Bethesda Loses Latest Appeal Against Fallout MMO Devs

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Bethesda Loses Latest Appeal Against Fallout MMO Devs

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Bethesda has lost the latest in a long line of legal proceedings against Fallout MMO developer Interplay.

Earlier this year, Bethesda filed a preliminary injunction against Interplay to try and stop the company from using any of Fallout's recognizable settings or characters in its Fallout MMO, claiming that doing so would infringe on canon elements of future Fallout games. Though the injunction was quickly denied, Bethesda, undeterred, filed for an appeal against the denial of its injuction. Now, in the latest development of this three year old legal battle, that appeal has been rejected.

Here's the story so far: In 2007, while working on Fallout 3 as a licensee, Bethesda Softworks purchased the Fallout IP from Interplay Entertainment but left it the right to create an MMO based on Fallout. Then, in September 2009, Bethesda attempted to sue Interplay for failing to meet contractual funding requirements in the development of said MMO. Since then, both sides have been locked in a drawn-out legal battle.

This latest injunction is seperate from the original case, for which litigation is still ongoing. The latest chapter in this story took place this week, when it was shown by documents submitted to the United States Court of Appeal that Bethesda wanted to demonstrate that "the district court abused its discretion and misapplied the law in concluding that Bethesda failed to establish a likelihood of irreparable harm [in its injunction request]." The papers also show that the court remains unconvinced of Bethesda's claims of "irreparable harm."

This hasn't been the best month for Bethesda's legal team; it lost its injunction against Minecraft developer Mojang barely two weeks ago. Sadly, this fight is far from over. Since Bethesda owns the IP, Interplay will require its express permission before it can publish any Fallout MMO regardless of how these interminable appeals turn out. Concerns also remain regarding Interplay's finances. We'll keep an eye out for any updates, but something tells me this issue won't be resolved soon.

Source: Joystiq

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i wonder who appears to be worse at their job, bethesda's legal department or EA's PR department.

Lol poor(?) bethesda, Mojang then this xD

(but im happy about the losing to mojang, having a feeling beth was being a little stupid there :s)

harvz:
i wonder who appears to be worse at their job, bethesda's legal department or EA's PR department.

I still don't see why people think their PR department is bad, they're like Jim Sterling, they generate controversy and people talk about whatever the hell they've stirred up. Just sayin' :P

OT: This one was pretty silly from the start methinks, even if Bethesda had a case to stand on, why would you let someone produce an MMO of a game you own the rights to then sue them for using characters. It makes no sense at all.

Interplay has the rights for a Fallout MMO they wouldn't need to get Bethesda's permission for anything, which is the main reason Bethesda is trying to wrestle the rights away from them in the hopes of having the entire IP liscense.

If Bethesda want's to make a fuss about this they should have bought the entire rights to Fallout, rather then taking ONLY single player rights and allowing Interplay to keep the rights to make the MMO. Bethesda, you screwed yourself here from lack of foresight, in the hopes Interplay would go under and default the rights back to you.

Capthca - if CP in (R) rbstatel

Damn, I really hope they can reach an agreement.

Imagine working on a game for years and years, pouring everything you have into it and always being on the verge of financial ruins, and then that game never gets released and the studio you worked at closes.

dogstile:

harvz:
i wonder who appears to be worse at their job, bethesda's legal department or EA's PR department.

I still don't see why people think their PR department is bad, they're like Jim Sterling, they generate controversy and people talk about whatever the hell they've stirred up. Just sayin' :P

OT: This one was pretty silly from the start methinks, even if Bethesda had a case to stand on, why would you let someone produce an MMO of a game you own the rights to then sue them for using characters. It makes no sense at all.

They are not suing them for using their characters, they are suing for breach of contract. Their huge financial troubles probably didn't help either.

Bethesda loosing this appeal doesn't really change anything if you look at the big picture. Either way, Interplay is in no position to make a MMO. Hell, I wonder if Interplay is not only the lawyers handling this case.

I just wish I understood why, Why I should CARE!

Cue the undying hate for Bethesda.

OT: you win some, you lose some, and it looks like Bethesda is probably going to win this case in the long run. (Either because they'll refuse to publish the game or Interplay will run out of money)

All this is is BethSoft trying to bleed interplay dry so they go bankrupt.

a fall out MMO? this is the first i've heard of it, and it already sounds like a bad idea

harvz:
i wonder who appears to be worse at their job, bethesda's legal department or EA's PR department.

We can all settle that in a tournament of Quake and Unreal. Like how everything should be settled

OT

Bethesda a Fallout MMO can net you some money on the side when you're making Fallout 4 and all the DLC. So why are you making a big deal of this...

With the way this story has been conveyed to me, this is sad news. I loved Interplay back in the day, but it sounds like they are just composed of a bag of dicks now. This is in contrast to how I felt about the Scrolls debacle where it seems like Bethesda is just flexing their legal muscle and is not perusing what is right or fair.

If Interplay needs Bethesda's permission, why even bother continuing with the game, regardless of whether or not they won the court battle? Do they really think Bethesda is going to say yes after all the crap they're going through to kill it now?

They should just let it go... Let it bomb.... Laugh... Sue Again...

I wonder what dick Bethesda hired to run the Legal Dept..

Lets sue....-Dr.Evil Pinky Move-....Everyone! MWHAHAHAHA

You know what would be nice?
A thread where Escapist's immediate reactions weren't "ZOMG BETH IS EVIL, ARRGH WORLD ENDING!" whenever a company acts like....a profit seeking entity. Which they are. Obviously.

Instead, how about this: Bethesda got the rights from Interplay, but left them the rights to create an mmo of the Fallout universe in 24 months (2007), Bethesda would recieve 12% of the subs and purchases of that mmo. NOTE that Interplay have already failed to raise enough cash, by their own estimation no less, to make it and have already failed to meet the deadline.

So essentially: Bethesda offered them a small chance to make an MMO Fallout as a small token of respect for the company (Or whatever, just guessing that bit) and Interplay balls it up.

So out go the lawyers!

I wanna laugh but I also feel a bit sorry for them on account of all the hate and what not

Interplay have started development of the MMO, it's been developed with another studio as well. I'd like to see what Interplay can come up with, to do with Fallout, when few of the original staff are still there. Guess we'll just have to see how it pans out.

Well I can safely say that a Fallout MMO has no chance of being released as long as Interplay is in control of the brand. So much for that.

Kitsuna10060:
a fall out MMO? this is the first i've heard of it, and it already sounds like a bad idea

It's been (supposedly) in the works since 2007 by interplay, no news, no screenshots, no noise at all, dosen't bode well to me.

Interplay don't have the ressources to make a "nice" game anymore, all the talent has long left the company and it's just a ghost of what they used to be.

A Fallout MMO by interplay, if it ever gets released will be terrible imo....they're more in the caliber of facebook poker games now... (oh Hi! Garriott ;) )

There's a lawyer at Bethesda that really needs to lighten up.

Mekado:

Kitsuna10060:
a fall out MMO? this is the first i've heard of it, and it already sounds like a bad idea

It's been (supposedly) in the works since 2007 by interplay, no news, no screenshots, no noise at all, dosen't bode well to me.

Interplay don't have the ressources to make a "nice" game anymore, all the talent has long left the company and it's just a ghost of what they used to be.

A Fallout MMO by interplay, if it ever gets released will be terrible imo....they're more in the caliber of facebook poker games now... (oh Hi! Garriott ;) )

>.> you know, Interplay sounds familiar, but i can not think of anything they've done, ever

but yeah, that doesn't sound good, oh well, whats one more bad mmo :D

My question is how the hell does Interplay still have any money? I haven't seen a game with their logo on it since the beginning of this gen.

AzrealMaximillion:
My question is how the hell does Interplay still have any money? I haven't seen a game with their logo on it since the beginning of this gen.

Well, they sold the Fallout rights to Bethesda, that's what's been keeping them afloat the last few years.That was after they got evicted for not paying rent, and the Californian state shut them down for a while for not honoring paychecks...

Kitsuna10060:

Mekado:

Kitsuna10060:
a fall out MMO? this is the first i've heard of it, and it already sounds like a bad idea

It's been (supposedly) in the works since 2007 by interplay, no news, no screenshots, no noise at all, dosen't bode well to me.

Interplay don't have the ressources to make a "nice" game anymore, all the talent has long left the company and it's just a ghost of what they used to be.

A Fallout MMO by interplay, if it ever gets released will be terrible imo....they're more in the caliber of facebook poker games now... (oh Hi! Garriott ;) )

>.> you know, Interplay sounds familiar, but i can not think of anything they've done, ever

but yeah, that doesn't sound good, oh well, whats one more bad mmo :D

They did the original Fallouts for one,Earthworm Jim, MDK,Baldur's gate, Descent,etc...

You'll notice they didn't release anything (meaningful) original in the last 10 years or so.They used to be a big dog but that was long ago...the brains behind most of their successes are long gone.

First Mojang's Scrolls, and now they try to stop a game that won't at all mess with their sales from being made. Bethesda needs new lawyers, preferably non-asshole ones. It's annoying that I have to love the developers and then hate the lawyers.

Jimi Bove:
First Mojang's Scrolls, and now they try to stop a game that won't at all mess with their sales from being made. Bethesda needs new lawyers, preferably non-asshole ones. It's annoying that I have to love the developers and then hate the lawyers.

That isn't true at ALL, if interplay releases a crappy Fallout MMO (as they will) it kills a good part of the public interest in an IP owned by Bethesda.

Say Mercedes subcontracted Lada to make one of their cars, you think that wouldn't hurt the Mercedes brand ?

Funny how most of the time Bethesda makes headlines it is basically just to tell us how much they suck. Between having glitchy ass games and losing lawsuits left and right, I'm surprised people have faith in them.

Jimi Bove:
First Mojang's Scrolls, and now they try to stop a game that won't at all mess with their sales from being made.

I think it could definitely affect their later sales depending on whether the MMO is good or bad (If its good for example, people might just play the MMO instead of buying a buggy BethSoft game)

Of course, if it does then that'll be Bethesda's own fault. They specifically didnt buy the rights to a Fallout MMO because it was cheaper for them to just buy the rest of the rights and let Interplay keep the MMO rights. Now they realise theres money to be made from an MMO, and that an MMO affects the Fallout brand? Boo hoo. Maybe they should have bought the rights to the MMO, then. You cant (ethically speaking) take legal action against other people for your own stupid decisions and lack of foresight.

Mekado:
snip

They did the original Fallouts for one,Earthworm Jim, MDK,Baldur's gate, Descent,etc...

You'll notice they didn't release anything (meaningful) original in the last 10 years or so.They used to be a big dog but that was long ago...the brains behind most of their successes are long gone.

ah ..... i remember EWJ ..... -.- thank you for reminding me of it >.> <.< now wheres the brain bleach .....

Caffiene:

Jimi Bove:
First Mojang's Scrolls, and now they try to stop a game that won't at all mess with their sales from being made.

I think it could definitely affect their later sales depending on whether the MMO is good or bad (If its good for example, people might just play the MMO instead of buying a buggy BethSoft game)

Of course, if it does then that'll be Bethesda's own fault. They specifically didnt buy the rights to a Fallout MMO because it was cheaper for them to just buy the rest of the rights and let Interplay keep the MMO rights. Now they realise theres money to be made from an MMO, and that an MMO affects the Fallout brand? Boo hoo. Maybe they should have bought the rights to the MMO, then. You cant (ethically speaking) take legal action against other people for your own stupid decisions and lack of foresight.

Uhhh....No. That isn't what the case is about. Interplay had a contratual agreement to develop th Fallout MMO and that it would either have the game out by a determined date, or show a level of progress again by a determined date. Interplay has failed in both, even though they hope to get it out in 2012 (later then the hoped for window of 2010), they broke the terms of their contract and are being sued for it. That is fairly standard in contract law.

kiri2tsubasa:
Interplay has failed in both

Thats Bethesda's take on it.

It might be more obvious as things stand currently (I havent kept up to date on development progess), but when the case started it was certainly not clear that Interplay had failed - hence the need for a court case to determine it - and the speculation is that part of the reason Bethesda brought the suit alleging breach of contract in the first place was to obtain the rights to the MMO without having to take the ethical route of actually paying for it.

This is the claim of Interplay themselves, in fact.

That theory became especially relevant once, IIRC, Bethesda began to use strategies such as claiming that they had never intended for Interplay to use Fallout licensed content (eg, Vault Boy) and that their intention was only ever to allow Interplay to make an MMO with the name Fallout without using any Fallout content. When Interplay retained the rights to make a Fallout MMO, Bethesda technically may have legal standing to argue the wording of the contract, but it is obvious to the interested bystander that the argument is disingenuous and they are making a deliberate effort to prevent Interplay using Fallout content regardless of the contract's intention.

Also see this news post which describes how the original claim under contention was that Interplay had not begun development... and the Judge's very pertinent question - If Interplay hadnt begun development, what were Bethesda trying to get an injunction to stop Interplay doing? It also says Bethesda's legal council specifically stated that the reason Bethesda isnt developing a Fallout MMO yet is they are waiting for the court to (they hope) award them the rights.

Legally speaking, the merits of the case are not about Bethesda wanting to steal Interplay's MMO rights. But there is a fair amount of evidence to support the idea that the reason behind the case is exactly that.

I vote for all feuds between corporations to be solved like that :

Brave men fighting, blood flowing, soon to be widows crying and stuff...

"Since Bethesda owns the IP, Interplay will require its express permission before it can publish any Fallout MMO regardless of how these interminable appeals turn out." This be a joke surely. Why they fight when according to above they can say after the game is finished: Nice work you did there but go suck a railroad spike.

Kitsuna10060:
a fall out MMO? this is the first i've heard of it, and it already sounds like a bad idea

THANK you. I have been saying this for years now. I'm really hoping bethesda isnt trying to pull the plug on the MMO so they can make one of their own, but rather they know how terrible that idea is.

granted, that has nothing to do with the matter at hand, but still

Mekado:
They did the original Fallouts for one,Earthworm Jim, MDK,Baldur's gate, Descent,etc...

You'll notice they didn't release anything (meaningful) original in the last 10 years or so.They used to be a big dog but that was long ago...the brains behind most of their successes are long gone.

That was the original Interplay, most of the people that worked there now work for Bethesda's sequel factory (Obsidian Entertainment). /This/ Interplay just bought the name and IPs (like Atari or Commodore, the name is old but the company is not what you think it is). Know who's actually running it? The guys behind the famous Superman 64 game, Titus Software. Yeah, exactly who you want to be messing with Fallout.

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