Rumor Draws False Hope For Fallout MMO

Fans of the legendary Fallout video game series breathed a collective sigh of relief earlier yesterday, when fansite Duck and Cover quoted an Interplay investor who said that Bethesda Softworks finally dropped its lawsuit against the studio over its Fallout MMO (codenamed "V13"). Unfortunately, the elation was short-lived after Bethesda shot down the rumor in response to Kotaku's inquiry. [via MMORPG] Duck and Cover's initial forum announcement quoted Interplay investor Frymuchan, who gave the following statement:

Bethesda dropped their appeal of the lawsuit with Interplay and a secret deal was struck (maybe they will release the terms of the deal soon, probably so). Anyways, this is awesome news for Interplay stock. The appeal by Bethesda was dropped yesterday. I'm assuming part of the deal was that Interplay drop their countersuit against Bethesda. At any rate, this will likely mean that V13 will be moving full steam ahead, terms of the new deal not yet known but the fact that the game will be made is nothing but good news for Interplay.

Frymuchan provided text from the appeal dismissal, citing a court document from Bethesda's law firm, Steptoe and Johnson. However, the settlement turned out to be a "minor procedural thing," according to Bethesda's Pete Hines, who replied to Kotaku's inquiry in the aforementioned article. It turns out Bethesda's dismissal for appeal, filed in this report on April 21, was merely related to Interplay's right to keep selling Fallout game properties and continue development of its Fallout MMO, as we reported back in December. "The bottom line is it's an ongoing legal matter, it's in no way, shape or form done," Hines told Kotaku. "We're going to let the process play out in the courts, which is what we've said all along, but beyond that I can't give specifics as to procedures."

Bethesda filed the original lawsuit last spring, after Interplay couldn't meet the funding and deadline requirements of its Fallout MMO licensing deal with the company. To learn more, check out our coverage from September 2009. Despite Interplay's setbacks and the lawsuit it's facing, development art and screenshots were occasionally "leaked" online, indicating that the MMO is still under-development. For now, the fate of "Project V13" might be uncertain, but at least Interplay retained its rights-to-develop; we can't dismiss it as vaporware yet, even if Bethesda's lawsuit still looms overhead.

Interplay Retains License to Develop Fallout MMO

According to a recent news story by Gamasutra, a U.S. District Court Judge denied Bethesda Softworks' motion for a preliminary injunction against Interplay, regarding the licensing rights to the Fallout series. For more information about the former legal dispute between the two companies, check out our previous coverage back in September, along with an update we posted last month. For MMO fans, this is great news, because it means that Interplay has―at the very least―retained the rights to continue developing its Fallout MMO (codenamed V13).

In an earlier post at The Vault Wiki, a community member uploaded  screenshots of the MMO that were actually being used as part of Interplay's defense in the trial, to prove that full-scale development of the MMO was already underway. Gamasutra says the reasoning behind the court's decision is still unknown, according to a court order discovered by another fansite. Considering the amount of money and time that Interplay has already spent on its Fallout MMO (and the fact that the company defended its rights-to-develop after Bethesda filed suit), it's likely Interplay will now continue developing the MMO, to many fans' delight. Check out the Vault Wiki's V13 section for more information and a handful of "leaked" screenshots and concept art.

Fallout MMO: Rumored Screenshots Posted Online

Back in September we featured a report about the ongoing legal battle between Bethesda Softworks and Interplay regarding the rights to the Fallout MMO, which is rumored to be in early development under the codename "V13." We've already seen various concept art leaked online―released via the popular Vault Wiki fansite―by members of the Interplay development team. Earlier this month, an "anonymous, but reliable source"―presumably one of the same Interplay developers―submitted three alleged screenshots of the Fallout MMO to the fansite.

These three screenshots were deemed to be legitimate by most community members, which note their detail and resemblance to prior concept art. According to the original post at The Vault, the screenshots are actually being used as part of Interplay's defense in the trial, to prove that development of the MMO was underway in the past. The poster, Ausir, said the images were "submitted by Interplay as court evidence to show that the game is in full production already." Since the images haven't officially been confirmed as screenshots from the Fallout MMO, this news should be considered a rumor until Interplay announces otherwise. However, based on the information that's come out of the Vault community in the past, many fans are enjoying what they consider to be their first glimpse into an MMO they've dreamed about for years. In case you missed the link featuring the screenshots above, here it is again. What do you think?

Fallout MMO Threatened By Legal Falling-Out

For years, fans of the Fallout video game series have hoped and prayed that they might someday get the chance to play an honest-to-goodness, full-blown Fallout MMO. Hopes were reinvigorated after the long-awaited release of Fallout 3, the critically-acclaimed, open-ended and story-driven FPS/RPG hybrid. But things were getting sketchy. Back in 2007, Bethesda Softworks bought the entire IP from Interplay, which originally owned and developed Fallout and Fallout II, via Black Isle Studios. Shortly after, Bethesda licensed the rights to develop a Fallout MMO back to Interplay, and everything finally seemed to be going in the right direction.

Until last April, that is. Bethesda claimed Interplay wasn't fufilling its end of the deal, which included a development start deadline and raising funding to back that development. But it wasn't until just last week that Bethesda actually took action, filing a lawsuit against Interplay for trademark infringement, on the grounds of breaching its agreement. It seems that for now, the future of the Fallout MMO is uncertain. But as sources like The Vault point out, at least we received a piece of concept art from Natiq "Defonten" Aghayev on the MMO's art development team. Check it out here.