PV13.png
PV13.png
PV13.pngThe following is based on pre-release information for the canceled online game codenamed Project V13 and is not considered canon.

Project V13 is a name applied to two games proposed and developed by Interplay. Chris Taylor and Mark O'Green, two of the creators of the original Fallout, were among the developers.[1][2][3]

Background

Initially, Project V13 was the internal code name for Fallout Online. In addition to the team, Jason Anderson, one of the other creators of Fallout, was involved in the project between 2007 and 2009. Interplay's rights to developing and publishing the game was the subject of a legal dispute between Bethesda Softworks, the current owner of the Fallout franchise, and Interplay.

Development team

Project history

According to Feargus Urquhart, when Brian Fargo was still the president of Interplay, Fargo proposed a possible Fallout MMO to be made by Black Isle, but Urquhart refused:

"The reason at the time, because I would have loved to have made a Fallout MMO, was that I believed that Interplay was just not in a situation where they had the resources to do it. When you go off to do an MMO it's going to cost $100 million before you get it on the shelf; you've gotta buy servers and you've gotta have service people, and you have to have Game Masters. It's an undertaking, and on top of that, it means that you do have to do all that stuff so what else are you going to focus on? What other games are you going to be able to make?"[4]

This was initially passed to a subsidiary of Interplay called "Engage",[5] although it is known at a later point, Fallout Tactics developer Micro Forté was also contracted to develop Project V13 but the project was eventually canceled.

Interplay/Masthead project

Concept art of post apocalyptic Seattle by Natiq Aghayev

In November 2006, Interplay, headed by Hervé Caen, filed a Form 8-K filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding a potential Fallout massively multiplayer online game.[6] In April 2007, Bethesda Softworks, the developer of Fallout 3, purchased full rights to the Fallout IP for $5.75 million USD. While Bethesda owned the rights to the Fallout MMO IP as well, clauses in the purchase agreement allowed Interplay to license the rights to develop the MMO.[7]

Specific requirements were stated in the agreement that if not met, Interplay would immediately lose and surrender its license rights for Fallout. Development must have begun within 24 months of the date of the agreement (April 4, 2007), and Interplay must have secured $30 million within that time frame or forfeit its rights to license. Interplay would furthermore need to launch the MMOG within four years of the beginning of development and pay Bethesda 12 percent of sales and subscription fees for the use of the IP.

On August 1, 2007, ZeniMax Media Inc., the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, announced the creation of ZeniMax Online Studios. The division was headed by Matt Firor, an online gaming specialist, and focused on the MMO market segment.[8]

In November 2007, Interplay reopened in-house development and hired Fallout developer Jason D. Anderson as creative director.[9][10] In March 2009, Anderson left Interplay and joined InXile Entertainment.

Concept art by Natiq Aghayev

In February 2009, Atanas Atanasov, president of Masthead Studios, a Bulgarian-based developer contacted Interplay offering their services in helping to develop the title.[11][12]

In March 2009 Hervé Caen visited Masthead Studios in Bulgaria and took a 90-second gameplay video of the game in development. At this point, Hervé Caen considered the game to be in full-scale development.[11] On April 2, 2009, Interplay announced a binding letter of intent with Masthead Studios to develop Project V13. Masthead and Interplay teams were to work together under the direction and control of Interplay to complete the development of the project.[13][14] Under the agreement Interplay would pay between 25% and 45% of net receipts to Masthead, depending on the number of subscribers. Interplay valued this assistance at $US 20 million based upon the cost of the work.[11] Hervé Caen testified on December 10, 2009, he was unaware if Masthead had ever launched a game, or MMO.[11]

As of April 4, 2009, the internal Project V13 wiki at Interplay consisted of at least 2,500 pages.[15] On June 15, 2010, the game was officially announced as Fallout Online.

Legal dispute

Concept art by Serg Souleiman

On April 15, 2009, it was announced that Bethesda Softworks moved to rescind the Fallout MMORPG license. Interplay received notice from Bethesda that it intends to terminate the trademark license agreement, claiming that Interplay is in breach of the agreement for failure to commence full-scale development by April 4, 2009, and to secure certain funding for the game. Interplay disputed these claims.[16]

On July 15, 2009 Interplay's Project V13 developer Chris Taylor posted a reply on the Interplay website "Project V13" forum thread refuting the claims that Interplay lost the rights to the Fallout MMORPG. On September 8, 2009, Bethesda filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Interplay in the Maryland District Court.[17]

On December 10, 2009, the Maryland District Court denied Bethesda's request for a preliminary injunction. Interplay was able to continue development on the project until the case finished.[18]

A second case Bethesda Softworks LLC v Masthead Studios Ltd was filed to prevent Masthead from continuing to develop the game. They confirmed work had ceased as of May 2011, and their work did not involve any use of the Fallout trademarks or copyrights.

On January 10, 2012, the Fallout MMO rights were restored to Bethesda Softworks as a part of a settlement agreement. Project V13 was still promoted on the Interplay website for most of the year, but with no word on its current status until December 20, 2012, when it was officially confirmed to be canceled in favor of a new project by the same name.[19]

Gallery

Picture names in quotation marks denote names given to the art by Project V13's art director, Serg Souleiman, or another member of the development team.

Concept art

Videos

References

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