Fallout of the Fallout Lawsuit - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Fallout of the Fallout Lawsuit

Fallout of the Fallout Lawsuit

The long fight over the Fallout franchise is finally over.  Bethesda Softworks and Interplay have reached an agreement involving the licensing and ownership of the brand, with complete control of the brand reverting to Bethesda.

Interplay, who created the Fallout name, had been licensed to make a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) based on the Fallout universe, called Fallout Online. Originally, Interplay was given the rights to develop the MMO based on the franchise, as long as, according to Bethesda, it “secured $30 million in financing for the MMO and commenced full scale development of the game by April 2009.”  But April 2009 passed and Bethesda tried to declare the agreement void because Interplay did not comply.  Bethesda demanded that all rights in the Fallout name were the full property of Bethesda.  This led to a protracted legal battle to prevent the development of the Fallout MMO.

Despite having a preliminary injunction denied, Bethesda continued to fight to stop development. But now the fight is over; Bethesda is paying Interplay $2 million to regain all of the licensed rights and have development of Fallout Online halted immediately.  Interplay will also lose its ability to sell the older Fallout games as well as its merchandising rights after December 2013.

Read more on this story here and here.

Gregg Katz

Gregg Katz is a 3L at Fordham University School of Law. He grew up on Long Island, New York and played a lot a video games and watched a lot of TV. Now he is trying to turn those interests into a career in entertainment law. Gregg is IPLJ's resident video game expert but we promised him we'd keep that secret between us.