Report – Bethesda and Interplay reach settlement in Fallout Online suit

Tuesday, 3 January 2012 22:52 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The protracted legal wrangling over Fallout Online may have come to an end.

Over the holiday break, the Fallout Wikia posted details of allegedly leaked documents pertaining to the case. Despite scanty evidence, the leak triggered speculation that the case was drawing to a close.

Now the generally reliable Duck and Cover claims to have confirmation that Bethesda and Interplay have reached a settlement at last, citing comments from court officials. No details have been released as to the game’s future, but a formal announcement is expected this month.

The protracted and complicated suit was initiated by Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas publisher Bethesda in 2009, and claimed a copyright infringement when Interplay – the original franchise rights holders – began developing Fallout Online. Bethesda sought multiple injunctions against Interplay, and the latter claimed undue financial hardship, backed up by dire quarterly reports.

During the course of the suit, shots were fired over Bethesda’s fears that Interplay’s efforts would damage the Fallout brand; Bethesda raised and then dropped questions about past Fallout games; Bethesda claimed it hadn’t licensed any recognisable assets from the Fallout universe and brand; and Interplay called the whole shebang “absurd“.

Bethesda is rumoured to have its own Fallout MMO in the works, but has repeatedly denied the claims, and apparently turned down a chance to buy the rights.

Before the legal storm broke, Fallout Online was expected in 2012. Visit the game’s website to register for the beta.

Thanks, Gamasutra.

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