According to an SEC report
filed today, the revered Fallout
franchise has been sold to Bethesda Softworks, currently in the midst of developing Fallout 3
. Uncovered by Fallout
fansite, No Mutants Allowed
, the document states that the radioactive IP was purchased from Interplay for the princely sum of $5.75 million -- roughly a mountain's
worth of post-apocalyptic bottle caps. Bethesda had been developing their Fallout
sequel as licensee, not property owner.
This change of ownership sees original IP-holder, Interplay, becoming a licensee to Bethesda and paying the Elder Scrolls
developer a 12% royalty on net sales derived from an upcoming (and still entirely nebulous) Fallout
MMO. Interplay's license requires them to begin development within two years of the date of agreement, secure a minimum of 10,000 subscribers and offer a product that complies with "the quality standards of Bethesda."
Purchasing the Fallout IP outright certainly reflects positively on Bethesda's dedication to the franchise -- it's their property they risk messing up now -- and highlights plans well beyond "Morrowind with Mutants." (Next, would someone be so kind as to rescue the Freespace IP from Interplay?)