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Default Interplay - Legal Fallout

October 18th, 2009, 13:34
No Mutants Allowed has got some info on the current affairs between Interplay & Bethseda, the details of which are compressed nicely at Blue's News:
This post on an investing website and this follow-up post are from an Interplay investor, who outlines the current state of the legal tussle between Bethesda and Interplay over rights to the Fallout series. The posts, obviously a bit biased towards Interplay, describe suits and countersuits, explaining that Interplay is currently attempting to persuade the court that Bethesda's interference in their attempts to sell older Fallout games leave their contract null and void, and that Bethesda should pay them royalties for Fallout 3, something the shareholder making the post calls an "AMAZING LEGAL SWITCHAROO."
More information.
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October 18th, 2009, 13:34
And those who are benefitting from that are the lawyers.

They might be the only ones wanting this "legal war" to eternally go on, because they get money by it !
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October 18th, 2009, 18:14
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
And those who are benefitting from that are the lawyers.

They might be the only ones wanting this "legal war" to eternally go on, because they get money by it !
So it would seem.

It is truly a shame, those two companies made so many cool games; they really should not fight.
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October 18th, 2009, 20:00
Well it seems Interplay was quite happy with the contract & didn't need lawyers - just that Bethesda behaved like dicks. I don't need anymore proof than that them issuing a cease and desist to the Fallout boardgame company when they had a previous agreement with Interplay.
But hey, what do I know? Let the courts decide.
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October 19th, 2009, 00:25
If Bethesda owns all rights to the Fallout license Interplay would have to get permission or pay licensing fees to Bethesda in order to use the Fallout license. If they didn't do that then Interplay has been violating copyright law. There would have needed to be an agreement with Bethesda to allow things like the Fallout Boardgame to continue being created.

If Interplay didn't try to get Bethesda's permission or pay the licensing fees then it is Interplays fault.

Ps. Would you go and buy a game then make copies of it, and sell the original game, and then later on sell the copies of that game which you don't own anymore.
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October 19th, 2009, 03:11
IP law is all about words and wording.
The outcome depends almost entirely on how the contract is written.

Until a court gives its own interpretation of the agreement -or the parties come to a pretrial deal- there's no telling right now who's violating what.
If the contract wasn't clear on that matter, the argument that Interplay sold the franchise for cheap because they were convinced in good faith that they could continue selling freely their old games could weigh strongly in their favor.
In addition, if they act like a struggling company on the verge of collapsing (which they are) and persuade that Bethesda is a greedy big company that only wants to put them out of business, this might garner some additional sympathy. In corporate vs corporate trials, courts usually avoid ruling in a way that would destroy a company and its jobs, more so in a time of economic recovery.

Where things get borderline for Interplay is with their "Fallout Trilogy" which contains F1 F2 and FT. I can totally imagine why Bethesda wouldn't like the use of the word "Trilogy". Some kids probably actually got misled into thinking it contained Fallout 3. And I can easily imagine how this particular product will be heavily used by Bethesda against Interplay.
Last edited by Hedek; October 19th, 2009 at 03:22.
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October 19th, 2009, 03:55
The Glutton Creeper thing wasn't a boardgame, it was a PnP RPG. And it was *fortunately* killed, it was ridiculously bad.

http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout_d20
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October 19th, 2009, 13:25
As I understand even when Bethesda bought the IP license from Interplay, Interplay was allowed to sell the old Fallout games?

Might I suggest that Bethesda (or rather Zenimax Corporation) just want in on the cash action, since Interplays Fallout 1+2 as well as the Fallout: Tactics Collection are selling like hot cakes right now.

Bethesda should be happy for Interplay; this means that Interplay will survive.

If it is just the wording, say 'Fallout Trilogy' over say Fallout Collection, or some such wording it is a matter of talking to one another finding a different name for Interplay's Fallout: Collection. (which I have seen it sold under here in Denmark at least).

Gee, sometimes I wonder if business is just a matter of which one has the biggest -ehm- box ;?

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October 19th, 2009, 17:56
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
As I understand even when Bethesda bought the IP license from Interplay, Interplay was allowed to sell the old Fallout games?
Correct. Bethesda is taking issue with Interplay not vetting PR/marketing/packaging with them before going retail with the Trilogy and before putting Fallout 1/2/Tactics on Digital Download, which Bethesda seems to assert is not something Interplay is allowed to do. That's not something one can determine without looking at the contract, so who knows?

Regardless Bethesda will win. Better lawyers.
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October 20th, 2009, 08:31
Why do I feel any sympathy for Interplay? I actually want them to win this (highly unlikely). It has to be nostalgia because they did make a lot of great games back in the day. Not just with RPGs. Too bad they had a total bonehead running the place.

In any event, I really would love to see the little guy without so much money actually come out on top. It's not going to happen because that's not how America runs. It's whoever has the most money wins.

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