Interplay's Fallout MMO on the ropes

As Bethesda attempts to terminate deal.

Interplay's Fallout MMO may never see the light of day as Bethesda attempts to terminate the licensing agreement with a lawsuit filed last week.

The Fallout 3 maker claims Interplay needed to check with Bethesda before re-selling old Fallout games online. Licensing them to Steam, GOG.com and GameTap apparently breaches the 2004 trademark agreement.

The result is "immediate, substantial, and irreparable harm" suffered by Bethesda, according to Gamasutra.

Of course, Bethesda has threatened Interplay before, alleging that the latter had broken the licensing agreement by failing to enter full-scale production of the Fallout MMO and by failing to secure enough funding to see the project through.

Interplay doesn't appear to have made any great strides with the Fallout MMO since recruiting Masthead Studios to work on the poorly-disguised Project V13 in April.

Nevertheless, the controversial re-issue of the old Fallout games - as well as the resurrection Earthworm Jim on PSN, WiiWare and XBLA - may be Interplay's way of funding the on-going MMO.

But Bethesda will fight hard to protect the dignity of the licence after the enormous success of Fallout 3. And given the financial clout of the publisher-stroke-developer, the likelihood of a rival Fallout MMO being developed behind closed-doors may not be too far-fetched.

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