Our beloved Fallout grew from the barren seeds of Wasteland, a post-apocalyptic RPG created by Interplay in 1988. But while Fallout may be the unofficial successor to the stand-alone Wasteland, an official successor is now waiting in the wings. Brian Fargo, Interplay founder and executive producer for both Fallout and Wasteland, has raised over $1 million in KickStarter funding for Wasteland 2 -- and he's bringing his old design friends along for the ride.
From the moment we first saw the Fallout MMO beginning to take shape, we thought it seemed too good to be true. But we just figured we'd get a half-baked, wasteland-wandering WoW clone out of it – not, you know, nothing. Sadly, the latter's now looking like a distinct possibility, as publisher Interplay's found itself in a bit of a pickle. And by “a bit,” we mean one of those mutant “world's biggest” tourist trap pickles that have their own giftshops in towns whose populations are halved anytime someone takes out the garbage.
Sometimes, Fallout 3 creator Bethesda does things we like – for instance, develop excellent videogames. But other times, Bethesda does things we’re not quite so gung-ho about, like attempting to halt the development of someone else’s potentially excellent videogame. With that in mind, we bet you can’t guess how we felt about the Bethesda’s lawsuit against Interplay, which aimed to nip the struggling publisher’s Fallout MMO in the bud before it’d even taken its first steps.
An overjoyed Interplay investor, however, recent let it slip that Bethesda had a change of heart for whatever reason, leading the publisher to drop its lawsuit altogether. Hooray!
“Bethesda dropped their appeal of the lawsuit with Interplay and a secret deal was struck (maybe they will release the terms of the deal soon, probably so). Anyways, this is awesome news for Interplay stock. The appeal by Bethesda was dropped yesterday. I'm assuming part of the deal was that Interplay drop their countersuit against Bethesda,” said the investor.
“At any rate, this will likely mean that V13 will be moving full steam ahead, terms of the new deal not yet known but the fact that the game will be made is nothing but good news for Interplay.”
Shame, though, that steam engines are still pretty darn slow. Oh well. At least we’ll have Fallout: New Vegas to keep us company while we wait.
Mark your calendars, folks, because… wait, do they even make calendars for 2012 yet? Well, regardless, that’s how long you’ll be waiting to have a go at Interplay’s already long-in-development Fallout MMO, codenamed “Project: V13.”
"Masthead's technology is impressive and perfect for our Project: V13. Its team is passionate to bring our vision and game play to the market," said Interplay Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Herve Caen. "This MMOG will have many unique features that we will disclose before launch of the public Beta in 2012."
Well, you know, take your time with that. No rush or anything.
Another day, another videogame-related legal battle. This time, it’s Bethesda that’s putting on its hockey mask and revving up the litigation machine while Interplay attempts to avoid paying an arm and a leg in return for what Bethesda calls “willful infringement.”
The gist of it goes like this: Current Fallout publisher Bethesda says that Interplay never acquired the proper rights to re-release earlier Fallout games digitally or in any other form. Interplay, who sold the Fallout series to Bethesda back in 2007, has been distributing Fallouts 1, 2, and Tactics for quite a while now – apparently against Bethesda’s will.
Bethesda’s also taking aim at Interplay’s still-unconfirmed Fallout MMO, supposedly codenamed “Project V13.” As part of an agreement, Interplay was supposed to have raised $30 million and entered “full-scale development” on the game by April 4, 2009. Bethesda contends that Interplay failed to reach this milestone, thereby terminating the agreement.
Interplay, however, claims that everything’s fine and dandy as far as the agreement’s concerned, and that Bethesda had no reason to terminate. Bethesda, meanwhile, also takes issue with Interplay’s unapproved Project V13 funding agreement with Masthead Studios. To this, Interplay simply replied that V13 is a different project, separate from its Fallout MMO.
And that’s only the short version of this extremely convoluted tale. If you’d like to know more and have nothing better to do for, oh, the next 4,234 years, you can read all about it here.
A giant world of post-apocalyptic intrigue – bombed and obliterated to perfection by Fallout lead designer Chris Taylor, no less – seems like an excellent setting for an MMO, no? So it’s with a heavy heart that we bring you word of said MMO’s potential cancellation, courtesy of the dream-destroyers over at Bethesda – who may or may not be within their rights to drop the axe.
See, back when Bethesda first nabbed the Fallout property from Interplay’s hobbling, not-quite-dead-yet form, Interplay retained the right to develop a Fallout MMO – but only under the condition that it somehow amass $30 million and enter full scale development within two years. That agreement was made two years ago. Unfortunately, Bethesda’s calendars seem to be in working order.
“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 MMOG. Despite the fact that no formal action is currently pending, Bethesda claims that Interplay is in breach of the trademark license agreement for failure to commence full scale development of same by April 4, 2009 and to secure certain funding for the MMOG,” reads an Interplay performance report.
“Interplay adamantly disputes these claims. Although the potential damages are currently unknown, if Bethesda ultimately prevails and cancels the trademark license agreement, Interplay would lose its license back of the ‘Fallout’ MMOG and any damages resulting therefrom are unknown at this time.”
According to a recent SEC filing, Interplay entered 2009 with little more than tumbleweeds in its bank account, so things aren’t exactly looking good. Then again, the potentially penniless publisher recently entered into a partnership with Masthead Studios, so at least something’s brewing over there.
Here’s hoping – and really, this is about the only time we’ll ever come to our deity of choice with this particular wish – this terrifying vision of the nuclear apocalypse eventually sees the disheartening, gray light of day.