So yeah, if you haven’t heard Bethesda, the company behind The Elder Scrolls series and present owners of the Fallout license, have been a bit lawsuit-heavy as of late. Or ZeniMax Media has, it’s kind of hard to tell since Bethesda’s founder also founded ZeniMax and then two are often referred to interchangeably.
Ages ago they tried to shut down Morroblivion, which was a project to let people convert their Morrowind game to Oblivion’s format. That worked for a bit, but now Morroblivion is back and going strong. Can’t stop the signal.
Then they had a legal tiff with Interplay, whom they purchased the Fallout license off, for several reasons.
First, Interplay were trying to sell Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics as “The Fallout Trilogy”. Whilst selling these old but awesomely epic mega amazing games (and Fallout Tactics) to the newer generation is something I completely support, I can understand why Bethesda got ticked off: Fallout Trilogy would make most people think “Fallout 1, 2 and 3″. Either the people behind that product didn’t realise this and are morons, they did and didn’t think it’d matter, and thus are morons, or they were just being malicious and trying to con people. Either way, Bethesda had a point.
Then they tried to stop Interplay developing the Fallout Online MMORPG. Now I have my doubts that Fallout would work as an MMO, how the heck Fallout can feel suitably post-apocalyptic with a million n00bs running around shouting things like “L0L JUST PWN3D TEH SUPAR MUTENTS!” and the like? But that’s not what Bethesda’s issue was.
Best as I can tell, Bethesda signed a deal with Interplay that involved them bringing the Fallout MMO to a decently presentable state by a certain date. This date had long since passed, and Interplay had shown no real progress with the game. Bethesda didn’t like this, and told them to stop working on Fallout Online. They didn’t.
Again here I think Bethesda has a point. You contract someone to build you a shed in a week, and come back a fortnight later to find the shed not only not built, but the builders sitting next to where the shed should be drinking beer, you’re gonna get pissed off. Maybe they didn’t react as best as they could, but all in all I remain on Bethesda’s side there.
Now, Bethesda (or ZeniMax, it’s hard to say which since the two are kinda the same company but kinda not due to some legal stuff) are suing Mojang, the creators of Minecraft. Why? Because the next game Notch plans to work on after Minecraft is called “Scrolls”. And Bethesda have a game series called “The Elder Scrolls”.
What. The. Fuck!
Now, I really really really hope this is some dick playing a practical joke because if it’s not, well…I’m sorry, but there’s a line in the sand and Bethesda/ZeniMax/whatever will have finally crossed it here. To put this in context, it’s like the Milton Bradley’s ghost (The creator of “The Game of Life”) suing Valve for “Half-Life” due to the use of the word ‘Life’. Seriously, if this is a valid tactic why not just release a series of products that use, one by one, every word in the English dictionary. Then everybody will be forced to use foreign words, made-up words, or pay you to use yours! It’s genius I tells ye!
Seriously, line. Sand. Crossed. Congratulations Bethesda/ZeniMax Media, if this is you and you go through with this then…well, I’ll still buy Skyrim because I’m your bitch but come-on!
Quote of the Day
“I sincerely hope Bethesda isn’t pulling a Tim Langdell.”
Now, I’m an Elder Scrolls fan. Morrowind remains one my favourite games ever. Oblivion was a bit of a disappointment for me, not RPG enough to be a good RPG and not FPS enough to be a good FPS, but a long series of mods corrects that particular problem nicely and when heavily modded it stands only a bit behind a heavily modded Morrowind.
Morrowind still wins, largely because of having a much more interesting world, more grey morality and more political intrigue in the plots.
Also Oblivion made axes “Blunt weapons”…uhn, what the fuck? I mean, I can forgive combining Short and Long blades into one Blade skill even if it does make next-to-no logical sense…but one could argue broadsword vs claymores are different skills logically, so I’ll let it slide as disagreement on where to draw the “Realistic enough but still fun” line. But calling Axes blunt is just stupid.
And Morrowind’s enchant system was pretty cool in my opinion.
Anyway, my long list of complaints aside I’m still a fan. And as such, raised a few please expressions from this trailer and the interviews. Then again, Bethesda always were good at talking but don’t always back it up in the final product.
It sounds like they’ve taken some cues from Oblivion mods, their time with Fallout 3, which is a good thing. And they’ve finally ditched the out-dated GameByro engine they’ve been using in one form or another since the turn of the millennium!
I’ve heard talk about some political houses, which is reminiscent of the Houses of Morrowind which were probably all my favourite quest lines in Morrowind.
Another complaint with Oblivion was after Morrowind’s very unique and interesting world, it Oblivion very cookie-cutter high-fantasy in comparison. Even Oblivion’s music wasn’t very interesting in comparison (though that’s only in comparison). Skyrim looks very stereotypically Norse, but that’s how it’s always been portrayed in the games (Solstheim in Morrowind was the same). But it’s in-game lore is pretty cool so let’s see what they can do with that.
Combat sounds better, magic sounds better, stealth sounds better, plot lines sound better, the world sounds at least a little bit better, heck even the music sounds better. In short, I think I’m going to need a new computer.
Quote of the Day
“Once I dug a hole and filled it with clowns. Or was it clouds? Must be clowns, because clouds don’t smell.”
Sheogorath – The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles