Updated Tue, Jan 03, 2012 by Martuk
Just when you thought that Fallout Online had cleared troubled waters, the sea begins to churn once more. Fallout property owner Bethesda filed an amended complaint against former owner turned Fallout licensee Interplay about the use of Fallout assets to market their upcoming MMOG, Fallout Online. According to court documents acquired by Gamasutra, Bethesda took issue with the use of the Fallout logo, "Vault Boy" and iconic Fallout characters such as Harold on the Fallout Online website. Bethesda stated that Interplay sought permission to use the assets in June and was denied. But Interplay allegedly launched the game's website with the rejected assets anyway.
All of this fighting makes Harold very sad.
The complaint didn't go unanswered. On December 3rd, Interplay fired back with amendments to its own countersuit, alleging that Bethesda had breached the asset purchase agreement between the two. Bethesda responded once again in a December 20th court filing stating:
Interplay contends, without any support in either the Asset Purchase Agreement ('APA') or the Trademark License Agreement ('TLA'), that Bethesda has breached some obligation to allow Interplay the continued use of all Fallout intellectual property, the very assets that Interplay sold to Bethesda absolutely, unconditionally and without reservation under these agreements, years ago.
Bethesda goes on to argue in the same filing that they only licensed one single asset to Interplay, the "Fallout" trademark.
2010 has certainly been a controversial year for the MMO section of the gaming industry and this one is likely to spill over well into 2011. So stay tuned and we'll update you with more as it develops.