It looks like Bethesda (current owner of the Fallout
name) might be taking development rights for the Fallout
MMO project away from Interplay (the original owner of the Fallout
Interplay's US financial filing (10-K form) for 2008, filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday, contains within its 'Legal Proceedings' section a statement telling us that, "Interplay recently received notice that Bethesda Softworks, LLC ("Bethesda") intends to terminate the trademark license agreement between Bethesda and Interplay which was entered into April 4, 2007 for the development of FALLOUT
Interplay sold the Fallout
property to Bethesda in 2007 but licensed the rights to do a Fallout
MMO. The deal stated, however, that full scale development had to have commenced by April 4th 2009 and that "certain funding" ($30 million
) had to have been secured.
Bethesda clearly feels that these conditions have not been met, though Interplay "adamantly disputes these claims". Interplay has been making noises suggesting that development is underway since April
Formal proceedings have not been initiated at this point, but things are obviously serious enough to warrant a mention to the SEC.
Interestingly, Interplay announced back on April 2nd - two days before full scale development needed to have commenced - that it had partnered with Masthead Studios to work on an MMO codenamed "Project: V13
.". That sounds like the sort of codename you'd give a Fallout
MMO, doesn't it?
It looks suspiciously like Interplay was trying to cover its... back.
The comments in the announcement of Interplay chairman and CEO, Herve Caen, make for similarly interesting reading. "We are looking forward to turning the vision of our game designers into a compelling online gaming experience", he said. "The planning and design completed for Project: V13
thus far, combined with Masthead's resources, tools, and growing team of dedicated MMOG developers, will bring this unique game to reality."
That sounds a lot like Interplay hadn't got beyond the initial planning stages, but was scrabbling to make it look like progress has been made. Of course, it could be that Project: V13
is an entirely different game...
Either way, let's hope this means we'll start to see some real movement on the Fallout