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Fallout Online sends out another Pip-Pad viral update

fallout online
Interplay and Bethesda Softworks are still continuing their legal fight over the Fallout game franchise. Howeve that fight isn't stopping Interplay from promoting its long-in-development MMO game Fallout Online. On Saturday, Interplay emailed out word that the latest "Pip-Pad" edition of The Armageddon Rag is now online and available to read.

This latest update has a couple of new short stories set in the game's post-apocalypse universe along with Crazy Ivan's New and Used Gun Catalog (More Guns Than Canada) showing some of the weapons and items that players might get to use in the game. That is if the game itself ever goes live.

Five Fingers of Death: The BioWare game we will never play

BioWare is a developer who has a proven track record of making excellent RPG titles. But early on in BioWare's life the team created the concept for the game that, in the end, got rejected outright by Interplay, its publishing partner at the time. IGN reports that during the DICE Summit this week BioWare co-founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk talked about the previously unrevealed but never released game.

It was called Five Fingers of Death (we love it already) and would have been a kung fu-themed game (complete with movie-style cut scenes) with the Baldur's Gate RPG genre. However when the concept was presented to Interplay Zeschuk stated, "... they laughed us out of the building." Ouch. BioWare later went on to make Jade Empire, an Asian-themed RPG that was more serious in tone to what Five Fingers of Death sounds like.

Some at Volition would "commit murder" to make Freespace 3

The Freespace space combat sim series has remained a cult favorite for many PC gamers over the years. Many have wanted to see a third game in the series come out at some point. As it turns out there are some folks at the game's original developer Volition that feel the same way. In a chat at NowGamer, Volition producer Jim Boone is quoted as saying, "There is a group of people (at Volition) that would commit murder to do that game."

The original Freespace (full name Descent Freespace The Great War) was the first ever game from Volition and was released in 1998 via publisher Interplay. Its space combat gameplay and its impressive (at that time) graphics won over game critics and fans. A sequel, Freespace 2, was quickly developed and released in 1999. However that game didn't sell as well. According to Boone, part of the reason was that by that time PC games controlled by joysticks were no longer being made.

The Freespace IP is still owned by Interplay but Volition was later sold to THQ so any chance of a Freespace 3 made by Volition would likely come if THQ were to buy the rights from Interplay. Meanwhile you can get the first two games via GoG.com. In addition the source code for Freespace 2's graphics engine was released in 2002 and is the basis for several free downloadable PC games made by amateurs.

Fallout rights dispute causes "he said, he said" statements on the net

The rights to the Fallout RPG franchise have been part of a big legal battle between publishers Interplay and Bethesda Softworks. This week the dispute left the court room and entered into the interwebs with reps from both companies basically saying, "We own the rights."

Eurogamer chatted
with Interplay's president Eric Caen who admitted, "We sold the Fallout IP to Bethesda in exchange for a certain amount of cash and the right to do the Fallout MMO." However Caen claims that the actual IP agreement gave Bethesda to make just three Fallout games. Caen claims, "So they already did Fallout 3, then Fallout: New Vegas, and they can only do one more Fallout, 5, if the sale of the IP is cancelled by the court."

Not so, says Bethesda Softworks PR head Pete Hines. Chatting with VG247.com, Hines states, "We own the rights to everything Fallout. The licence is ours. Fallout belongs to us. That's what I'll clarify." It's clear that the two parties are well out of agreement which also means a protracted legal battle.

Interplay wins injunction against Topware's Battle vs Chess game

You may remember earlier this year that developers Topware Interactive and Gaijin Entertainment released Battle Vs Chess, a fantasy strategy take on the classic chess game. That move apparently didn't make Interplay very happy. The publisher filed a lawsuit against Topware on September 24, claiming that Battle Vs Chess was an infringement on Interplay's own Battle Chess trademark.

In a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Interplay announced that the court battle against Topware has succeeded in a preliminary injunction being granted that prevents Topware from "further use of Battle Chess or any confusingly similar title by TopWare." So that pretty much means that the game can't be sold until it gets a new title.

[Via Fallout Wika]

Fallout Online teases us with a Pip-Pad

Fallout Online is still very much in stealth mode but the team at Interplay continues to release teasers about the background to the upcoming post-apocalypse MMO. Today we received a link to yet another such teaser which comes from the Pip-Pad, a apparently prototype model for Fallout's PipBoy info device.

The Pip-Pad some rather odd stuff inside of it including a transcription of an audio message, what passes for a novel except and an odd log entry from somebody. It's all rather strange and we are not sure how this will all link into Fallout Online itself. But at least its more interesting than your normal online newsletter promotion.

GoG.com adds Icewind Dale 2 to PC game library

It's time for GoG.com to reintroduce us to yet another classic fantasy RPG game. The PC DRM-free download site has just added Icewind Dale 2 to its library and it and the game's Adventure Pack can be yours for $9.99.

Originally developed by Interplay's internal development studio Black Isle Studios, the original game was first released in 2002, not long before Black Isle Studios closed its doors. GoG.com's version of the game, now published by Atari, comes with some free extras including the game' soundtrack, a book of spells, a 152-page manual, wallpapers, pieces of artwork, avatars and more.

Neverwinter Nights becomes latest game added to GoG.com

The DRM-free PC gaming web site GoG.com has added yet another classic titles to its download library and its yet another fantasy RPG from the team at developer BioWare. It''s the Diamond Edition of Dungeons and Dragons-based game Neverwinter Nights.

This edition not only includes the original game, released back in 2002, but BioWare's three official expansion pack-modules as well (Shadows of Undrentide, Hordes of the Underdark and Kingmaker). You also get three downloadable manuals, the game's original soundtrack, wallpapers and artwork, a map, and a re-installer program for the game's premium modules. All of that gaming goodness can be yours for just $9.99.

Interplay president: Fallout Online beta and launch set for 2012

While there's been little info about Fallout Online's development from its team at Interplay, the company's president said in a recent interview that the MMO version of the post apocalyse franchise is set for a launch in the second half of 2010, with a beta coming in that year as well.

Eurogamer reports that in the new issue of Edge magazine that Interplay president Eric Caen states, "We have 90 people working on it. Even in January 2009, you were already able to move across the world." Interplay is still apparently in a legal fight over the Fallout trademarks with Bethesda Softworks. That's part of the reason for trickle of info about the game with Caen stating, 'anything we show will help Bethesda in their fight." Caen also decided to take a little shot against Bethesda's take on the franchise, saying "Fallout 3 was a little bit too serious – that's definitely not where we're going. Our Fallout MMOG will be extremely funny."

Planescape: Torment now on GoG.com

The DRM-free PC game web site GoG.com continues to add classic but major PC titles to its library. Today the site brings us a true RPG masterpiece in Planescape: Torment, the 1999 title from developer Black Isle Studios and publisher Interplay.

The Dungeons and Dragons-based game is now available from GoG.com for $9.99. In addition to the game itself the site also has a number of bonus materials including the game's manual, wallpapers, the game's soundtrack, over 100 pieces of artwork, avatars and even a PDF of the game's novelization from Chris Avellone (now at Obsidian working on Fallout: New Vegas) and Colin McComb.
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