Video gaming sites are reporting that Interplay have completely lost any rights to make a Fallout massively multiplayer online game with intellectual property rights now belonging solely to Bethesda. Interplay have been fined $2 million by Bethesda owners Zenimax as part of the deal.
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Interplay can carry on selling Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics until December 2013 after which Interplay will no longer have the right to sell the games they made originally. This is because Interplay sold the brand to Bethesda in 2007 but were allowed the rights to develop an MMO so long as they could prove they were working on it and could raise some of the budget. According to Bethesda these targets weren’t met which resulted in the court case which eventually agreed with Bethesda’s position.
There was also a case against Masthead, who were making the MMO for Interplay. That as now ended too with Masthead accepting they have no rights to the Fallout license.
With Interplay having failed to raise the $30 million which Bethesda were requiring for the deal to carry on. $2 million shouldnt be a problem to raise if the publishers were to try to release anything they had made as a rebranded property.
It is also unknown whether Bethesda will attempt to make their own Fallout MMO. However as a company who hasn’t made any multiplayer games (which I can think of) it doesn’t seem likely they would anytime soon.