Those who have been following the long and messy tale behind Interplay’s Fallout Online have probably come to expect that an MMO based on the post-apocolytpic world of Fallout was just never meant to be. While chances of a Fallout MMO ever seeing the light of day are still slim, there is now absolutely no possibility of gamers ever getting their hands on Interplay’s Fallout Online.

After a gruelling court battle that waged for the better part of two years, the legal battle between Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax and former Fallout owner Interplay has come to an end. The result saw ZeniMax retain all rights to the Fallout series, immediately barring Interplay from developing any games on the Fallout property and/or brand.

Chariman and CEO of ZeniMax, Robert Altman expressed his excitement on the settlement (and the future for a possible Bethesda-developed Fallout MMO) in an official press release that was sent out today:

“While we strongly believe in the merits of our suits, we are pleased to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation while completely resolving all claims to the Fallout IP. Fallout is an important property of ZeniMax and we are now able to develop future Fallout titles for our fans without third party involvement or the overhang of others’ legal claims.”

Interplay will also receive $2 million from ZeniMax, and will be able to continue selling Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics until December 2013. After that date has been reached, the rights to sell and distribute these titles will fall out of the hands of Interplay, and back into the hands of Bethesda. Both sides will also have to compensate the efforts of their legal team with their own money, which will likely take a large chunk out of the $2,000,000 that was just handed to the former Fallout Online developer.

Bethesda has become somewhat infamous for its lawsuits, after attempting — and failing — to strip the name ‘Scrolls‘ from Mojang’s upcoming game, but at least they’ve put this mess behind them. Those who were looking forward to the official Fallout Online beta hitting this year have probably realized that any work done on the game will never see the light of day, but maybe Bethesda can manage to provide fans with one of the most clean and bug-less MMOs ever conceived…

Well, we can always dream.

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