Bethesda sues Interplay over Fallout trademark

Written by Joe Martin

September 14, 2009 // 12:55 p.m.

Tags: #bethesda #bethesda-sues-interplay-over-fallout-trademark #fallout #fallout-3 #fallout-trilogy #gog #good-old-games #interplay #steam #tactics

Bethesda Softworks has filed a lawsuit against Interplay, alleging trademark infringement and general shenanigans over the Fallout license. If successful, the suit would terminate Interplay's right to make a Fallout MMO.

To clarify some of the complex backstory first, Interplay were the original publishers of the Fallout games and published Fallout 1, 2, Tactics and Brotherhood of Steel before falling on hard times and selling all the rights to Bethesda Softworks. Bethesda then made Fallout 3 and licensed back to Interplay the option to make a Fallout MMO under certain conditions.

Bethesda's core complaint is over Interplay's attempts to re-release the older Fallout games without seeking approval from Bethesda. The main issue is with Interplay publishing a bundle called The Fallout Trilogy, which contains Fallout 1, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics - apparently ignoring the fact that Fallout is not a trilogy and deliberately titled to suggest otherwise. Bethesda alleges that the Fallout Trilogy title is confusingly similar to Fallout 3 and may affect sales.

Bethesda also complains about Interplay licensing the first Fallout games to systems like Steam and GoodOldGames.com without seeking approval, as well as the release of other bundles of earlier games. As well as the Fallout Trilogy bundle Interplay has created Fallout Collection and Saga Fallout bundles.

Bethesda is also following up on previous threats to terminate the MMO option specifically, saying that Interplay has not met certain conditions of the deal - such as securing proper funding and meeting certain development deadlines.

Is this a case of corporate bullying, or a legitimate complaint on Bethesda's part? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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