Last week, Bethesda and Interplay announced settlement of their lawsuit over ownership of the MMO rights to Fallout. That announcement included promises of more details in the coming week.
Today, they announced the details of the Fallout MMO settlement and they’re both good and bad for Fallout fans.
Zenimax, which owns Bethesda, says that their settlement with Interplay after they filed suit in 2009 includes transfer of ownership rights to produce a Fallout MMORPG to Bethesda, putting Interplay out of the loop. Interplay retains the rights to the original Fallout titles (1, 2 and Tactics) until the end of next year (December 31, 2013); then those rights revert back to Bethesda. This was part of the original Fallout rights purchase agreement made.
In return, Bethesda is paying Interplay $2 million USD for work already done on the Fallout MMO and both companies are paying their own legal fees.
This means that the contract Interplay made with Masthead Studios is invalidated and the lawsuit related to it will be dropped. Masthead had released a statement saying that they relinquish any rights to Fallout they may have had and that they will not use intellectual property they may have been involved with or privvy to from the Fallout game’s development.
It’s expected that Bethesda has plans to release a Fallout MMO.