Interplay president Eric Caen has revealed that Bethesda was uninterested in purchasing the rights to a Fallout MMO from his studio.
Speaking to Edge, the studio boss paints a picture of a tense history between the two companies, beggining with Bethesda’s purchase of the Fallout IP back in 2004.
"Hervé (Caen, Eric’s brother) started negotiations with Bethesda to sell Fallout to them. He said: ‘If you want the full IP, the value of it is $50 million,” Caen explains.
“They said: ‘No way. Why $50 million?’ We said: ‘Because the MMOG strength of this universe is huge.’ Bethesda said: ‘Let’s buy everything else but the MMOG. Do the MMOG.”
Caen describes Bethesda and leaving Interplay with the MMO licence under the strict conditions that the latter studio was developing a full game within a preset time limit.
"They bought everything, but left Interplay with the licence to do the MMOG – under certain conditions, thinking that Interplay would never fulfill these conditions. But Interplay did.
“Spring 2009 – this is public information – Bethesda sends a termination letter to Interplay, saying: ‘You did not fulfill your obligation.’ So all the litigation is about that. I think Bethesda, off the back of Fallout 3’s success, realised that Hervé was probably right about the value. They said: ‘OK, how can we get that without paying?’"
A lawsuit was filed by Bethesda against Interplay in 2007 attempting to halt the company producing and distributing the Fallout Trilogy. The action was blocked in a US court, and Interplay responded with a counter suit.