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Bethesda/Interplay Argy-Bargy Ends

This is fallout online, allegedly, said a man once

It’s the Duke Nukem Forever of gaming-based legal scuffles, and apparently it’s over at last. We don’t yet know the details – i.e. who’s won, who’s paying who what and most of all who, if anyone, will be releasing a Fallout MMO – but we do know that, after an awful lot of back and forth and he said no he said but he started it but yeah but no a settlement has finally been reached in the long-running Bethesda and Interplay battle.

Short background: when Interplay sold the Fallout rights to the Bethesda, they in theory retained the Fallout MMO rights, so long as they started work on it within a certain time and with a certain budget. Bethesda claim those provisos were broken and thus seek to stop Interplay from making the MMO.

There was a hearing back in December, with Duck and Cover reporting that court documents and sources reveal both parties have agreed on a settlement instead of further legal action. As far as I can tell this is legit, not just conjecture. And it means this case, which we’ve been wittering on about since before Fallout 3 came out, will fade into the dusty history books of gaming, instead of being a headline we dig out again every six months.

Apparently we can expect to find out the nature of the agreement later this month. I guess I’d like to see Interplay make Fallout Online, but it does depend on whether they can raise the funds and brains required to make it great – I don’t want a hackjob.

Still to come: an outcome for the Scrolls/Elder Scrolls fandango.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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