Have Bethesda and Interplay Nearly Settled Their Legal Fight?

Bethesda and Interplay have been locked in legal combat over the rights to Fallout for some time, owing to a dispute over Interplay’s attempt to make a Fallout MMO, and Bethesda’s petulant wish to deny them access to any material related to Fallout 3 and beyond. In January, 2011, Bethesda even went so far as to defiantly claim that they enjoyed sole ownership of the proposed Fallout MMO in total, including anything based on Fallout 1, Fallout 2 and Fallout: Tactics. Thus they signaled a willingness to go nuclear, if need be. And they almost did; in September, Bethesda tried, and failed, to have a restraining order placed against Masthead, the company working with interplay to create the still-incomplete MMO.

And yet, the fight goes on, but as we enter the new year it seems Bethesda and Interplay may be close to reaching some kind of accord on the contentious matter. That news comes courtesy of a post on the Fallout Wiki, “Partial Transcript Leak 12 Dec – Bethesda v Interplay“, which is exactly what it sounds like. “I’ve received a partial transcript from the 12th of December hearing in the Bethesda v Interplay Case,” says Fallout Wiki user and ‘resident newsman’ Agent C. “As you may expect it includes legal antics from both sides, as well as a few tidbits from [Fallout Online]. Due to the nature on how my source received these, they are difficult to read, so I may have missed some points – I’ll update this posting with anything else that comes to light.”

Thanks for the Caveat, Agent C. So what’s the latest? Bethesda is apparently no longer trying to stop Interplay from making a Fallout MMO based on Fallouts 1, 2 and Tactics. “Both sides have previously agreed to drop this from the case (Bethesda raised it, and Interplay agreed). The case now just concerns future Fallout games.” “Future” games obviously must include Fallout 3, which is part of what started the whole mess. Gamepolitics also notes a separate post indicating a move by Bethesda to seal certain records pertaining of the case, a move they rightly point out usually means some kind of settlement is forthcoming.

We will, of course, keep you posted.

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