Bethesda Loses Again in Fallout Online Legal Battle

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I'll actually be interested in a Interplay produced Fallout MMO if I ever see any actual progress being made on it. Right now they are just sitting on the IP and letting it rot under false promises and fake screenshots. Interplay needs to start working or they deserve to lose the license, its DNF all over again.

TLDR; Bethesda is still crying themselves to sleep that they let the MMO rights for Fallout slip through their fingers, and is still trying their damnedest to stop it from happening so they can produce their own Fallout MMO.

Nothing to see here, folks. Just a big crybaby bully.

Therumancer:
That said, I'm becoming a little wary of Bethesda getting their hooks into the Fallout liscence so solidly right now, because I have some suspicians that they might want to lock it down just to sit on it and prevent anyone else from using it.

Bethesda own the license completely. It is 100% theirs. Part of the deal was that Bethesda licensed it to Interplay to create an MMO by a certain date, and that hasn't happened. Actually, there's been very little progress seen by the public from Interplay. What Bethesda are doing is trying to get Interplay off the game because they're not pulling their weight with it. Bethesda want their license back, and likely any and all assets created by Interplay/Masthead for the game, probably so they can give it to someone else or do it internally. As dickish as Bethesda seem in this, they're just doing what they have to. Interplay aren't holding up their side of the bargain.

I also think that there's an aspect of Bethesda's methods that is trying to crush Interplay. They're not the same publisher they were under Fargo, and they're run by the most notorious brothers in gaming (The Caen brothers). They're sat on various IPs, they're not really doing anything of note and really it's just a shambling corpse, a shadow of what it once was.

cerebus23:

What obsidian cannot make a game properly? New vegas was no more buggy than any other game developed on the gamebro engine that includes oblivion and fallout 3 both made by bethesda.

Gamebryo was utterly butchered by Bethesda. If you look at its implementation in Civilization IV, you'll see just how badly Bethesda broke it. It was at its most stable with New Vegas, but it still has massive stability problems across all three games. A change in driver can turn Fallout 3 from a beautiful looking game into a blue screening nightmare.

JPArbiter:

When Bethesda handed off Fallout to Obsidian I had a feeling of dread, thanks to my experiences with KOTOR 2 (buggy, delivered late and the story missing an entire second act, plus the make everyone a jedi mechanic sucked.)

Not fair. Obsidian were screwed over with KotOR2 as much as the consumers were. They had 18 months for the complete project, and they started just as KotOR ended. That means they had 18 months to plan, write, develop, bug test, learn to use the engine, record voices, correct and, well, everything else that goes into making a game. Alpha Protocol they've admitted to screwing up with, although it has done quite well, and as for New Vegas? They inherited a bad lot with it and I think they did an admirable job. Yes, it does have problems, and some quite serious, but they weren't exactly in the best position with it.

jpoon:
Good for them, I'd prefer for masthead/Interplay to be able to make this game. Screw what Bethesda thinks (even though I am a major fan of their games). Can't say I feel sorry for Bethesda in this situation at all.

Current Interplay =/= Old Interplay. The Interplay you're thinking of is mostly in inXile Entertainment, BioWare and Obsidian Entertainment. The new one has no real talent, no real financial support and absolutely no ability to make a decent Fallout title. Chris Avellone, who is the Fallout guy, is with Obsidian, as are a lot of the Black Isle devs who worked on the series. Bethesda have experience with RPGs, Obsidian are formed from the remains of one of the most loved RPG studios in PC history. Interplay now? It's nothing. Absolutely nothing. The biggest title they've put out in recent years is Earthworm Jim HD. The IP is in much better hands with Bethesda.

You don't need to feel sorry for Bethesda. You need to look at the facts and see that Interplay is not going to ever deliver Fallout Online, and whilst Bethesda are being almost too aggressive with their litigating against Interplay, it is necessary. Interplay do not have the finances to make the game, they do not have the talent to make the game, they do not have anything.

JPArbiter:

ike42:
So if you wait a little while before filing you suddenly lose your right to your own intellectual property? That sounds pretty suspect to me.

IP Law has this generally unwritten rule where if you do not defend it promptly you lose a lot of options to protect it. it is the number one reason why Harmony Gold, despite doing jack squat with the robotech property for the past 15 years will sue the pants off of anyone who release anything with a robot even remotely looking like a Warhammer... excuse me Tomahawk.

I love following this case, because Bethesda's core claim, that Interplay was not fulfilling the contractual obligations to develop the fallout MMO is pretty solid. but all of the other crap that they have thrown at the courts as well is meaningless, and they have been beaten down. this will sadly work against them when the central case finally gets decided.

I just hope thew doomsday scenario does not happen and Bethesda has to cede Fallout back to Interplay, who is financially and creatively incapable of doing anything with the property. they would have to subliscene to Obsidian and I think New Vegas has shown that Obsidian can not make a game properly.

I didn't really dislike New Vegas, I just thought that they didn't do as good a job as on Fallout 3. Also, there were way more bugs.

coldalarm:

Therumancer:
That said, I'm becoming a little wary of Bethesda getting their hooks into the Fallout liscence so solidly right now, because I have some suspicians that they might want to lock it down just to sit on it and prevent anyone else from using it.

Bethesda own the license completely. It is 100% theirs. Part of the deal was that Bethesda licensed it to Interplay to create an MMO by a certain date, and that hasn't happened. Actually, there's been very little progress seen by the public from Interplay. What Bethesda are doing is trying to get Interplay off the game because they're not pulling their weight with it. Bethesda want their license back, and likely any and all assets created by Interplay/Masthead for the game, probably so they can give it to someone else or do it internally. As dickish as Bethesda seem in this, they're just doing what they have to. Interplay aren't holding up their side of the bargain.

I also think that there's an aspect of Bethesda's methods that is trying to crush Interplay. They're not the same publisher they were under Fargo, and they're run by the most notorious brothers in gaming (The Caen brothers). They're sat on various IPs, they're not really doing anything of note and really it's just a shambling corpse, a shadow of what it once was.

cerebus23:

What obsidian cannot make a game properly? New vegas was no more buggy than any other game developed on the gamebro engine that includes oblivion and fallout 3 both made by bethesda.

Gamebryo was utterly butchered by Bethesda. If you look at its implementation in Civilization IV, you'll see just how badly Bethesda broke it. It was at its most stable with New Vegas, but it still has massive stability problems across all three games. A change in driver can turn Fallout 3 from a beautiful looking game into a blue screening nightmare.

JPArbiter:

When Bethesda handed off Fallout to Obsidian I had a feeling of dread, thanks to my experiences with KOTOR 2 (buggy, delivered late and the story missing an entire second act, plus the make everyone a jedi mechanic sucked.)

Not fair. Obsidian were screwed over with KotOR2 as much as the consumers were. They had 18 months for the complete project, and they started just as KotOR ended. That means they had 18 months to plan, write, develop, bug test, learn to use the engine, record voices, correct and, well, everything else that goes into making a game. Alpha Protocol they've admitted to screwing up with, although it has done quite well, and as for New Vegas? They inherited a bad lot with it and I think they did an admirable job. Yes, it does have problems, and some quite serious, but they weren't exactly in the best position with it.

jpoon:
Good for them, I'd prefer for masthead/Interplay to be able to make this game. Screw what Bethesda thinks (even though I am a major fan of their games). Can't say I feel sorry for Bethesda in this situation at all.

Current Interplay =/= Old Interplay. The Interplay you're thinking of is mostly in inXile Entertainment, BioWare and Obsidian Entertainment. The new one has no real talent, no real financial support and absolutely no ability to make a decent Fallout title. Chris Avellone, who is the Fallout guy, is with Obsidian, as are a lot of the Black Isle devs who worked on the series. Bethesda have experience with RPGs, Obsidian are formed from the remains of one of the most loved RPG studios in PC history. Interplay now? It's nothing. Absolutely nothing. The biggest title they've put out in recent years is Earthworm Jim HD. The IP is in much better hands with Bethesda.

You don't need to feel sorry for Bethesda. You need to look at the facts and see that Interplay is not going to ever deliver Fallout Online, and whilst Bethesda are being almost too aggressive with their litigating against Interplay, it is necessary. Interplay do not have the finances to make the game, they do not have the talent to make the game, they do not have anything.

This man speaks the truth, InterPlay is currently not doing anything with the Fallout MMO. It's just wasting away, instead of being worked on.
Nice Avatar, btw coldalarm. Fellow TLJ fan here.

A couple good things happen here.

A.) Bethesda gets pissed on (finally).
B.) Fallout MMO remains in Interplay's hands, which most likely means it will never see the light of day. This is a good thing that it most likely will never be made, because it will most likely be awful.

Good job, Judge! Have a cookie.

Spencer Petersen:
I'll actually be interested in a Interplay produced Fallout MMO if I ever see any actual progress being made on it. Right now they are just sitting on the IP and letting it rot under false promises and fake screenshots. Interplay needs to start working or they deserve to lose the license, its DNF all over again.

For gods sake why?

Interplay was bought out by clueless morons and quick cash litigants years ago. The people who originally made Fallout and Fallout 2 moved on. Many now work for Obsidian. I think the only game that the modern Interplay ever actually made was the hideous console game (XBox and PS2) "Brotherhood of Steel". And please don't tell me that you thought that was a more real Fallout experience or more respectful treatment of the property than Fallout 3?

Interplay has no money. They haven't had any for a long time. They did not even start any real development on the supposed Fallout MMO until after Bethesda was beginning to challenge them on the rights and contracts. There is nothing good that could possibly come to Fallout fans from this company. The Interplay we knew and loved died over a decade ago. The people trying to make a phoney MMO with no money and a trail of broken promises. They're the ones that killed it. I get the impression that what most of this is is Interplay trying to force some sort of cash settlement out of Bethesda following Fallout 3's success. It's like watching the classic Mel Brooks "The Producers". Interplay has figured that they can walk away with more money by threatening to make an MMO and going through the motions than they can from actually developing something (which they don't have the resources to do).

And yet fans of the classic games continue to buy into Interplay as if it is still the old company that they loved? Amazing!

If there's going to be an MMO of Fallout, I'd rather Interplay focus its resources on it than Bethesda. I wont play it either way, but at least Bethesda might make a good single-player game instead of the same MMO everybody else makes.

faefrost:

Spencer Petersen:
I'll actually be interested in a Interplay produced Fallout MMO if I ever see any actual progress being made on it. Right now they are just sitting on the IP and letting it rot under false promises and fake screenshots. Interplay needs to start working or they deserve to lose the license, its DNF all over again.

For gods sake why?

Interplay was bought out by clueless morons and quick cash litigants years ago. The people who originally made Fallout and Fallout 2 moved on. Many now work for Obsidian. I think the only game that the modern Interplay ever actually made was the hideous console game (XBox and PS2) "Brotherhood of Steel". And please don't tell me that you thought that was a more real Fallout experience or more respectful treatment of the property than Fallout 3?

Interplay has no money. They haven't had any for a long time. They did not even start any real development on the supposed Fallout MMO until after Bethesda was beginning to challenge them on the rights and contracts. There is nothing good that could possibly come to Fallout fans from this company. The Interplay we knew and loved died over a decade ago. The people trying to make a phoney MMO with no money and a trail of broken promises. They're the ones that killed it. I get the impression that what most of this is is Interplay trying to force some sort of cash settlement out of Bethesda following Fallout 3's success. It's like watching the classic Mel Brooks "The Producers". Interplay has figured that they can walk away with more money by threatening to make an MMO and going through the motions than they can from actually developing something (which they don't have the resources to do).

And yet fans of the classic games continue to buy into Interplay as if it is still the old company that they loved? Amazing!

I know, the "they" in my argument was Interplay. My point was that they need to pass the franchise off or actually start working. Right now that one screenshot of Fallout Online consists of mostly images cribbed from Fallout 3 and other games. Interplay is essentially taking the role of 3D Realms and is holding onto an IP so they can keep getting funded to not work. They need to pass the franchise off, and I'm pretty sure Bethesda is doing this litigation so they can either start working on it themselves or force Interplay to do something other than sit around. The worst case scenario is they make a half finished shitty game that another company has to finish who then takes the blame for the product ala DNF.

All i can really say is: Bethesda, please. Just stop. I want to play Fallout Online. Make yourselves seem like the good guys. Drop the case and say "sorry". Hell, you don't have to say "sorry", just drop the case.

Nokiro:

This man speaks the truth, InterPlay is currently not doing anything with the Fallout MMO. It's just wasting away, instead of being worked on.
Nice Avatar, btw coldalarm. Fellow TLJ fan here.

Thanks, on both counts.

Creator002:
All i can really say is: Bethesda, please. Just stop. I want to play Fallout Online. Make yourselves seem like the good guys. Drop the case and say "sorry". Hell, you don't have to say "sorry", just drop the case.

You're not going to play Fallout Online if Interplay are working on it, because it will never release.

I just hope Bethesda can keep making open world sandbox adventure RPG games until I die. I really hope Bethesda just either gives it up or makes the damn thing so we can get Fallout 4 or 5. I don't know if they're gonna do the Rockstar name thing or not.

Just some food for thought. The current owner of Interplay is the founder of Titus Software, who has produced such classics as Superman and Robocop, which are some of the worst games of all time (and in the case of Superman, the worst game of all time).

I really want to play a MMO set in the Fallout universe. Imagine the roleplaying you could do. Bethesda, please, just drop the case so I can have one of my wishes fulfilled.

1. Anything Masthead has done that we'd be familiar with?
2. MMOs are almost never profitable, and I'd hate to see Bethesda take a hit like that.
Let Interplay have it.

Based on my knowledge of the various parties in this case, basically it breaks down to this:
If you don't give a damn about a Fallout MMO, you want Bethesda to win. They have displayed no interest in making a MMO, ever, and it's just not their thing.
If you want a poorly developed, rushed, and ultimately disappointing MMO, you want Interplay to win.
If you want a good MMO, don't hold you breath.

I love how these threads always devolve into proxy Fallout 1+2 nostalgic supporters vs. Bethesda fanboy threads.

Full disclosure: I'm in the second camp.

Spectrum_Prez:
Based on my knowledge of the various parties in this case, basically it breaks down to this:
If you don't give a damn about a Fallout MMO, you want Bethesda to win. They have displayed no interest in making a MMO, ever, and it's just not their thing.
If you want a poorly developed, rushed, and ultimately disappointing MMO, you want Interplay to win.
If you want a good MMO, don't hold you breath.

I love how these threads always devolve into proxy Fallout 1+2 nostalgic supporters vs. Bethesda fanboy threads.

Full disclosure: I'm in the second camp.

To be fair, Bioware never expressed interest in MMOs...until they started making one. Nor did blizzard? Now they are the big boy on the block

FelixG:

Spectrum_Prez:
Based on my knowledge of the various parties in this case, basically it breaks down to this:
If you don't give a damn about a Fallout MMO, you want Bethesda to win. They have displayed no interest in making a MMO, ever, and it's just not their thing.
If you want a poorly developed, rushed, and ultimately disappointing MMO, you want Interplay to win.
If you want a good MMO, don't hold you breath.

I love how these threads always devolve into proxy Fallout 1+2 nostalgic supporters vs. Bethesda fanboy threads.

Full disclosure: I'm in the second camp.

To be fair, Bioware never expressed interest in MMOs...until they started making one. Nor did blizzard? Now they are the big boy on the block

To be fair Bioware's "success" with TOR is still outstanding since the game didn't come out yet. And blizz had a very good base with the WC3 online scene.

I just really wished people would stop going by company-expectations on everything. And this goes both ways.

Its like those arguments that The Secret World is going to suck because its published by Funcom...

ike42:
So if you wait a little while before filing you suddenly lose your right to your own intellectual property? That sounds pretty suspect to me.

It makes sense if you've been following this thing since the beginning. Basically what the judge is saying is "We can tell you're just talking out your ass now. What's that? You only have a problem with this once your relationship with Interplay went sour? Well, this is your fault, so fuck off."

And to be honest, I think that's probably the best way to deal with this now.

Does anyone feel bad for Masthead studios?

If you look at the wiki article and the e-mails you can see that Bethesda is clearly cheap shotting them and using legal blackwash/'circumferencing' techniques on them.

Of course though people are astoundingly still supporting Bethesda in this.

Honestly I want Interplay to band back together and remake the last bits let of Van Buren then sell it on STEAM for a bit of money ($30 or $40 maybe?) some of their developers even said they wanted to do this iirc

adamtm:

FelixG:

Spectrum_Prez:
Based on my knowledge of the various parties in this case, basically it breaks down to this:
If you don't give a damn about a Fallout MMO, you want Bethesda to win. They have displayed no interest in making a MMO, ever, and it's just not their thing.
If you want a poorly developed, rushed, and ultimately disappointing MMO, you want Interplay to win.
If you want a good MMO, don't hold you breath.

I love how these threads always devolve into proxy Fallout 1+2 nostalgic supporters vs. Bethesda fanboy threads.

Full disclosure: I'm in the second camp.

To be fair, Bioware never expressed interest in MMOs...until they started making one. Nor did blizzard? Now they are the big boy on the block

To be fair Bioware's "success" with TOR is still outstanding since the game didn't come out yet. And blizz had a very good base with the WC3 online scene.

I just really wished people would stop going by company-expectations on everything. And this goes both ways.

Its like those arguments that The Secret World is going to suck because its published by Funcom...

I didnt say anything about Success, I just pointed out that neither company displayed any interest in MMO development before they started working on them. I was pointing out that blizzard displayed no interest in MMOs and now they have the top subscription MMO.

And whats wrong with Funcom? I enjoyed Anarchy Online!

FelixG:

adamtm:

FelixG:

To be fair, Bioware never expressed interest in MMOs...until they started making one. Nor did blizzard? Now they are the big boy on the block

To be fair Bioware's "success" with TOR is still outstanding since the game didn't come out yet. And blizz had a very good base with the WC3 online scene.

I just really wished people would stop going by company-expectations on everything. And this goes both ways.

Its like those arguments that The Secret World is going to suck because its published by Funcom...

I didnt say anything about Success, I just pointed out that neither company displayed any interest in MMO development before they started working on them. I was pointing out that blizzard displayed no interest in MMOs and now they have the top subscription MMO.

And whats wrong with Funcom? I enjoyed Anarchy Online!

Nothing, i have absolutely nothing against Funcom, its an example of an argument from reputation.

Yeah people tend to "display no interest until they display interest"
Its a tautology.
The "theres always a first time" argument is horrible.

What I'm objecting to is specifically arguments based -exclusively- on company reputation (both ways).

I.e. "The Old Republic is going to rock because its made by Bioware, they can't fail!" (read that one often enough here on the forums) instead of "TOR is going to rock because -insert reason here-!"

Or the other way: "TSW is going to suck because Funcom failed with AoC" instead of any actual reason.

coldalarm:

Bethesda own the license completely. It is 100% theirs. Part of the deal was that Bethesda licensed it to Interplay to create an MMO by a certain date, and that hasn't happened. Actually, there's been very little progress seen by the public from Interplay. What Bethesda are doing is trying to get Interplay off the game because they're not pulling their weight with it. Bethesda want their license back, and likely any and all assets created by Interplay/Masthead for the game, probably so they can give it to someone else or do it internally. As dickish as Bethesda seem in this, they're just doing what they have to. Interplay aren't holding up their side of the bargain.

Actually it was to start development within 24 months of the asset purchase date. Interplay announced development two days before the cut off date. There was also a funding component, Bethesda says it hasn't fulfilled it but interplay claims that the agreement was vague and all Interplay needed was to secure financing for a game with a 30 Million dollar budget and not actually have 30 mil on hand. Interplay can argue against both of these issues and it opens up a interesting point if they win, Interplay contends that Bethesda has broken the 2007 agreement and thus the rights to Fallout revert back to them.

TKIR:

Actually it was to start development within 24 months of the asset purchase date. Interplay announced development two days before the cut off date. There was also a funding component, Bethesda says it hasn't fulfilled it but interplay claims that the agreement was vague and all Interplay needed was to secure financing for a game with a 30 Million dollar budget and not actually have 30 mil on hand. Interplay can argue against both of these issues and it opens up a interesting point if they win, Interplay contends that Bethesda has broken the 2007 agreement and thus the rights to Fallout revert back to them.

If Interplay win the case, I will fly over to America and punch the Caen brothers. I don't think any judge will rule in Interplay's favour, because they will just squander a trademark. If you look at the case and everything involved, Interplay have barely done anything. Bethesda have had two successful commercial releases with the Fallout license and invested millions of their own money into the franchise, whereas Interplay have dicked around for a few years and not really done anything of note. I do think Bethesda's attitude will probably count against them, but I believe they're in the right here. Interplay have not delivered what they were meant to, and they're stalling for time.

Interplay are going to lose this battle. I would put the £1.30 next to me on it.

off topic... but anyone notice "The Master Lives" scratched into the desk? (in the picture)
EDIT: any speculation... might start a new thread about that actually.

De... wait for it.... NIED. DENIED!

Souplex:
1. Anything Masthead has done that we'd be familiar with?
2. MMOs are almost never profitable, and I'd hate to see Bethesda take a hit like that.
Let Interplay have it.

wow, ddo, lotro to name 3 that i know are profitable. i could include eve online, but given ccps recent fuck ups, im not sure that its profitable anymore. and i dont know enough about any other mmos to know if thtey are profitable, but im sure the likes of eq2 are still turning a profit

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