The Fallout continues in court between Bethesda and Interplay over the deal that gave Betheda the rights to Fallout 3, Fallout 4 and Fallout 5.
According to a post on the Raging Bull forums by a user named frymuchan, Interplay has gotten a 10-day extension to answer a preliminary injunction filed by Bethesda. The crux of the issue seems to be that Bethesda is upset that Interplay started selling the original Fallout games after Fallout 3 was released. Interplay asserts that it retained those rights when it licensed out the future Fallout games to Bethesda.
Also, the post mentions that Interplay is countersuing Bethesda over assertions that Bethesda made to third parties in reference to the licensing agreement, hurting Interplay’s business.
In regards to the Fallout MMO:
Interplay is stating that they fulfilled all rights of the agreement and told Bethesda such in a letter that posted prior to the agreement date in April of 2009, but Bethesda suddenly told Interplay, for no good reason, that they can no longer develop Fallout MMORPG. (Thus, Interplay is implicityly acknolwedging that they raised the requisite 35 million, which is very, very good news). Interplay was not allowed to sublicense the Fallout MMORPG out, as part of the original agreement, but Interplay craftily avoided this by not assigning any rights to Masthead Studios. Masthead studios is simply a technology and finance raising venture. Masthead does not get any rights to Fallout and was not sold Fallout MMORPG (sublicensing).
Frymuchan, who makes no secret that he is pro-Interplay, posted a followup as well:
What really blew me away was that Interplay argued in their court documents that Bethesda breached the contract and messed with Interplay every step of the way (such as sending letters to everyone that Interplay tried to sell the original Fallout games to) to such an extent that the contract is now null and void and therefore the former contract is in effect which states that Interplay owns the Fallout license and Bethesda sublicenses it and only has rights to Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 and Fallout 5. Instead of Interplay oweing Bethesda royalties from Fallout MMORPG, Bethesda should pay Interplay royalties from Fallout 3, in excess of 15-20 million (estimated) as well as damages to Interplay’s name, etc. What an amazing, brilliant legal stroke that would be if Interplay pulled this off and REGAINED the Fallout license (AMAZING LEGAL SWITCHAROO) and to boot got a huge, huge settlement from Bethesda to use toward remaking their old games and/or toward Fallout MMORPG.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts, since there is obviously no love lost between Interplay and Bethesda, particularly given the huge success of Fallout 3 and the subsequent calmor over the revelation of the Fallout MMO. We’ll continue to follow this once the 10-day extension is up.