Bethesda Softworks has officially purchased the Fallout IP from original publisher Interplay Entertainment.
According to the SEC filing, the purchase was finalized on April 9 for $5.75 million. Final payment installments are expected to be made by the third quarter of 2007.
Prior to this, Bethesda had licensed the Fallout IP from Interplay for the right to develop Fallout 3, the long-awaited sequel to Black Isle Studios' ground-breaking RPG. With this development, the roles have been reversed: Interplay will now license the title from Bethesda as they continue efforts to develop a Fallout-based MMOG.
As part of the agreement, Interplay must begin full-scale development of the Fallout MMOG within 24 months of the agreement, and must launch the MMOG within four years of that date, or they will forfeit their license rights. Internal Interplay documents from December of 2006 indicate a projected $75 million dollar budget for the game, with a launch date target of 2010. Bethesda is slated to receive 12 percent of the sales and subscription fees in exchange for the Fallout licensing rights.
First released in 1997, with a sequel following quickly in 1998, the Fallout series is widely regarded as a greater critical than commercial success, and over the years its success has been overshadowed by the storied troubles surrounding attempts at development of another sequel. It has also gained considerable notoriety for its small but vociferously rabid fanbase at websites such as No Mutants Allowed.
Bethesda has not yet given any information regarding a release date target, saying only that it is "a fairly good ways away," and that more detailed information would be made available later in 2007.