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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 11th, 2007, 00:42
Which site is this again??!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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May 11th, 2007, 00:45
I wouldn't be pissed about it for a minute. I couldn't care less about the specifics of child-killing or porn-acting, although Fallout is set in a mature environment and should maintain that atmosphere in some way.

I stand by the point that if Bethsoft is concerned about those issues (Are they? I don't know), they shouldn't have bought such an IP.

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May 11th, 2007, 01:58
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I wouldn't be pissed about it for a minute. I couldn't care less about the specifics of child-killing or porn-acting, although Fallout is set in a mature environment and should maintain that atmosphere in some way.

I stand by the point that if Bethsoft is concerned about those issues (Are they? I don't know), they shouldn't have bought such an IP.
I'd say it's pretty pointless to argue about what Bethesda should or should not do with their money. It's eventually their own decision what they do with it. Who are we to tell them what they should or should not do? If they want to flush a million dollars down the toilet or buy beer and hookers or burn it all and dance naked around the campfire… so be it, who cares? If they want the Fallout IP just so Todd Howard can make door mats or toilet paper for his home sweet home with a Fallout print on it all then what the hell is wrong with that? Luckily, no one needs to justify why they spend money on something in a free market economy.
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May 11th, 2007, 02:40
I agree 100% Moriendor, they can do whatever they want with it. But also, a free market economy works at its best when information is free. Not only is it a free market society but we also have freedom of opinion. We can hold bethesda's actions against them and not buy their products because of their actions. I think its futile and I think the majority of the people that will buy FO3 don't care what bethesda does. I also think that the most vocal people trashing bethesda will be the first in line to buy it on release day. Why? Who knows? Its wierd. Same thing happened with Oblivion.

Which site is this again??!!
I'm sorry for my potty mouth, but in my defense I'm part black and I can't be held accountable. And you crackers owe me reperations anyways.

But, as a side, who else thinks Corwin has gone excamation point crazy? I think dhruin might have to drive to your house and break your number 1 key. And maybe disable your emoticons. I remember when I first started posting on the dot and you used to only use one exclamation point, and now you its like crack to you and even used in questions. This might have to lead to an intervention.

Edit: I wasn't being serious incase you were offended. Sorry.
Last edited by roqua; May 11th, 2007 at 03:03.
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May 11th, 2007, 03:05
Grief.

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May 11th, 2007, 03:46
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
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?
There is not the slightest chance in hell that Bethsoft/Zenimax made a $5.7M purchase without investigating it and uncovering the Glutton Creeper deal. If their 2004 contract did indeed forbid Interplay from selling the PnP rights, then they waited until they'd cemented the latest deal with Herve before dumping another pile of legal problems on his head. Poor, poor GCG.

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Last edited by abbaon; May 11th, 2007 at 14:46.
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May 11th, 2007, 05:58
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
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.
Since I was the first person to reply I must assume your talking about me and I didn't say anything about Bethesda sucking. I said it was nice to a TSR type of company again and look how well it turned out for TSR to have that type of affection for it's fans. Also I did mention "let the good times roll" and guess what this is the most talked about news item so everyone must be having a good time or they wouldn't be replying so much

Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
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.
LMAO, that has got to be the funnies thing I've heard today. Thanks for the laughs because the mainstream media has ALWAYS been against RPG or CRPG. Espcially with computer games. Anytime anything bad happens involving violence, who do the news reporters blame first? That's right COMPUTER GAMES. Oh he played doom that's why he went crazy and shot so many people. Come on, I've enjoyed reading what you have had to say but saying that the mainstream media has more attention now on computer games than before is crazy. Mainstream has always used RPGs as a scapegoat dating all the way back to the 70's and computer games since Doom.

Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
. I'm pretty unemotional regarding the whole subject of what Bethesda will or will not do with Fallout 3.
Yes, I can see that your very unemotional about the subject, actually you remind me of my professor a little bit. He too makes some valid points about marketing in my class but we just have different points of view on the subject.

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I wouldn't be pissed about it for a minute. I couldn't care less about the specifics of child-killing or porn-acting, although Fallout is set in a mature environment and should maintain that atmosphere in some way.

I stand by the point that if Bethsoft is concerned about those issues (Are they? I don't know), they shouldn't have bought such an IP.
Thank you, I couldn't of said it better myself. If they are so concerned about the kiddies then why did Beth deside to aquire the rights to a game that deals with such mature subject matter and has a very vocal and loyal following. Talking about fallout is like talking about religion or politics, it can stir up emotions on that level.

Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
I'd say it's pretty pointless to argue about what Bethesda should or should not do with their money. It's eventually their own decision what they do with it. Who are we to tell them what they should or should not do? If they want to flush a million dollars down the toilet or buy beer and hookers or burn it all and dance naked around the campfire… so be it, who cares? If they want the Fallout IP just so Todd Howard can make door mats or toilet paper for his home sweet home with a Fallout print on it all then what the hell is wrong with that? Luckily, no one needs to justify why they spend money on something in a free market economy.
No one needs to justify why they spend money? Not exactly sure what your thinking here because actually they do have to justify it to the corporation itself. I'm sorry to say but Beth isn't as rich as say Bill Gates so I would believe that they would have to justify it pretty damn clear to their own company. This is of course another point of view on the subject and as I see your point, I don't believe that Beth would not factor in the fallout community when they aquired the IP. How they have handled the community remains to be seen because the less they talk about it, the more we talk about it, even if it negative.

Anyways just wanted to add my point of view on the subject since you wanted to group me in with saying that BETH SUXX. That may be my opinion and it may not be but in the long run who cares, I'm just glad that TSR has been resurrected in BETH. Interesting points of view always follow these types of companies

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May 11th, 2007, 06:19
Damn straight. Bethsoft and Fallout is the gift that keeps on giving. I really should send them a thank you card.

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May 11th, 2007, 06:38
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
I'd say it's pretty pointless to argue about what Bethesda should or should not do with their money. It's eventually their own decision what they do with it. Who are we to tell them what they should or should not do? If they want to flush a million dollars down the toilet or buy beer and hookers or burn it all and dance naked around the campfire… so be it, who cares? If they want the Fallout IP just so Todd Howard can make door mats or toilet paper for his home sweet home with a Fallout print on it all then what the hell is wrong with that? Luckily, no one needs to justify why they spend money on something in a free market economy.
Sure. In that sense, pretty much everything ever written on any forum is pointless. I'm still pretty comfortable expressing my opinion - pointless or not.

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May 11th, 2007, 11:03
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.
Agreed.

In fact, aren't they legally obliged to send C&D letters to any potential infringements of trademark/IP as part of the conditions of maintaining that trademark?
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May 11th, 2007, 14:28
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
… aren't they legally obliged to send C&D letters to any potential infringements of trademark/IP as part of the conditions of maintaining that trademark?
Yes.

Eventually they will probably work out the rules under which others can develop things for their IP just as they did for their earlier games. There is tons of content available for Morrowind and Oblivion on the net.
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May 11th, 2007, 17:22
Regardless of rights or other such - the point is these PnP guys got shafted by no fault of there own from what I can see. Bethesda are still part of that even if it was overlooked by both parties.

Now I'm pretty sure the PnP game won't make the sales making a court case worthwhile so it probably isn't going to happen now would be my guess. It may happen but I doubt it. Theres not much in writing about TES thats been around since DND days back in the 70's so why would Bethesda let a Fallout PnP game be published?

I still think it's rather unfair but then… I don't make the rules. I also didn't pay millions for other peoples IP but then… I never would.
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May 11th, 2007, 17:24
Bethesda is the hottest PC game maker around right now, and a lot of eyes are on them, watching what they do. As Bethesda themselves pointed out a while back, the future of CRPG may be in their hands. There's potential for arrogance there. Sometimes people in their position decide they don't have to be nice anymore.

Attorneys are the bullies of the adult world. If you've every been pushed around by a powerful person or business, under threat of being sued, then you know how helpless that feels.

I don't know all the facts surrounding this Cease and Desist, but I've been watching Bethesda for a while now. If I had to bet, I'd say they're being tough because they can.
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May 12th, 2007, 00:41
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Since I was the first person to reply I must assume your talking about me and I didn't say anything about Bethesda sucking.
Your assumption is wrong. I said "the first few replies" and not "the first reply" .

LMAO, that has got to be the funnies thing I've heard today. Thanks for the laughs because the mainstream media has ALWAYS been against RPG or CRPG. Espcially with computer games. Anytime anything bad happens involving violence, who do the news reporters blame first? That's right COMPUTER GAMES. Oh he played doom that's why he went crazy and shot so many people. Come on, I've enjoyed reading what you have had to say but saying that the mainstream media has more attention now on computer games than before is crazy. Mainstream has always used RPGs as a scapegoat dating all the way back to the 70's and computer games since Doom.
Errr… but that's exactly what I said . Where is the contradiction? Where did I say that the attention that the mainstream media are giving computer games is positive or has to be positive? I didn't. I meant it exactly the way you put it and that's why I gave GTA as an example of a game that is known to generate a lot of attention.

What I was trying to say is that I doubt that Bethesda wants the same level of attention for their game as the attention that GTA is getting. I even doubt that Rockstar wants the same level of attention for GTA IV as they got for the previous games in the series. I do not think that Rockstar will advertise GTA IV as a game where you can now run over even more, even higher detailed pedestrians and have even more fun killing people. Fans know that this is what GTA is all about but after the past experiences with the sensationalist media, I doubt that Rockstar or the publisher of GTA IV will advertise the game for these features.

Likewise, I believe that Bethesda will want to have control over the Fallout IP in a way that they can prevent any attacks from the vultures of the sensationalist media from happening. That's why the reason they gave for the cease and desist order is a valid one in my opinion. It is needed in order to protect their IP and the reputation of their company from potential harm.

Bethesda can, of course, still go ahead and implement child killing in their game and when the media picks up on it and plasters a "GAME DEVELOPER MAKES CHILD-KILLING GAME" all over the front page then it'd be their own dumb fault. If, however, GCG goes ahead and does the same with the PnP game and Bethesda did not approve of the inclusion of child-killing then it would really suck for them to be linked to something that only GCG is responsible for. That's why it makes sense for Bethesda to strive for full control over the IP that they bought for nearly $6 million. GCG is in a position to potentially cause harm to Bethesda and the Fallout IP. That's why the reasons that Bethesda alledgedly gave GCG for the cease and desist order are not "bullshit" as someone here put it but it's a valid interest that Bethesda is pursuing.

No one needs to justify why they spend money? Not exactly sure what your thinking here because actually they do have to justify it to the corporation itself.
Yes, true. That's what annual shareholder meetings are for. Of course, anyone at Zenimax is free to crash the party and have their 15 minutes of fame, yelling insults into the mic if they are not in agreement with Bethesda's business decisions. I don't think we need to discuss how likely that is going to happen, right?

I don't believe that Beth would not factor in the fallout community when they aquired the IP. How they have handled the community remains to be seen because the less they talk about it, the more we talk about it, even if it negative.
I don't know… an IP is first and foremost just an asset. A commodity. Consisting of brand names and certain rights to do certain things. I don't think that anyone who was involved in the decision to acquire the IP on a high level ever factored in the "community". They might make Pete say they did to give the community warm and fuzzy feelings but it is very doubtful that they did really give it much thought. Companies like Bethesda tend to look ahead and are always looking to tap new markets and to draw in new customers and to attract new flesh. You can do this by establishing a new IP of your own or a known IP that you acquire and they obviously chose the latter as their course of action. Losing a few thousand hardcore fans is no big deal for them as long as they manage to draw in a couple million or more new people. Win some/lose some…

Anyways just wanted to add my point of view on the subject since you wanted to group me in with saying that BETH SUXX.
I didn't. See above .
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May 12th, 2007, 10:54
Just a small correction here

Zenimax Media has no shares or shareholders as it is 100% private owned & funded firm (I believe the term in English is 'equity'? but I'm not sure??). And that's why Bethesda does not have to release any info about their game projects - untill their good and ready to do so. If you look at Zenimax's media site, you can see that Donald Trump is on Zenimax's board.

As for the child-killing, children are getting molested and killed in the real world everyday, either in wars, by pedohiles :cry: or by starvation & hunger. Children are used as child soldiers, too, in the real world . If you watch the movie 'the interpreter' you will se children killing other children but if you were to make a game out of this, then suddenly this becomes big 'no no'.

I fear that maybe it is because we think that if we don't talk about this, it will go away. It doesn't. It festers down below in our minds, and when it gets out it will stun us, just like the basilisk is stunning everyone in the second Harry Potter book.
I also fear that maybe, just maybe, we project our own longing for innocence & youth onto children, and that's why we see is as terrible when children are killing children - not in real life, mind you, but in a game. Because we, as a society, xan control what's going to be in a game, we can't control what's going to happen IRL.

As for GCG Fallout d20 PnP game, I have no real info on this game, but from what I can understand from the fanbase at NMA and DaC, this PnP game wasn't that great? As for why Zenimax Media and Bethesda bought the Fallout, I think they realized the need for a new IP, so that all their eggs didn't lie in the same TES basket. This is, imo, a very sound business decision.
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May 12th, 2007, 12:28
This is a games site, not a business site though.
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May 12th, 2007, 14:38
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Yes.

Eventually they will probably work out the rules under which others can develop things for their IP just as they did for their earlier games. There is tons of content available for Morrowind and Oblivion on the net.
No. You can honor preexisting contracts without harming your chances at IP enforcement capability. The rule is, if you don't enforce it, you can't just start enforcing it out of no where. This does not apply to any 3rd party contracts that were in effect before a sale.

There is a latin name for this legal term, but I forget what it is. It is reflected in many aspects of law. Lets say you are in a work union, and the employee handbook says you can't use crued or vulgar language on the job or be subject to termination if used. Everyday your coworkers use crued and vulgar language with no reprocusions. One day, while cusing, you get singled out and management tries to fire you over the policy. They can't. You'd grieve it and win. They'd have to send prenotification that the rule will start being enforced before they can hold anyone accountable for breaking it.

Same goes for IP enforcement. But this does not matter when there is a sale and preexisting contracts. If I started working on a pnp FO rpg today, Bethesda could shut me down. And if it went to court (in the US at least) I could not submit in my defense that they let another company us the IP without express permission by them, since the contract was made before the sale of the IP.

ANd none of this matters since the injunction isn't about this at all. An injunction is future damages of a specific sort, and this sort is damage to the FO brand as stated in the news bit.

and makes claims against GCG that it may damage the Fallout brand and forecoming Fallout 3 release by linking the two
That is the express reason for the injunction. What you guys are trying to do is cloud the issue with noise. Lets say my nieghbor started building a third story onto his house that was going to block the sun from touching my back yard and kill my all my lucious gardens. I get an injunction put in place before he can finish and kill my gardens for the express reason of not killing my gardens. Saying I did it because I don't want a bunch of blacks moving into the neighborhood and destroying the property value of my house is the reason I did it is silly. We know the exact reason it was done, and what the exact future damage claim is exactly. And that is the FO brand.

If we relate this exact issue to another situation it might make it clearer. Lets say the lotr ip was sold. McDonald got a contract to include lotr action figures in happy meals before the sale and was just about to start the campaign. But the new owners of the IP thought the action figures were of low quality and would damage the IP's brand if McDonald went ahead with the campaign. So the new owners of the IP try and stop them from hurting the IP's brand (and lost future revenue do to that) with an injunction, which says don't go forward with this until we have our day in court, because if you do by the time we have our day in court the damage will already be done and will be too late.

It has nothing to do with IP enforcement. Yes, Bethesda has the legal right to place the injunction, but the real, and only question, you need to ask yourself is this: Would the FO brand and sales of FO3 be hurt by the release of a d20 FO pnp game? If you reall believe that, I would like to know how and why beyond, "Anything is possible!!!!!" Yes, anything is possible, but how likely is it? Do the majority of the people that play or bought Oblivion (keep in mind the sales and the console audience) know or have any interest in pnp games? The truth is the overwhelming majority of the people that are going to buy FO3 will have no idea about any pnp related material or even about this case. You know it and I know it, and anyone that claims different is retarded.

If the specific issue the injunction was created for is not the real reason Bethesda is trying to stop them for, then they should have taken them to court for another reason. Yes, there is a possiblity that this is the easiest reason they could get an injunction for, and they needed to get an injunction to stop them quick enough before they released the pnp game. But we can only speculate and guess.

Yes, i sound like a shit house lawyer, and in reality, beyond taking business law in college, have no idea what I'm talking about anymore than anyone else that claims this or that is how it works. But it until it goes to court or more info comes out or anyone can debunk anything I've said I'm right, right?
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May 14th, 2007, 11:27
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
It has nothing to do with IP enforcement. Yes, Bethesda has the legal right to place the injunction, but the real, and only question, you need to ask yourself is this: Would the FO brand and sales of FO3 be hurt by the release of a d20 FO pnp game?
I think you're asking the wrong questions. Since no one here bought the license it doesn't matter what we think… it's just important what Bethesda thinks because they spent a whole lot of money on the FO license.
All big companies try to protect their property. I mean take WOTC for example. You could argue that a D&D crpg that wasn't really in the spirit of the PnP version of D&D could not harm the D&D brand. It's an established brand on the PnP market - actually it's the biggest one there is and nothing can really harm it. But if a company creates a CRPG within the D&D universe then every tiny bit of artwork, rules, plot, story, etc. has to be approved by WOTC. I think WOTC even checks the patches before they give their ok (in case of NWN for example). It's a normal procedure.
So I don't quite get it why Bethesda are the bad guys just because they are doing the same thing. It's their right to protect their property if they think that another product is not in line with their own…

You might question this system as a whole of course…
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May 14th, 2007, 15:50
A C&D is not a we are going to talk to you about it, its a stop or we'll sue you statement.

Another thing being if Bethesda have actually seen the pnp game and seen that it's a poor product. I doubt that being that said games company said they were sending the first draught to Interplay only recently.

All I can say is I have some simpathy for GCG as they have obviously just had their work flushed down the shitter (aye cutter I'm from England). Interplay and Bethesda are pretty much a joke these days anyway - though at different ends of the success ladder.
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May 15th, 2007, 14:14
Can you be a joke while also being that successful?

Maybe the wrong person is laughing
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