Originally Posted by Maylander
That does not, however, explain why they couldn't make up their own IP that was very similar to Fallout. There's a ton of extra costs involved when using an existing IP - research on the setting (reading through thousands of pages of documentation, re-playing the original games, etc), paying Interplay to use the Fallout name, entering various dialogues and discussions with previous developers, set up meetings with Interplay on what can/can not be done in the Fallout universe and so on and so forth.
There are very few cases of people getting sued for copying as a developer, so just making a post-apacolyptic RPG setting would've been less work, less costs and overall less problems.
Yes, there is a certain amount of "free PR" by making a new Fallout game, but not enough to pay the price of the franchise - any game developed by Bethesda would be covered by everyone in the gaming world anyway (just imagine the game magazines going on and on about "OOOOH!! A mysterious futuristic RPG by Bethesda!! When will we get to learn more?!"). No, there has to be something more - some sort of affection for the Fallout universe. From a business point of view, it just doesn't pay off.