Close
Are you sure? Are you sure you want to report this comment? I understand, report it. Cancel

Bethesda denied in preliminary Fallout MMO ruling

Mon 26 Sep 2011 8:06am GMT / 4:06am EDT / 1:06am PDT
Legal

Court rules against publisher in case against Interplay and Masthead

Bethesda Softworks

The Bethesda Softworks division, founded in 1986, has a long history of success as a developer and publisher...

bethsoft.com

Bethesda has suffered a minor setback in the ongoing case against Interplay and Masthead over the potential copyright infringement involved in the development of a Fallout MMO.

Judge John F Walter denied the publisher's request for a temporary restraining order against the game's co-developer, Masthead studios, without even waiting for Masthead to file a defence plea. Bethesda had alleged that by involving Masthead in the process of development, it has improperly sub-licensed the game's rights.

"[Bethesda] has not demonstrated that it will be irreparably prejudiced if the requested ex parte relief is not granted, or that it is without fault in creating the crisis that requires ex parte relief," reads Walter's statement.

"Indeed, Plaintiff was aware as early as February 2011 that Masthead was potentially infringing its copyrights."

As the temporary restraining order is designed to deal with emergency situations, where the time taken to reach a final judgement could prove damaging to the plaintiff, the denial is not a ruling that no copyright infringement has taken place, merely an assertion that Bethesda has no right to fast-track a judgement.

The case has been rumbling on in some form for several years, following Interplay licensing the Fallout IP exclusively to Bethesda in 2007.

Bethesda simultaneously licensed some rights back for the exclusive purpose of creating a Fallout branded MMO.

However, Bethesda maintains that the agreement also meant that only the Fallout name was to be used in the game, not any of the characters, technology, locations or any other recognisable device. The publisher also asserts that Interplay has failed to meet agreed development targets for the game, codenamed 'Project V13'.

Interplay contested that interpretation of the agreement, calling it absurd and telling press that they had offered Bethesda the rights to a Fallout MMO, but that the publisher refused to meet the $50 million pricetag.

7 Comments

Lucien Parsons
Consultant

4 0 0.0
Four Typos in one article short article? Come on, Dan, I know you're better than that.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Roydon Wagner
Studying Bachelor of Creative Industries - Game Design & Culture

7 0 0.0
"However, Bethesda maintains that the agreement also meant that only the Fallout name was to be used in the game, not any of the characters, technology, locations or any other recognisable device."

Wait, what?

Who is even going to want to play this game? Nothing can be recognizably fallout except the name? A big factor of Fallout's success is it's unique theme and styling.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Stefano Ronchi
Indie Game Developer

50 0 0.0
LOL gotta point it out that the commentator who pointed out the errors in the article in turn provided an unnecessary repetition of a word, in turn creating a grammatical error.

I have nothing to do right now :P

Who knows Roydon: maybe it was meant to be an MMO sim about the process of falling out with people, and you gain special social levels and abilities to reduce/deny such happening, and the PvP would be all about gaining a social position etc....you just dont know..

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Andrew Clayton
QA Weapons Tester

150 7 0.0
I'd buy that for a dollar.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Tom Zelinski
Co-Founder & Member, Board of Directors

4 0 0.0
I'll take a half a buck.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Dan Pearson
European Editor

103 253 2.5
Gah. I blame post-expo exhaustion. :)

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Gareth Sharp
freelance reviewer / beta tester

8 0 0.0
lol @ stefano criticising the OP's error of over repetitiveness actually fell foul of his own decree, reusing "in turn", therefore creating another grammatical error.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now