Interplay Countersuing Bethesda

October 19, 2009 -

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.

58 comments

Bethesda: We Didn't Seek Bill Clinton For Fallout 3

May 23, 2009 -

Following up on yesterday's report that Blindlight, a Hollywood firm which recruits voice actors for video game projects, had approached Bill Clinton for the role of the president in Fallout 3, Chris Morris of Variety contacted F3 publisher Bethesda, which seemed non-plussed by the news.

Pete Hines, VP of PR for Bethesda, told Morris:

Before they would pitch us on someone like Clinton, they may first go ask if he would do something like that. In no way, shape or form, did we say is President Clinton is who we want for this role or [tell Blindlight to] go chase him.

9 comments

Report: Fallout 3 Nuke Quest Nixed for Japanese Market

November 11, 2008 -

Kotaku reports that a Fallout 3 side quest involving the possible detonation of an unexploded nuclear bomb has been edited out of the Japanese version of the best-selling game.

Developer Bethesda has made changes to the Japanese Fallout 3. The side-quest The Power of the Atom has been changed. Non-playable-character Mr. Burke has been taken out of this side-quest, removing the option of detonating the nuclear bomb.

 

That's not all, the name of a weapon was changed as it was deemed "inappropriate" for Japan. Smart money says the weapon is mini-nuke launcher "Fat Man" for obvious reasons. The online reaction from the Japanese users seems to be largely disappointment to these edits. Fallout 3 goes on sale in Japan this December.

Japan, of course, is the only nation to have been attacked with a nuclear weapon to date, so cultural sensitivities to the issue are understandable. The atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki at the end of World War II was nicknamed "Fat Man."

116 comments

GameTrailers Editors Go OFF on ESRB over Fallout 3 Trailer Removal

November 8, 2008 -

In unusually strong language, the editorial staff of video site GameTrailers.com has condemned the ESRB for forcing the removal of Fallout 3 trailers last week.

The comments were made in a podcast released Friday. GameTrailers editor-in-chief Shane Satterfield (left) and staffer "Grumpy" ripped the ESRB which, in addition to rating game content, enforces the industry's advertising standards.

The segment on the ESRB starts just after the 26-minute mark of the podcast. Here's a sample:

Shane: You may wonder why all the trailers ever released for Fallout 3 were removed from GameTrailers.com. Well the reason that happened is because of our good pals at the ESRB.

Grumpy: Wankers! ...I am just absolutely flabbergasted about the ESRB. They're a bunch of bleepwads sitting in Washington.

Shane: Hear, hear!

Grumpy: ...they get publishers to pull video footage. They assisted in getting the Fallout 3 ads taken out of Washington because some dumb bleepwit... on a bus got upset that they were showing images of decimated Washington...

Shane: Never watched a movie before!

Grumpy: Exactly. It's a futuristic, post-apocalyptic game. I am so sick of this nanny state... they are not a government organization. They are a body made up of unqualified nincompoops... unfortunately, they're taking the nanny state to the nth degree... They make the FCC look like a bunch of broad-minded, non-censorship individuals... It sucks that Bethesda had to pull all this Fallout 3 stuff, because it was bleeping good media...

Shane: All age-gated...

Grumpy: ...nobody could get at it. But because some little toe-rag at ESRB decides to get pissed off about something, all that good work is gone... Good job, Bethesda. It sucks that they have to kowtow to the ESRB...

Shane: I hate the ESRB... The week before that we had gotten an exclusive on a trailer... suddenly we get a call... and the publisher is telling us to take it down because of the ESRB... The ESRB can only regulate media that the publishers send us. Anything that we create in-house, as GameTrailers, they can't touch... we'll make our own violent-as-hell trailer that they can't do anything about. So we did. We put it up, it was huge... then we get a call from publisher X [who said] "...the ESRB is putting pressure on us and so that bleep is going to run downhill to where we can't work with you guys unless you do what the ESRB says" ...they are like the frickin' Mafia... These people have totally gone like a frickin' power trip...

GP: Thanks to GP reader Yukimura for the tip.

UPDATE: The ESRB has declined to comment on this story.

51 comments

Bethesda: Fallout 3 DRM Not as Intrusive as Spore

October 31, 2008 -

There has been some talk around the 'Net this week that the PC version of Fallout 3 is sporting SecuROM, the same intrusive copy protection scheme that caused so much controversy for Spore last month.

But a post on publisher Bethesda's blog claims that Fallout 3 only uses SecuROM to verify the disc:

For Fallout 3’s copy protection on PC, we use the same security model as we did for Oblivion - a simple disc check. We only use SecuRom’s disc check functionality for copy protection. We do NOT limit the number of installs. We do NOT use online authentication or any other SecuROM functionality except for a disc check when you install the game and when you launch the game. We do not install any other programs and we don’t have anything that runs in the background while you’re playing the game.

GP: Bethesda is clearly attempting to avert a consumer rebellion like the one waged against Spore. You know, the one about which EA 's CEO remarked that half of the complainers were pirates and the other half were too dumb to know any better.

Via: bit-tech.net

67 comments

Jack Thompson Wades Into Fallout 3 Trailer Controversy

October 30, 2008 -

If you thought being permanently disbarred would cause Jack Thompson to ride off into the sunset, guess again.

The ex-attorney is currently seeing fire and damnation in Bethesda's recent recall of Fallout 3 trailer videos. A rambling letter from Thompson to the Federal Trade Commission accuses the ESRB of duplicity in the enforcement of its advertising guidelines:

The ESRB’s [advertising] Principles and Guidelines are not intended to protect the public.  They are obviously intended to protect the video game industry from the public backlash prior to a hyperviolent game’s commercial release.   The ESRB, by allowing such violence in games but not in the advertising is institutionally mandating the cloaking of a game’s real content from the public in advertising.

Thus, the ESRB is actively using its “watchdog” muscle to intimidate game developers into participating in the ESRB’s long-standing shell game by which it has tried to hoodwink Congress and the American people into thinking that the video game rating system is working, that the ratings are reliable, and that minors are being protected from the sale of “Mature” games... 

And, even though Take-Two has zilch to do with Fallout 3, Thompson cannot resist taking a shot at the GTA publisher:

Take-Two, for example, knows that if it adhered to “truth in advertising,” most of its Grand Theft Auto games never would have made it out of the warehouse.  Take-Two has figured out how to collaborate with the ESRB in this shell game by which false advertising cloaks the real nature of their games until the games are released, and then it is too late...

 

Bethesda’s only sin was that it advertised truthfully what its game Fallout 3 is all about.  The ESRB’s idiotic but telling response has fashioned a noose that I expect either the FTC or Congress to slip around the ESRB’s neck...

Full letter after the jump...

135 comments | Read more

On Eve of Launch, Fallout 3 Trailer Unexpectedly Yanked

October 28, 2008 -

Sites which host game footage were advised by Bethesda yesterday that they must take down any trailers for Fallout 3.

With the highly-anticipated, M-rated game launching today, the move is ill-timed, to say the least. Maximum PC cites an e-mail from Bethesda VP Pete Hines:

In connection with ESRB's advertising guidelines, you are instructed to remove immediately any of our Fallout 3 trailers from your website, pending further notice.

Meanwhile, Edge Online speculates that a Fallout 3 trailer which shows an adversary's head exploding in slo-mo, might be at fault.

The ESRB maintains and enforces guidelines for game advertising. The content rating organization has occasionally intervened with game trailers in the past.

 

28 comments

Are Nukes Why Fallout 3 Won't Be Released in India?

October 22, 2008 -

Citing "cultural sensitivities," GamingIndians reports that Fallout 3 won't go on sale as scheduled next week in India.

By way of explanation GamingIndians cites a terse statement from Microsoft India, which is - or was - handling Fallout 3 distribution there:

Microsoft constantly endeavors to bring the best games to Indian consumers in sync with their international release. However, in light of cultural sensitivities in India, we have made the business decision to not bring Fallout 3 into the country.

Only the Xbox 360 version was planned for the Indian market.

GP: It's a bit of a mystery, but if I were a betting man, I'd speculate that Fallout 3's post-nuclear apocalypse theme has something to do with the decision.

After all, India has been in a stare-down with neighboring Pakistan for decades. Both sides are nuked up and as recently as 2002, almost went to war.

Via: Destructoid

36 comments

Fallout 3 Leaked to Torrents

October 10, 2008 -

Following in the wake of GTA IV, Spore and other high-profile releases, the much-anticipated Fallout 3 was apparently cracked and leaked to torrent sites yesterday, nearly three weeks ahead of its scheduled October 28th U.S. retail release.

gamesindustry.biz reports that the hack involves the Xbox 360 version and requires a mod chipped 360 to play. gi.biz comments:

Although a majority of console and PC games are leaked online before the official release, for a game to be distributed illegally three weeks before it hits the shops highlights the demand for pirated material from users - and the holes in security measures designed to prevent illegal copying of games.

Fallout 3 also reportedly went gold yesterday.

GP: Without knowing how many chipped 360s are out there, it's hard to determine just how much of a problem this might be for Bethesda.

It's ironic, as a GP reader pointed out yesterday in our ShoutBox, that Ubisoft is delaying the PC version of EndWar, claiming piracy concerns, while major console titles are regularly cracked.

41 comments

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.kanzenshuu.com/2014/12/22/j-stars-victory-vs-ps3-ps4-vita-international-plus-version/ J-Stars is coming to North America.12/22/2014 - 9:36am
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.businessinsider.com/xbox-one-virtual-reality-headset-will-compete-with-oculus-rift-2014-12 can a xbo even handle doing vr?12/21/2014 - 10:48pm
PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician