Bethesda Softworks has followed through on threats of legal action against Interplay Entertainment Corp. regarding their Fallout trademark agreement in 2007.
Bethesda purchased the entire Fallout franchise from Interplay but licensed the rights to develop a Fallout MMO back to the original developer with the stipulation that the project be in full development with at least $30 million in funding by April of 2009. As GamePro editor Patrick Shaw reported earlier this year, Bethesda sought legal recourse after their attempts to terminate the license agreement were adamantly disputed by Interplay representatives.
According to a U.S. District Court complaint obtained by Gamasutra, the publishers of Fallout 3 are trying to terminate the Fallout MMO. Furthermore, Bethesda accuses Interplay of trademark infringement and seeks a court injunction against the sale of all Fallout titles (besides Bethesda-developed Fallout 3) whether in retail outlets or digital distribution services like Steam, claiming that Interplay failed to obtain Bethesda's approval prior to marketing the games.
What this means for fans is that the mysterious Fallout MMO (rumored to be codenamed Project V13) will almost certainly be cancelled, dashing any hopes of playing with friends and family in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Worse, distribution of the entire Fallout catalogue (pre-Fallout 3) may be frozen for an indeterminate length of time, leaving countless gamers unable to (legally) obtain copies of some of the greatest PC RPG's of all time.