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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Bethesda Softworks - Cease and Desist Issued to PnP Fallout

Default Bethesda Softworks - Cease and Desist Issued to PnP Fallout

May 10th, 2007, 19:30
I don't see what the Apple case has to do with this. Like you said Cisco just registered the name they had done no real work on the project (well I get that from what you said as I don't know the case myself). While these PnP guys have just finished this project by the looks of things. I'm not from the US so I have no idea how the judical system works I know its "trigger happy" from what I've read in the past though.

Maybe thats just how it is in the US, doesn't mean people have to like it.
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May 10th, 2007, 19:33
P.S. Thankfully I'm not a Star-Trek fan so I never had the privilege to play Legacy.
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May 10th, 2007, 19:50
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Bethesda did not develop Legacy.
Yeah, but apparently there is a whole history of stuff between Bethesda and some very vocal fan site. I think there is enough Fallout hysteria without bring the Trekkie world into it.

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May 10th, 2007, 19:59
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
… what about this for a pretty move?
That means that Bethesda has gotten big enough to have their own legal department. Once that happens badness/weirdness ensues as the legal folks go gung ho after what they view their jobs as being (gotta "earn their keep" after all). It happens to every company and can be damn frustrating to the average workers. I know this full well from years of experience.
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May 10th, 2007, 21:47
Moriendor, as far as we know Bethesda new about the d20 game. Check the news bit, what are the reasons Beth gave for shutting down the game? Nothing you have claimed.

My company just bought a shop that had a contract to run some lines for other companies, some are our competitors. When we bought the shop we could've not honored the pre-existing contracts, but we are going to. Why? Because not honoring preexisting contracts is a prick move, and we wouldn't want that to happen to us. Its common business courtesy. We won't renew the contracts, but well run the lines and make competitors products until the contracts end.

And I don't hate Bethesda. I don't care about them and until this point thought they had a good mind for business. I don't hate EA sports because I don't play sports games and don't care about their products. I don't hate steam or whoever develops Halo either. I like crpgs and if Bethesda decided to make a crpg I might have an opinion about them, but until then, I just don't care. So you can't claim I'm an angry beth hater. This is a prick move by bethesda and you know it.

Would you be happy if EA sports bought Bethesda and cancelled ES5 because it might damage their sports game reputation?
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May 10th, 2007, 22:09
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
Moriendor, as far as we know Bethesda new about the d20 game. Check the news bit, what are the reasons Beth gave for shutting down the game? Nothing you have claimed.
True. Because what I claimed is more of a problem between Interplay and Bethesda and a breach of the contract by Interplay. The payment to Interplay for the Fallout IP is due in Q3/2007. I don't think that Bethesda will pay before this one is settled.
Of course, the problem with those P&P folks is of a different nature and thus they are giving different reasons as part of a legal strategy. It doesn't mean that these are all of the reasons they can and will give for the lawsuit. It's always a good strategy to start out slow and keep the "killer arguments" for later.
But what I'm curious about is… where does it say that Bethesda knew about the 3rd party interests of GCG? Is this some kind of hidden ink game where I need to iron my screen or what?

This is a prick move by bethesda and you know it.
No, I don't. It's their damn well right to defend their property. Is it a prick move just because GCG is small and (presumably) poor? Do you let small and (presumably) poor people into your house and allow them to steal your property? See. I thought so.

Would you be happy if EA sports bought Bethesda and cancelled ES5 because it might damage their sports game reputation?
That's what agreements and contracts are for. If EA had the right by contract or agreement to cancel ES5 then I wouldn't give two shits about it.
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May 10th, 2007, 22:16
I kinda got to agree with Moriendor. They have a right and dare I say, a duty, to exercise some control over the IP if they own it.
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May 10th, 2007, 22:31
Is doesn't say anywhere that Bethesda new, but like when my company bought the plant, they asked. The question what does bethesda stand to lose by allowing the pnp game to be released?

Factually, this is all we know:

They are stating that Interplay never had the rights to license a Pen and Paper to GCG under their license of Fallout from 2004 before the purchase of the IP, and makes claims against GCG that it may damage the Fallout brand and forecoming Fallout 3 release by linking the two.
They are stating that what they stand to lose is damage to the IP's brand, by allowing a company to release a finished product. Do you believe this is true? Do you believe that people that put a lot of hard work into a product should get a cock shoved up their ass right before shipping because the only thing a company stands to lose is brand?

We could say that the biggest lose of the FO brand is Bethesda purchase of the IP, and bethesda tying their name to what used to be a good, solid, crpg brand that they will destroy and drag its good name through the mud.

Its a prick move. Maybe bethesda is well within their rights to have an injunction placed against them, but being within your rights doesn't make you right. Maybe you enjoy doing business with a company that engages in business in this way. I would be all dramatic and say I won't by fake fallout over this, but I was never going to buy it anyway so I'll skip it, but I'm going to wait, and bide my time until you make a negative post that points out unethical practices of some other business you don't like, then I'll drag this topic up. I only forget important or useful things; I'll remember this forever. So watch out, when the opportunity is right and I bring this up to point out your future hypocrisy, I have a feeling that you are going to feel quite silly.
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May 10th, 2007, 22:41
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
I kinda got to agree with Moriendor. They have a right and dare I say, a duty, to exercise some control over the IP if they own it.
By placing an injunction (injunction is future damage) by reason of damaged brand? Come on, that isn't control, that is bullshit.

o you believe the d20 FO pnp game would damage the sales potential or brand name of Fallout? Honestly?

Would you have the same attitude if you worked for whatever the name of the company that just finished the pnp product is? Do you like having a big cock rammed in your ass over a big, stupid lie? Would you say, "Well, its okay, Bethesda is probably within their rights. No biggy. I like having a stretched out anal cavity anyways. My bum hole was too painfree and could use a change of comfort and pain level with something besides hemoroids."
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May 10th, 2007, 22:43
Yes, they do. But the point really is when Interplay allowed GCG to make a Fallout
d20 game. If it was done pre 2004, although not in writing, this could be an indication that Bethesda doesn't have very good legal case. If it was done in 2004, or even 2005, after Interplay licensed the rights to make Fallout 3 game to Bethesda, then Bethesday might have a better case., legally.

Apparently, Interplay did only give make a legal contract with GCG in 2006. And what I still don't understand is why Bethsoft/Zenimax didn't act then, and told GCG to 'cease & decist' in 2006, so that GCG's hard work hadn't been in vain? Or maybe Betheda & Zenimax just want GCG to hand over their Fallout PnP game, so that they can release it in year or two, claiming it as their own. (bethesda's, that is).

I agree that this means that the Legal Department is all over the place, earning their keep. Sadly, this means that they do this. I have always thought that a polite enquiry to say GCG were a far more fair way to go. People are normally not that hard to convince into a deal that benefits both parties, in this case, the parties being GCG and Bethesda/Zenimax.
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May 10th, 2007, 23:11
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
Is doesn't say anywhere that Bethesda new, but like when my company bought the plant, they asked. The question what does bethesda stand to lose by allowing the pnp game to be released?
I'm not against this PnP game ever getting released. I'm merely arguing that the knee-jerk "OMG BETHESDA SUXX!!!" reaction in the first few replies to this newsbit was unwarranted as it is Bethesda's damn well right to legally pursue the protection of their property.
As I said earlier, I expect them to find an out-of-court settlement that will either allow GCG to finish their PnP project under the FO brand or not but I find it hard to lay blame on Bethesda for making use of their rights.

They are stating that what they stand to lose is damage to the IP's brand, by allowing a company to release a finished product. Do you believe this is true?
Yes, I do. If Bethesda has no control over the PnP game then there is always an unlikely but still possible risk that the FO IP might be subject to abuse. I'll make up an extreme example. Let's say GCG comes up with the grand idea to make a child killing or child abuse campaign. I think it stands to reason that Bethesda does not really want to be in the headlines as the ones approving of such stuff. The sensationalist media are just waiting for crap like that to happen. That's why it's best for Bethesda to have full control over the IP.
This does, of course, not mean that there can not ever be an agreement between Bethesda and GCG about a PnP spin-off. They can always do that at some point down the line. If they do, Bethesda will be able to exercise control via the contract that they will have with GCG but right now there's a great deal of legal insecurity for Bethesda if GCG should do something weird with the IP.

We could say that the biggest lose of the FO brand is Bethesda purchase of the IP, and bethesda tying their name to what used to be a good, solid, crpg brand that they will destroy and drag its good name through the mud.
Yes, we could say that. If we had the IQ of a bread crumb.

Its a prick move. Maybe bethesda is well within their rights to have an injunction placed against them, but being within your rights doesn't make you right. Maybe you enjoy doing business with a company that engages in business in this way. I would be all dramatic and say I won't by fake fallout over this, but I was never going to buy it anyway so I'll skip it, but I'm going to wait, and bide my time until you make a negative post that points out unethical practices of some other business you don't like, then I'll drag this topic up. I only forget important or useful things; I'll remember this forever. So watch out, when the opportunity is right and I bring this up to point out your future hypocrisy, I have a feeling that you are going to feel quite silly.
Yes, I shall commit suicide the day that happens .

By placing an injunction (injunction is future damage) by reason of damaged brand? Come on, that isn't control, that is bullshit.
Again, it's not. There are a lot of things that could happen if you let your imagination run wild. Like the CEO of GCG being into wild animal sex gang rape and then the media picking up on it, making links to Bethesda and them being unable to defend themselves because they have no legal grounds with GCG. It is in everyone's best interest (even in GCG's in a sense of limiting damages) to establish ASAP who owns what and who has the rights to make a PnP spinoff.

Would you have the same attitude if you worked for whatever the name of the company that just finished the pnp product is? Do you like having a big cock rammed in your ass over a big, stupid lie? Would you say, "Well, its okay, Bethesda is probably within their rights. No biggy. I like having a stretched out anal cavity anyways. My bum hole was too painfree and could use a change of comfort and pain level with something besides hemoroids.
Ummm… OK . Well, to answer the question, as an employee of GCG, I'd be pissed at my boss for not checking with Interplay and/or Bethesda about how the transferral of the entire FO IP to Bethesda affected his business. What was the guy thinking? Did he not care? Was he hoping that his PnP project was too small scale and no one would give a shit about it anyway? Was he hoping that no one would ever notice that they owned a piece of the FO pie? Those are the questions I'd have for my boss.
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May 10th, 2007, 23:20
Yes, I do. If Bethesda has no control over the PnP game then there is always an unlikely but still possible risk that the FO IP might be subject to abuse. I'll make up an extreme example. Let's say GCG comes up with the grand idea to make a child killing or child abuse campaign. I think it stands to reason that Bethesda does not really want to be in the headlines as the ones approving of such stuff. The sensationalist media are just waiting for crap like that to happen. That's why it's best for Bethesda to have full control over the IP.
You didn't play the FO's did you? Not only did I kill children, I starred in a porn, and became a pimp. The pnp game could never one-up the actual FO's in scummyness.

Yes, we could say that. If we had the IQ of a bread crumb.
Of course. There is no validity to that arguement at all.

Bethesda is not only legally right, but ethically right as well. I see now.
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May 10th, 2007, 23:39
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
You didn't play the FO's did you? Not only did I kill children, I starred in a porn, and became a pimp. The pnp game could never one-up the actual FO's in scummyness.
I did play them and that is exactly why I chose this as an example . The times have changed. Mainstream media attention and awareness towards video games is a lot higher than it used to be back then when the original FOs came out. Just look at all the fuss over GTA. If Bethesda became known as a company that indirectly approves of child abuse/killing then that wouldn't be very amsuing for them unless you are a strong proponent of the "a bad rep is better than no rep" philosophy .

Of course. There is no validity to that arguement at all.
No, there isn't since we still do not have enough info on FO3 to really form an educated opinion about the game.

Bethesda is not only legally right, but ethically right as well. I see now.
Yes, they are. They got a responsibility towards their investors and employees as well. Or is a GCG employee automatically worth more than a Bethesda employee because he/she works for the underdog company? Regardless… it doesn't make much of a difference who you worked for when you lose your job because of a management fuck-up and this can happen to both parties involved (I'd say "all three" but Interplay obviously doesn't have much to lose).
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May 10th, 2007, 23:51
It's a prick move. You pick up the phone and have a conversation about the perceived problem and move on from there. And if Bethsoft doesn't want to be associated with child-killing porn-acting games, you don't buy an IP that contains such material.

-= RPGWatch =-
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May 10th, 2007, 23:55
Moreindor, You just established that Bethesda wants to make a kid friendly game that won't offend the media or the crazies, and probably wants to appeal to kids as well. You can't take as many liberties as you are defending Bethsda's prick move without realizing that by taking less liberties I can saefly say they are going to rape the IP. They are going to rape it worse than any IP has ever been raped. And you helped establish that by stating Bethesda will make a kid friendly game devoid of the adult content of the real FOs.

So not only is Bethesda sticking it up this company's ass, they are sticking it in the ass of the FO community. Way up in the ass, right into the stomach. Bethesda's penis will be burned by the corosive acids in the FO communities bellies. Not only with Bethesda destroy the IP by not providing the same gameplay or mechanics of the real FOs, but by dumbing down and making the setting kid-friendly. The game will also be linear and devoid of roleplaying, because its a hard concept for kids to understand, and they need to have their hands held by Liam Neeson as he points them in the same direction as the big green marker on the huge compass.

This game's target market is 8 year olds, and the reason the cease and desist was ordered for the pnp game was because 8 year old would see it and say, "Its too complicated, not like sesame street, Care bears, and Oblivion. I won;t buy FO 3, mommy I need my medicine. Whaa whaa. I wish Uncle Moriendor would stop touching me in the private areas." How could you do that to your own nephew, you sick-o?

Its okay you like that the IP will be raped in order to make a kid-friendly FPS you know you'll like. I like kids games also some times. I just played hide and seek with my daughter. It was pretty fun. I won too. I excel at kids games.
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May 10th, 2007, 23:59
The times have changed?


Originally Posted by Bethesda Dev
One question for the dev that I always wondered about is what are your stances on violence, mature contents in games? Do you guys have a target audience in mind?
For those ill at ease about the possible lack of mature content in FO3, the devs have a thread on the internal forums titled "Sick S%^& You'd Like To See In the Game", which contains various uncensored depraved ideas for content / gameplay / dialog, a goodly portion of which are either already implemented or in development. Yeah, I'm not too worried about FO3 being "watered down"…Razz
But yeah they need to defend their brand, the P&P wasn't looking good at all.
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May 11th, 2007, 00:14
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Ummm… OK . Well, to answer the question, as an employee of GCG, I'd be pissed at my boss for not checking with Interplay and/or Bethesda about how the transferral of the entire FO IP to Bethesda affected his business. What was the guy thinking? Did he not care? Was he hoping that his PnP project was too small scale and no one would give a shit about it anyway? Was he hoping that no one would ever notice that they owned a piece of the FO pie? Those are the questions I'd have for my boss.
The boss was probably thinking that the transfer of IP has no effect on an existing agreement - and he'd be right. If Interplay today went and sold the Fallout license to Microsoft - would they suddenly be the owners and Bethsoft have to abandon everything? Would you be sticking up for MS so passionately?

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May 11th, 2007, 00:19
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
Its okay you like that the IP will be raped in order to make a kid-friendly FPS you know you'll like.
That post was pretty entertaining. Thanks for the laughs .
But you are wrong on the quoted part. I'm pretty unemotional regarding the whole subject of what Bethesda will or will not do with Fallout 3. I was just saying what I am expecting to happen. Nowhere did I say whether I like it if it happens that way or not.
But if you want to hear my personal opinion on the subject now then I'll tell you that my potential enjoyment of Fallout 3 will not depend on the inclusion of child-killing and some porn crap. It's a tradition that they can leave behind and that would certainly be one of the very last things I'd miss. But I just as certainly wouldn't mind if they put it in. It's not a deal breaker for me though and I find it utterly silly of many FO fans to get so hung up on such details. If child-killing and porn acting is what makes or breaks FO for you, then be assured of my deepest condolences.
However, if they get rid of the iso perspective (which they probably will) and of turn-based combat (which they probably will) and of the non-linear stories and quests with their choices and consequences (which they probably will) then I can fully understand that FO traditionalists will be pissed but leaving out child-killing (wow… what a deep feature that adds so much to gameplay) and "loool i can leik act in da p0rnz"? Come on now .
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May 11th, 2007, 00:29
I thought the adult content was amusing, but not a deal breaker or a neccesity for me. I tried some of the things just because it let me, but if I could go back in time and had a choice between them adding adult content or removing the ability to save during combat, I would have them remove saving during combat. Being a pimp is neat for a couple minutes, saving during combat destroyed the challenge of all the combat. But, not using a walkthrough and trying to figure out quests and how to do this, and what to build up to be able to come and complete this part, etc more than made up for it.
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May 11th, 2007, 00:39
Originally Posted by CutLunch View Post
The boss was probably thinking that the transfer of IP has no effect on an existing agreement - and he'd be right. If Interplay today went and sold the Fallout license to Microsoft - would they suddenly be the owners and Bethsoft have to abandon everything? Would you be sticking up for MS so passionately?
The comparison is a little lacking because MS would have to know (and in the real world it would be expected of them to be in the know) about Bethesda's 3rd party involvement due to the fact that the news about the Fallout IP were plastered all over the web.
But if we assume a "lab-type" artificial experimental situation where Microsoft does not know about Bethesda's ownership of the IP then -yes- at least under Roman law (I don't know about English/Anglican/American case law but there should be similar provisions), MS would become the rightful owner of the IP. All that Bethesda could do then is to sue Interplay for damages but the property would be lost because of MS acquiring it in good faith.
It's like when someone sells you a car that he already sold but did not deliver yet to another guy. How are you supposed to know about the contract with the other guy, right? That's why you acquire the property of the car if you are in good faith and the other guy is left to sue for damages.
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