Bethesda and Interplay settle Fallout Online suit


The long-running dispute between Bethesda Softworks and Interplay over the proposed MMOG Fallout Online has apparently come to an end after the parties reached a settlement.

Duck And Cover reports that a settlement was reached on the day of the trial itself; after lunch, the courtroom was locked to everyone but attorneys and clients because those inside were working towards a deal.

When a source asked the court reporter when the trial would resume, the response was that there was no date for the next hearing because a settlement had been reached. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but are expected before the end of the month.

The news brings down the curtain on a protracted dispute over Interplay's proposed Fallout MMOG, which dates back to 2007, when Bethesda acquired the rights to the Fallout series from Interplay for $5.75 million. As part of the deal, Interplay secured trademark rights for a Fallout MMOG.

In April 2009, Bethesda commenced legal action in a bid to cancel the deal and regain the rights to the game. Bethesda's motion for a temporary restraining order against Interplay and developer Masthead was refused in September, and its subsequent appeal also met with failure in October.

In November, Bethesda filed a motion in limine – which requests a judge to allow or refuse the admission of evidence at trial – asking that the court rule that Interplay prove that it was in possession of the relevant licences allowing it to develop the MMO. Interplay fired back with a motion of its own, asking the court to block Bethesda's attempt to introduce a new expert witness.