Bethesda Sues Interplay Over Fallout Trademark Infringement

Bethesda Softworks has filed suit against Interplay, the company it purchased rights to the Fallout franchise from in 2007, citing trademark infringement and attempting to terminate right to make a Fallout-themed MMO.

The details of that case come from a complaint filed in the District Court of Maryland earlier this week. That complaint alleges that Interplay did not seek approval for the sale of the Fallout Trilogy bundle, which features the original Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics. Bethesda claims that the title Fallout Trilogy is "confusingly similar" to that of Fallout 3 and takes issue with Interplay's marketing, sale and distribution of other Fallout packages named Fallout Collection and Saga Fallout.

Bethesda also takes issue with Interplay's licensing of Fallout games to digital distribution services Good Old Games (GOG), GameTap and Steam, which Interplay was said never to have sought approval or permission for. Basically, Bethesda takes issue with pretty much everything Interplay seems to be doing with the pre-Fallout 3 games, which it believes is cannibalising sales of Fallout 3.

The Fallout 3 developer furthermore wants to officially terminate Interplay's rights to create a massively multiplayer online game with the Fallout licence. Bethesda believes that Interplay has breached its trademark licensing agreement by failing to enter into full-scale development of a Fallout MMO.


    Oh look bethesda are dicks who didn't see that one coming. I bet interplay is really regretting selling fallout to those wankers now, maybe even as much as the fans do.

      fucking agreed, bethesda need to chill out

      Maybe the fans should come to terms with the fact that Bethesda made the most commercially and critically successful game in the series as well as making the game of the year.

    But if a company just doesn't have the funds, what is it supposed to do?

    It is a shame, Bethesda is essentially the Disney of the cartoon world - note the huge lack of adult jokes and such in FO3. I mean come on, Fallout 2 you could eat your own toe - but FO3 only has something remotely similair once you pay god knows how much for DLC.

    Ah DLC - how you've ruined the dedication of coders everywhere.
    "Eh... it's kinda done? Why dont we just release it now, then make people pay to get the rest of the game?"


    Once you sell a franchise you don't have anything to do with it anymore. Bethesda is in the right of the argument.

      I completely agree. It's like selling a car then trying to take it for a drive a year later. However from my understanding Interplay have bought a license from Beth., so it's not quite that clear-cut. Something for the legal teams methinks, but to write off Beth. as being in the wrong (as people are seeming to do here) is incredibly short-sighted.

      Did they sell the back catalogue, or only the right to make future games?

      If Interplay still own the rights to the old Fallout games then they can do whatever the hell they like with them, including rereleasing them, repackaging them, or putting them up for digital distribution.

      Fallout and Fallout 2 are classic games that deserve to be played - if Interplay are making that possible then we should all be applauding their efforts.

    Perhaps the Fallout trilogy is similar because it is Fallout, maybe?

    Still screw Bethesda, Fallout 3 was a piece of junk of a game.

    STFU Bethesda.

    They're such a SE or Nintendo these days...

    I wish now that they never made Fallout 3 or never gained the license and just made a cool game named something entirely different.

    Haha, Bethesda wish they were half the developers that Interplay were.

    Bethesda makes crappy games. I love me my rpg, chrono trigger final fantasy even grandia.

    But elder scrolls and fallout? immersive my ass! i go into those games expecting a world that will react to my consequences... and all i get is a game that responds to my stats, not my behaviour.

    I'm pretty sure the Fallout Trilogy bundle was on sale in Australia before Fallout 3 came out - maybe not before they sold the rights for Bethesda to make Fallout 3 but definitely before it came out.

    And Bethesda had better check the agreement, I'm sure Interplay planned for US release of the Trilogy and allowed for it.

    I now they are acting like jerks here but the fact remains:
    Interplay is flogging a dead horse and have no intention of making that MMO.

    They are just holding on, I think Bethesda has ev ery right to be getting annoyed about this. They may not have a solid legal case but credibility wise, Im with them.

    Bethesda are right about the MMO thing, but Interplay should be allowed to sell their old games.

      It's not that simple.

      Interplay are cashing in (and cashing in big-time) on Bethesda's success with Fallout 3. Setting aside any fanboyism and "David vs Goliath" bias, this is clearly profiting off someone else's work, or "riding the coat-tails" if you will.

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