Updated / Bethesda may sue Interplay over Fallout MMO

Update: Even more bad news from Interplay. Looks like they’re not doing so well financially. “We continue to seek external sources of funding,” Interplay said, “including but not limited to, incurring debt, the selling of assets or securities, licensing of certain product rights in selected territories, selected distribution agreements, and/or other strategic transactions sufficient to provide short-term funding, and achieve our long-term strategic objectives.”

Original: Let’s learn a bit of gaming history. Back in the day Interplay made the Fallout games, but they also landed themselves in some hard economic times. So they sold their beloved franchise to Bethesda, who took it and made one of the best games of last year. However, Interplay did not give up all the rights to Fallout. The agreement left them the rights to make a MMO based on the Fallout universe.

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s learn about what’s happening right now. It appears that Bethesda may be “[terminating] the trademark license agreement” between the two companies thanks to Interplay’s lack of progress with the MMO. A 10-K business financial report filed recently showed Interplay listing the action despite it not yet being official. Bethesda says that Interplay was supposed to have commenced “full-scale” work on the MMO by April 4 of 2009, and contend that Interplay has not done so. Bethesda also claims that Interplay has not secured the funding for the MMO, which was another term of the contract.

If this is true then Interplay would lose the Fallout license completely. At the moment Interplay disputes the claims that they will be losing the franchise and Bethesda is keeping mum. After Bethesda delivered such an amazing game in Fallout 3, would anyone mind if Interplay lost the rights?