the works. Thanks Le Wastelander.

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36. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Jan 4, 2012, 00:41 Dev
 
orionquest wrote on Dec 31, 2011, 03:05:
BTW, Blue's news just got quoted in the Wall Street Journal.
[...]
http://preview.tinyurl.com/856zmys
Not really, here's what it says:

Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears?
(Posted on Blue's News at Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 12:06AM)
An article on The Fallout wiki attempts to summarize the current state of the long-running legal dispute between interplay and Bethesda over the rights to the Fallout series of post-apocalyptic role-p... (visit source article)

More like what google does when they link articles, not really quoted. And not really an article.
 
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35. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 31, 2011, 03:05 orionquest
 
So many bloggers, forum posters have been puzzling over the court case and why is the court still in session.

So much futile wasted time really.

All anyone had to do was call the court reporter on Dec 13th and ask, is the court in session today?

The court reporter's reply is no. The case is no longer being adjudicated.

#1 confirmed there are no more court dates.
#2 The Judge did not rule on a verdict.

So that leaves #3 for those who have even a little shred of deductive reasoning plus some reporter like fact checking to back it up.

It's a settlement. what type of settlement is it?

Well, the franchise is now worth over $800 million and will go over a Billion quickly in the future.

Bethesda does not want to lose their cash cow. So what's a company flush with cash to do other than wave around multiples time more cash than current valuation of the other little company that has fought through two injunctions and was offered a settlement?

BTW, Blue's news just got quoted in the Wall Street Journal.

Why?

A small company worth only 7 million is getting a settlement over an $ 800 million and counting Intellectual property.

There's money to be made for sure for those that are savvy enough to figure this rather simple idea.

Here's another hint since most posters only ponder how they can afford their gaming habits: a company with a 6 cent a share stock is getting a settlement of monies with possibly many times that value per share.

Ever heard of an inverted P/E ratio?

They only happen every once in a while and not for long either.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/856zmys
 
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34. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 30, 2011, 09:39 CJ_Parker
 
Krovven wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 15:48:
Im not going to keep arguing this as people have been arguing with me about it for 2+ years every time there is a story about this.

You could keep at it for another 200+ years and you'd still be wrong for the reasons pointed out by others since you are disputing facts and apparently unable (or unwilling) to process factual information that is presented to you.
Has it ever occurred to you that you might simply be, you know, wrong? Nope. Obviously hasn't. You're like the guy riding in the wrong lane yelling at the other drivers to get the fuck out of your way. Or maybe a more appropriate analogy in your case would be you're the guy in the loony bin thinking that everyone else is a retard...

 
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33. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 30, 2011, 03:50 InBlack
 
Freespace 2. Jesus what a great game, I replay it at least once every two years. Forgot that was published by Interplay. Damn, what a shame, Volition really deserved a better publisher....  
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32. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 22:39 Jerykk
 
I really don't know why they are geeking out over the Fallout IP, when it's just a name. I'm sure Bethesda could just buy the Wasteland IP for a song and make the same game. Hell, they could just call it "Jimbob's Reactor Land" and no one would care. (or notice)

Brands matter. Just look at CoD. I think it's safe to assume that 99% of its sales are a direct result of its name. Similarly, Bethesda has established Fallout as a mainstream name and doesn't want to lose that. Hell, for most customers, Fallout 3 was the first they had ever played or even heard of Fallout. Sure, Bethesda could just start a new franchise but they'd have to re-establish that familiarity with customers.
 
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31. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 22:23 creatorswhim
 
I really don't know why they are geeking out over the Fallout IP, when it's just a name. I'm sure Bethesda could just buy the Wasteland IP for a song and make the same game. Hell, they could just call it "Jimbob's Reactor Land" and no one would care. (or notice)

Then they could brag about what a favor they're doing their customers like they always do.

edit: or just call it "Rage Online" *snort*
 
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30. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 20:20 Dev
 
Jerykk wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 20:03:
They are essentially a developer thats become a publisher without most of the associated costs. They have no physical packaging costs, no localization/translation costs for games they sell (the devs have to do that), little to no game support costs (again the devs have to do that).

You're mistaking publishers for distributors. Steam is a means of distribution, not publishing. Developers still need publishers to handle localization, customer service and funding in general. The only thing Valve provides is another way for publishers and developers to sell their games. They don't finance the development of said games.
Well, but some indies don't do any of that, they just sell through steam (and sometimes their own website), but don't go through a publisher. Some don't get any funding before they put it on steam, but if they are a success on steam (such as terraria) they have it pretty good. To elaborate on what you sorta mentioned, steam is a great way to sell PC games to a demographic thats interested in... PC games.
wtf_man wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 20:09:
Sorry, I don't think Valve is all that great. 2 games of Portal and 2 games of Left4Dead, and still no HL-EP-3 nor HL-3.
Yeah but you know my theory on that regarding their management. IMHO Valve should probably think about outsourcing some games like they've done in the past so some stuff would get done I really enjoyed Half Life: Opposing force for instance, and that was outsourced.

 
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29. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 20:09 wtf_man
 
Sorry, I don't think Valve is all that great. 2 games of Portal and 2 games of Left4Dead, and still no HL-EP-3 nor HL-3.

Fuck Valve.

Which brings us back to the original statement... "Most of our beloved developers id, Bioware, Blizzard, et al. are all long gone too."

/shrug
 
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28. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 20:03 Jerykk
 
They are essentially a developer thats become a publisher without most of the associated costs. They have no physical packaging costs, no localization/translation costs for games they sell (the devs have to do that), little to no game support costs (again the devs have to do that).

You're mistaking publishers for distributors. Steam is a means of distribution, not publishing. Developers still need publishers to handle localization, customer service and funding in general. The only thing Valve provides is another way for publishers and developers to sell their games. They don't finance the development of said games.

In any case, Interplay should probably just die. None of the people that made it great in the 90's are still there. Unless they actually start publishing good games again, there's no reason for Interplay to exist.

Had I the dough I'd buy BIS and get some old-school crpgs made again!

Black Isle is dead and its members scattered all over the industry. Some aren't even in the industry anymore. Your best bet would be to invest in Obsidian, as they're the closest thing to Black Isle.
 
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27. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 19:11 Cutter
 
Agreed, Dev. If Valve ever sells out than gaming is over. Well, maybe that's a bit drastic, or maybe we're all just getting old, heh. The indies will always have a place, but it's that mid-cap market that seems to be almost gone. Had I the dough I'd buy BIS and get some old-school crpgs made again!

Woops, gotta go, damn kids are on my lawn!
 
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"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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26. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 17:32 Dev
 
Cutter wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 17:03:
Most of our beloved developers id, Bioware, Blizzard, et al. are all long gone too. Sure they remain in name, but it's solely all about big biz now.
Yep, you got it! Bioware has been going downhill since EA bought them. Same with westwood. Blizzard has been going money crazy since activision bought them.

The only big developer I know of that remains decent is valve. They are essentially a developer thats become a publisher without most of the associated costs. They have no physical packaging costs, no localization/translation costs for games they sell (the devs have to do that), little to no game support costs (again the devs have to do that). They can do whatever they want and have a more than steady income for the foreseeable future. Valve is privately owned, so no stockholders they are beholden to (which is a mixed blessing since they have some issues with lack of management).

I'm glad we have valve and steam, without them I shudder to think of what the indie market would be like.
 
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25. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 17:03 Cutter
 
As many of us have said from the outset, this was always just about the Caen's trying to shakedown Bethsoft for what they could for the IP. Looks like they've finally decided to swat those douchebags with a decent enough settlement to make them go away. There's nothing to be gained by fraggin this out as they're losing money on the IP - hell they'd have had a FO MMO by now - and running up legal bills they'll never collect on regardless if they win because the Caen's will just bankrupt the company and dissapear anyway.

Interplay was magic under Fargo for a time. Those days are long past. Most of our beloved developers id, Bioware, Blizzard, et al. are all long gone too. Sure they remain in name, but it's solely all about big biz now.
 
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"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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24. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 16:28 wtf_man
 
Krovven wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 15:48:
I know Im in the minority when it comes to disliking Bethesda and their games, so nothing new there.

It has nothing to do with liking Bethesda and their games.

It has to do with common sense.

You have the facts laid out before you, and yet you still claim Interplay is in the right, and Bethesda was bullying Interplay with litigation, while the timeline CLEARLY shows the opposite.

The only thing that Interplay "won" was not to get an injunction against them, while the original suit is pending. The rest of the "crap" (that the lawyers dreamed up) was mutually agreed upon to be DROPPED.

So, no, the courts have not "Kept ruling" in favor of Interplay... at least as far as the ORIGINAL breach of contract is concerned.

Again, it has nothing to do with liking or disliking one company or another.
 
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23. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 16:14 Parallax Abstraction
 
Krovven wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 15:48:
Dev wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 15:37:
No, he was the one that drove the company into the ground in the first place. He's sticking around to milk every last dollar from its corpse.

Interplay went public, with shares sold on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange, in 1998, changing its name to "Interplay Entertainment Corp." The company then reported several years of losses, as titles such as Descent 3 and FreeSpace 2 had lackluster sales[citation needed], despite being critically acclaimed.

In 2001, French publisher Titus Interactive completed its acquisition of majority control of Interplay. Immediately afterwards, they shed most of its publisher functions and signed a long-term agreement by which Vivendi Universal would publish Interplay's games. Founder Brian Fargo eventually departed as Titus had changed Interplay's main focus from PC Gaming to Console Gaming.[7] However, Titus went through financial and legal difficulties, culminating in a close of business in 2005 after unsuccessfully trying to sell Interplay. Titus left many of its employees, both local and the international wholly owned developers, without redundancy or owed back-pay, and left creditors with large debts.

Note: As I already said, Interplay was done when it was "taken over" in 2002. They didn't have money to continue operations when Titus took over.

Im not going to keep arguing this as people have been arguing with me about it for 2+ years every time there is a story about this. Courts keep ruling in favor of Interplay, not Bethesda. I know Im in the minority when it comes to disliking Bethesda and their games, so nothing new there.



You keep assuming that this has something to do with liking a company's games or not and it doesn't. This is about the facts, I could care less about how the games are and you simply are ignoring the facts. Interplay wasn't bankrupt when they were bought, nothing you quoted says that. They were losing money yes but Titus came in and bought them through a hostile takeover, something they themselves couldn't really afford at the time, they just wanted another corporate entity to string along because Titus was rapidly crashing around them. And you continue to dance around the fact that the Caen's have been milking more money out of Interplay than they are spending on either new game development or on paying off the company's debts. They left employees and shareholders with nothing while keeping what little money is left for themselves but you keep insisting they are to be admired for trying to "save the company". Sorry, you are simply wrong on that. I'm not a fan of the way Bethesda treats their customers but the Caens are bad people who did to this company what Lay and Skilling did to Enron or what numerous Wall Street banks have done, just on a smaller scale. It boggles my mind that you would defend them.
 
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22. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 15:48 Krovven
 
Dev wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 15:37:
No, he was the one that drove the company into the ground in the first place. He's sticking around to milk every last dollar from its corpse.

Interplay went public, with shares sold on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange, in 1998, changing its name to "Interplay Entertainment Corp." The company then reported several years of losses, as titles such as Descent 3 and FreeSpace 2 had lackluster sales[citation needed], despite being critically acclaimed.

In 2001, French publisher Titus Interactive completed its acquisition of majority control of Interplay. Immediately afterwards, they shed most of its publisher functions and signed a long-term agreement by which Vivendi Universal would publish Interplay's games. Founder Brian Fargo eventually departed as Titus had changed Interplay's main focus from PC Gaming to Console Gaming.[7] However, Titus went through financial and legal difficulties, culminating in a close of business in 2005 after unsuccessfully trying to sell Interplay. Titus left many of its employees, both local and the international wholly owned developers, without redundancy or owed back-pay, and left creditors with large debts.

Note: As I already said, Interplay was done when it was "taken over" in 2002. They didn't have money to continue operations when Titus took over.

Im not going to keep arguing this as people have been arguing with me about it for 2+ years every time there is a story about this. Courts keep ruling in favor of Interplay, not Bethesda. I know Im in the minority when it comes to disliking Bethesda and their games, so nothing new there.


 
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21. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 15:38 theyarecomingforyou
 
So they waste a huge amount of court time over crap like this... and then settle out of court? Both companies are equally to blame here.  
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20. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 15:37 Dev
 
Krovven wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 14:25:
I stand corrected on Caen bros. being around during Interplays heyday. But to correct you, they had nothing to do with the downfall of Interplay. That had already happened which was why the company was sold to begin with, under Fargo's reign. Titus just put the nail in the coffin. Caen's have been trying to save the company and rebuild, which as I said before I have a ton of respect for.
No, he was the one that drove the company into the ground in the first place. He's sticking around to milk every last dollar from its corpse.

The company wasn't "sold" under Fargo. A french company Titus that was founded by Herve and Eric Caen, bought out interplay by purchasing a majority of their stock. Essentially a hostile takeover. That was in 2000. In 2002 they then forced out Fargo, and replaced him with Herve.

BTW, speaking of Fargo, he lent $3 million of his own money to interplay to try and get them through some trouble spots. You don't see that kinda thing being done by Caen bros.

By 2004 Interplay was evicted for nonpayment by the landlord and got in trouble with California gov for not paying employees and taxes.
Then the french holding company went bankrupt in 2005 under the Caen brothers leadership. Herve hired his brother back at interplay a couple years ago. Spending more money annually on their salaries than Fallout MMO Development.

Black Isle (arguably the best part of interplay making their best games) developed most of the best of their games 2002 and earlier. Caen shut them down in 2003 right before christmas.

The last decent fallout game (tactics) came out early 2001. Immediately after taking over, Harve Caen then pushed interplay away from PC games into doing crappy console games such as fallout brotherhood of steel.

IMHO, not only did he drive them into the ground, he consolified them, and took all the money from their corpse that he could.

Seriously, look at the financials. Interplay (aka the Caen brothers) spent a grand total of ONE million dollars on fallout MMO development in 4 years, while taking millions in direct salary (not counting bonuses and options).

This comment was edited on Dec 29, 2011, 15:43.
 
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19. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 15:06 Parallax Abstraction
 
Krovven wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 14:25:
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 12:57:
[Umm...you're wrong there. Brian Fargo was the guy who started Interplay and built it up to what it was. The Caen brothers took control much later (this was also easy to find by searching, though Interplay was already struggling a bit before then) and basically ran the company into the ground, along with Titus.

I stand corrected on Caen bros. being around during Interplays heyday. But to correct you, they had nothing to do with the downfall of Interplay. That had already happened which was why the company was sold to begin with, under Fargo's reign. Titus just put the nail in the coffin. Caen's have been trying to save the company and rebuild, which as I said before I have a ton of respect for.



No, they really didn't. Interplay was struggling, it was not on the brink of failure when it was sold to the Caen brothers. Under the Caen's leadership, losses widened, the stock price tanked and employees and shareholders were left unpaid while (as stated above), they continued to draw more salaries between them than were being spent on actually trying to make games. How is that saving anything? Do you really believe that drawing a half a million dollars salary with a stock price under one cent makes sense?
 
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18. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 14:53 killer_roach
 
Krovven wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 14:25:
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Dec 29, 2011, 12:57:
[Umm...you're wrong there. Brian Fargo was the guy who started Interplay and built it up to what it was. The Caen brothers took control much later (this was also easy to find by searching, though Interplay was already struggling a bit before then) and basically ran the company into the ground, along with Titus.

I stand corrected on Caen bros. being around during Interplays heyday. But to correct you, they had nothing to do with the downfall of Interplay. That had already happened which was why the company was sold to begin with, under Fargo's reign. Titus just put the nail in the coffin. Caen's have been trying to save the company and rebuild, which as I said before I have a ton of respect for.

But to save what? They don't have much of anything left. They're a nostalgia name and nothing more. They're better off getting eaten by a private equity firm than trying to burn more investor cash for no tangible benefit.
 
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17. Re: Bethesda & Interplay Fallout Settlement Nears? Dec 29, 2011, 14:32 venomhed
 
Settlements should be illegal and also lawyers compensation. If a lawyer loses, they cannot collect any $ from their client and they cannot deny to take a case based on how bad it looks for a potential client.

As it is now it is solely a profit motive for lawyers and they have made it that way. America has been decimated by the lawyers and the legal system and no one has the power to stop it.

Kill a lawyer, have a great day!
 
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