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Interplay, Bethesda Face Friction Over Fallout MMO

Interplay may face a legal challenge from Bethesda over full control of the Fallout franchise, as SEC filings suggest that Interplay has not began full-scale development of its Fallout MMO.
A new SEC filing by publisher Interplay has revealed that the company may face a legal challenge from Bethesda over full control of the Fallout franchise. A short statement in the filing says the company has “recently received notice that Bethesda intends to terminate the trademark license agreement between Bethesda and Interplay...for the development of Fallout MMOG.” No formal legal action is yet pending, but the filing says Bethesda believes Interplay to be in breach of a trademark license agreement inked in 2004. The agreement demanded full-scale development and appropriate funding of the Fallout MMO to begin by April 4th, 2009, which Bethesda apparently believes has not happened. The filing adds: “Interplay adamantly disputes these claims. Although the potential damages are currently unknown, if Bethesda ultimately prevails and cancels the trademark license agreement, Interplay would lose its license back of the Fallout MMOG and any damages resulting therefrom are unknown at this time.” A rep for Bethesda declined to comment on legal matters. The Elder Scrolls creator Bethesda acquired the Fallout license from previous owner Interplay in 2004. The only limitation imposed on Bethesda was that Interplay retained the rights to make a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game based on the franchise. Little has been heard of the Interplay project since then, although speculation has arisen that the recently announced Project V13 is one and the same.

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