The tale of the Fallout MMO is filled with legalities. It’s getting to the point where the MMO could be unrecognizable from the Fallout world we know if it’s even released. Interplay and Bethesda have been going back and forth over the terms of the contract both companies agreed to. Interplay is accused of using Fallout assets without permission, and Bethesda is accused of breaking the asset contract it had with Interplay.
Let’s start at the beginning. Interplay used to own the Fallout franchise in the 1990s. In 2007, Interplay sold the Fallout intellectual property to Bethesda. Bethesda went on to bring the Fallout name to the masses by publishing Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. As all this was happening, Interplay was working on a MMORPG set in the Fallout universe. This was permitted by Bethesda with strings attached. The latest round of legal documents accuses Interplay of overstepping its boundaries.
According to Gamasutra, Bethesda is upset with Interplay for using certain Fallout imagery to promote the Fallout MMO without permission. The registration website for the Fallout MMO shows the Fallout logo and an image of Vault Boy, two things Bethesda says Interplay has no right to use. Bethesda claims the only thing Interplay has a right to use for the MMO is the Fallout trademark.
On the other side, Interplay accuses Bethesda of trying to back out of the agreement it made in regards to purchasing Fallout‘s assets. Interplay also argues Bethesda does not have exclusive rights to the Fallout logo.
The Fallout MMO beta is scheduled to launch in 2012.