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Bethesda's Fallout MMO appeal denied

Bethesda's bid to win preliminary injunction against Interplay fails

Bethesda has suffered another setback in its ongoing legal struggle over Interplay's Fallout MMO.

The Fallout 3 developer was initially denied a preliminary injunction against Interplay in September, but yesterday its appeal against the court's decision was also rejected.

According to documents released by the Unites States Court of Appeals, Bethesda sought to prove that the, "district court abused its discretion and misapplied the law in concluding that Bethesda failed to establish a likelihood of irreparable harm."

A point of contention for Bethesda is Interplay's financial stability, and whether the company would be able to pay any applicable damages should it prove successful in halting the MMO's production.

The source of the dispute is in the particulars of the $5.75 million deal for the Fallout license in April 2007. Bethesda agreed that the rights for an online Fallout game would remain with Interplay on the condition that "full scale development" should start with at least $30 million in funding within two years.

In April 2009, financial documents from Interplay revealed that Bethesda intended to take legal action to prove that these obligations had not been fulfilled.

The purpose of the injunction was to halt production on Interplay's MMO until the matter could be resolved in full. However, it was necessary for Bethesda to prove that the wait would prove damaging to its business - a proposition that the court roundly rejected.

Bethesda is also currently in a legal dispute with Minecraft developer Mojang over its new project, Scrolls.

Bethesda claims that the title infringes on its Elder Scrolls trademark, but Mojang won an interim injunction that will allow it to keep using the name until the case goes to court.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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