A flicker of hope that the legal dispute between Interplay and Bethesda over the rights to Fallout might have been resolved has been quickly stamped out by Bethesda.

The court case casts a shadow over the future of Interplay's planned Fallout MMO; Bethesda is seeking to stop production of the online game.

Fallout fan site Duck and Cover reported that Bethesda had dropped an appeal against a judgement in favour of Interplay, but Bethesda spokesman Pete Hines told Kotaku that this didn't mean the legal battle was over.

"That is still ongoing and has not been resolved. It is a minor procedural thing that took place, not a dropping of the lawsuit... The bottom line is it's an ongoing legal matter, it's in no way, shape or form done," Hines said.

Bethesda began threatening to block the Fallout MMO a year ago, claiming a lack of progress in its development violated its agreement with Interplay. Bethesda bought the rights to Fallout from Interplay in 2004, licensing the online rights back to the struggling older outfit.

Bethesda then took a different tack in September, claiming Interplay was selling older Fallout games without permission, and requesting an injunction against the sales and work on the MMO.

That request was denied by a judge in December, and it's Bethesda's appeal against that decision that has now been dropped.

Interplay was quick to confirm that it would continue to sell the original Fallout games and work on the MMO, according to Gamasutra, as well as pursue counter-claims against Bethesda. Interplay claims that Bethesda is wilfully trying to exploit the weakness of its financial situation, saying the rival publisher was "keenly aware that Interplay could not fund expensive, protracted litigation".

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Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh

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Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

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