Bethesda Softworks, developer of the critically acclaimed Fallout 3, has sued Interplay, the developer of the original Fallout games, for violating the terms of an agreement made between the two companies in 2007, Gamasutra reports.
The deal between the two developers stipulated that while Bethesda would own the rights to Fallout, which Bethesda purchased from Interplay two years ago for $5.75 million, Interplay would still be able to sell the original Fallout games, as long as it submitted the details (packaging, advertising, etc.) to Bethesda beforehand. Apparently, this never happened. Not only that, Bethesda also says that Interplay violated the agreement by licensing the original Fallout games to services like Steam, GOG.com, and GameTap.
Bethesda says all of this has resulted in “immediate, substantial, and irreparable harm” for the studio, since Interplay’s actions have, somewhat understandably, caused some confusion to mount among some consumers regarding which Fallout games were developed by what studio, and how the new game relates to the older titles. As such, Bethesda is seeking unspecified damages in addition to repayment of legal fees.
The other major part of the suit involves Interplay’s failure to stick to the development timetable set out for the long discussed Fallout MMO, the rights to which Bethesda licensed back to Interplay on the condition that the MMO’s development would keep it on track to be released within four years of entering the agreement. Bethesda says this hasn’t happened, and because of it, the developer is asking that the licensing agreement between the two developers be terminated.
Interplay obviously rejects these allegations. However, should Bethesda emerge victorious from all of this, Interplay will forfeit development rights for the Fallout MMO, setting back the game's development even further than it already has been.
Is anyone out there confused about which developer handled the original Fallout games as opposed to Fallout 3? Do you think this type of confusion is widespread/serious enough to inflict “irreparable” harm for Bethesda?