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King of Creation
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

[ Company -> Update ] - News related to Top Story: Interplay gives up Fallout: Online Rights | More info on Company: Bethesda v. Interplay

Bethesda has uncharacteristically announced that Interplay has given up the Fallout MMO rights as part of the settlement that DAC has been covering. Bethesda normally stays very far away from commenting on anything legal, but they probably needed a morale boost after continuously losing in court Cool. Here is the press release:

Press Release: Fallout MMO Rights Restored to Bethesda Softworks in Interplay Litigation

FALLOUT® MMO RIGHTS RESTORED TO
BETHESDA SOFTWORKS® IN INTERPLAY LITIGATION

All Fallout® Intellectual Property Rights Belong Exclusively to Bethesda

January 9, 2012 (Rockville, MD) –ZeniMax® Media Inc. today announced that a settlement had been reached in the lawsuit filed by its subsidiary, Bethesda Softworks®, against Interplay Entertainment Corporation in 2009, Bethesda Softworks LLC v Interplay Entertainment Corp., seeking cancellation of the license granted to Interplay to develop a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) based on the Fallout brand. Bethesda maintained in its complaint that Interplay had failed to meet the conditions for the license and the license was therefore of no continuing validity.

Under the terms of the settlement, the license granted to Interplay to develop the Fallout MMO is null and void, and all rights granted to Interplay to develop a Fallout MMO revert back to Bethesda, effective immediately. Interplay has no ongoing right to use the Fallout brand or any Fallout intellectual property for any game development. ZeniMax will pay Interplay $2 million as consideration in the settlement, each party will bear its own costs of the litigation, and Bethesda will continue to own all Fallout intellectual property rights. Interplay will be permitted to continue to sell the original Fallout ®Tactics, Fallout® and Fallout® 2 PC games through December 2013, after which time all rights to market those games revert to and become the sole property of Bethesda. Under the original agreement pursuant to which Bethesda had acquired the Fallout property, Interplay was granted certain merchandising rights to sell those original Fallout games, but those merchandising rights will now expire on December 31, 2013.

The lawsuit against Interplay arose after Bethesda Softworks acquired all Fallout intellectual property rights from Interplay in April 2007, and conditionally licensed back to Interplay certain trademark rights to make a Fallout MMO, provided Interplay secured $30 million in financing for the MMO and commenced full scale development of the game by April 2009. Bethesda alleged in its complaint that Interplay failed to meet either condition of the license back agreement but refused to relinquish its license and insisted it would develop a Fallout MMO. Bethesda filed suit to declare the license void.

In a separate but related matter, Bethesda commenced a second action against a purported developer of the Fallout MMO, Masthead Studios, Bethesda Softworks LLC v Masthead Studios Ltd. In the course of the original lawsuit against Interplay, Interplay had claimed that it had engaged Masthead Studios to develop the Fallout MMO under its license, and contended that Masthead was engaged in full scale development of that game. Bethesda filed its separate lawsuit against Masthead to assert copyright infringement and other violations of Bethesda’s intellectual property rights. Under the MMO license granted to Interplay, Interplay was not permitted to sublicense any rights granted without the prior approval of Bethesda, approval which had never been requested or granted. In responding to Bethesda’s lawsuit, Masthead denied that it had been using any of Bethesda’s intellectual property in developing an MMO. Masthead and Bethesda settled that second lawsuit on December 29, 2011. In the settlement, Masthead acknowledges it has no legal right to use any Fallout intellectual property, and agrees it will not use any such intellectual property of Bethesda in the future. No payments were made by either party as part of this settlement. The two settlements resolve all pending litigation over the Fallout intellectual property owned by Bethesda.

Robert Altman, Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax, expressed satisfaction on behalf of the Company with the resolution of the two lawsuits saying, “While we strongly believe in the merits of our suits, we are pleased to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation while completely resolving all claims to the Fallout IP. Fallout is an important property of ZeniMax and we are now able to develop future Fallout titles for our fans without third party involvement or the overhang of others’ legal claims.”

Following the purchase of the property, Bethesda Game Studios, the 2011 ‘Studio of the Year’ and the development team behind the 2011 ‘Game of the Year’, The Elder Scrolls® V: Skyrim™, developed Fallout® 3. ZeniMax Media’s publishing subsidiary, Bethesda Softworks, published Fallout® 3, a highly acclaimed sequel which won ‘Game of the Year’ honors in 2008, for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows. Bethesda also published the popular title, Fallout: New Vegas®, in 2010 for the same platforms. Fallout: New Vegas® Ultimate Edition, which will include the original game and the award-winning downloadable content in one special package, is planned for release by Bethesda in early 2012.

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Brother None
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah, they probably need a morale boost after the (utterly predictable) complete victory over Interplay, who even had to give up the rights to publishing the old games just to scrape out this piddling sum.

Oh well. Sucks! icon_crazy
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Retlaw83
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:06 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Bethesda now owns every part of Fallout and as the victors, can write the history. I'm not so much disappointed Interplay sold their rights to the MMO - it was gong to suck - but I'm sad they gave up the right to the originals. Bethesda will find some way to ruin those, too.

I bet some time by the summer Bethesda will announce the Fallout MMO they've secretly been developing this whole time.


Last edited by Retlaw83 on Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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King of Creation
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The Bethesda press release is misleading...they never had the Fallout MMO rights to "restore." Something must have really freaked Herve out on the day of trial to settle for such a crappy sum, especially since the Bethesda lawyer was being dominated by Gersh.
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Stalagmite
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Well, Zenimax does have a studio in Ireland dedicated to MMO's just sayin'
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POOPERSCOOPER
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

King of Creation wrote:
The Bethesda press release is misleading...they never had the Fallout MMO rights to "restore." Something must have really freaked Herve out on the day of trial to settle for such a crappy sum, especially since the Bethesda lawyer was being dominated by Gersh.


Maybe it was the idea of "money in the bank" that made Herve give in. I wonder how expensive this whole thing was for Interplay and I'm honestly surprised they were able to go as long as they could without having to declare bankruptcy again.

Eventually Bethesda would have found something to win the case and keep coming after Interplay, though I agree with you that anyone would think that Interplay could have gotten much more money out of the settlement.
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SenisterDenister
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

And that's that. So much for Fallout. Anybody know a good franchise to follow nowadays?
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King of Creation
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:10 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'd be happy if Obsidian kept making Fallout games, especially with Tim Cain there. Maybe Chris Taylor will cut his losses at Interplay and go to Obsidian? And Jason Anderson could then quit Turtle Rock and join Obsidian. Leonard Boyarsky will probably stay put as lead on Diablo III at Blizzard though, so no Troika reunion.
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Stalagmite
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

SenisterDenister wrote:
And that's that. So much for Fallout. Anybody know a good franchise to follow nowadays?


Risen.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

King of Creation wrote:
Something must have really freaked Herve out on the day of trial to settle for such a crappy sum, especially since the Bethesda lawyer was being dominated by Gersh.

I don't suppose there is any way to know what happened with Herve, now? What a weird turn of events, given Iplay's punctual success versus Beth's wild claims. 2 Million for everything he had left of Fallout seems like peanuts for a guy that's kept a dying company afloat for years now.

SenisterDenister wrote:
And that's that. So much for Fallout. Anybody know a good franchise to follow nowadays?

Didn't you learn your lesson? Well, there's always the Canadiens. Oh wait- icon_drunk
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Retlaw83
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:00 am Reply with quoteBack to top

King of Creation wrote:
The Bethesda press release is misleading...they never had the Fallout MMO rights to "restore."


Standard legalese. In court settlements, part of what the party paying out is paying for is getting the payee to shut up about the details while being given the right to say whatever they want.

This is how Bethesda is writing the history - when this is looked at years from now it'll be framed that Bethesda sued to secure their rights, not bullying Interplay out of theirs.

Real victims here are Masthead Studios. Wonder how much money they lost trying to fulfill Interplay's requests?
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jetbaby
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

King of Creation wrote:
I'd be happy if Obsidian kept making Fallout games, especially with Tim Cain there. Maybe Chris Taylor will cut his losses at Interplay and go to Obsidian? And Jason Anderson could then quit Turtle Rock and join Obsidian. Leonard Boyarsky will probably stay put as lead on Diablo III at Blizzard though, so no Troika reunion.


Cain was a short term loan, I thought.

Also what the fuck happened, chips all fall in Bethesda's pocket, but everything preceding it was violent and brutal rectal examination on behalf of Interplay.
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King of Creation
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Not a short term loan...he's a contracted employee, not a permanent one. When his contract is up, he'll either try and stay on at Obsidian as a permanent employee or go to another company. He said he's in talks with another company, but who knows which one. Maybe Blizzard? He has good MMO experience now from Carbine and Boyarsky might be able to get him a job there. I'm hoping he stays at Obsidian and gets to make his Fallout sequel.
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jetbaby
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:33 am Reply with quoteBack to top

King of Creation wrote:
Not a short term loan...he's a contracted employee, not a permanent one.


That's what I meant, but mine sounds far more :cool: He's loaning himself to them for a short term. Kind of makes him sound like a prostitute now, but whatever.
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popscythe
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Fuck me, it's all over.

And for $2 million. Roughly the cost of a few months of marketing for the latest bethshit.

I need a drink.

Okay, after thinking about it for a while, it occurs to me that the only way $2 million was worth taking is if it went directly into Herve's pocket.

I think he took the money and ran, boys.
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Gecko
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Interplay just wanted to do the same thing that 3D Realms did with DNF. They just acted like they want to finish the game. It would have been shit anyway. I hope interplay will go bankrupt. Bethesda is shit too but at least they finish their shit.
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Brother None
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

King of Creation wrote:
The Bethesda press release is misleading...they never had the Fallout MMO rights to "restore."


Yeah they did. They had full rights, and then they licensed back a part of those rights. By definitions, those rights were theirs before that, if even only for the seconds it took to sign the license back.

King of Creation wrote:
Something must have really freaked Herve out on the day of trial to settle for such a crappy sum, especially since the Bethesda lawyer was being dominated by Gersh.


C'mon now. You had more documents than I did, and even I could see this was going nowhere for Interplay. Their whole "we can regain the entire license" argument was the only one they were even making, and that's one no one except Interplay investors ever took seriously. They weren't even trying to argue the merits of their funding claim anymore. Their "evidence" for funding was dubious at best, and since they couldn't cite Masthead work and employees which represented $20 million of the total sum (and this was partially done by Interplay, since their relation with Masthead is falling apart and the testimony would not have been in Inteprlay's favour) their entire argument was dead. They had close to zero chance to win this, it's only Gersh's work that they got anything, and they had to give up unrelated rights to do so. Hell, a good chunk of that 2 million has already been paid out to Gersh.

Retlaw83 wrote:
I bet some time by the summer Bethesda will announce the Fallout MMO they've secretly been developing this whole time.


It's a public secret they are working on TES Online. Them working on Fallout Online is another bullshit rumor Interplay investors tried to plant.
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King of Creation
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Brother None wrote:

C'mon now. You had more documents than I did


Exactly. Had you read the transcripts or any of the documents, you would have realized the lead Interplay had going into the day of trial.
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Brother None
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:55 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

King of Creation wrote:
Brother None wrote:
C'mon now. You had more documents than I did
Exactly. Had you read the transcripts or any of the documents, you would have realized the lead Interplay had going into the day of trial.


I had access to and have read almost all the documents reading right up to the trail, back to the motion in limine docs. According to your interpretation, Interplay had a huge lead coming into the trail, then somehow everything flipped upside down and they had to settle for pennies. According to my interpretation, them losing the rights for a pittance was a given the moment the word settlement was uttered. Based on the documents I read, four hours before the press release, I said: Interplay will take whatever it can get, and they've lost FOOL. Even I couldn't imagine they'd even have to give up the rights to the older Fallout titles. Still. Who do you think had a better read on this case?

I hate to say I told you say, but I've been telling you, you've been listening to Interplay investor interpretations of this story waaay too much, and those guys were way, way out there in their reading of this case.
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popscythe
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Even I couldn't imagine they'd even have to give up the rights to the older Fallout titles.


Because they were sold, not given up.
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