Fallout: New California is a total conversion mod for Fallout: New Vegas that has been in development for some time and is set to finally release in October. About a week ago the team behind the mod took to Facebook to express their concern about Bethesda potentially hitting them with a cease & desist order after an expansion for the official Fallout Boardgame, also called New California, was announced.
Bethesda is no stranger to "laying down the law", having recently sued Warner Bros. claiming that the Westworld mobile game is a blatant rip-off of Fallout Shelter. In 2011 they also filed a lawsuit against Minecraft studio Mojang claiming that Scrolls infringes on their copyright of Elder Scrolls.
It stands to reason then that the creators of the New California mod would start worrying about their product.
"They have every legal right to C&D us without hesitation. It would be effortless on their part to wipe us out with a single email, erasing 7 years of work.
We have a Wikipedia page, we have the first 19 pages on Google search results, the top results are about us, there are news interviews and lets plays and single videos WITH MORE VIEWS THAN THEIR ENTIRE COMPANY YOUTUBE CHANNEL -- and they still named their board game Fallout: New California.
The group also stated that it would be totally fair for Bethesda to shut down their mod:
"If I were them, I would. Because if I had a for-profit board game that was running on a very slim profit margin, and then there was the gigantic UN-licensed mod out there that dwarfs my publicity at the same time, I would C&D them."
However, all is well in the Mojave Wasteland as a representative for Bethesda has said that they don't have an issue with the mod.
"The great thing about modding is that people can build mods about whatever they want. We don’t foresee an issue with this team’s work, and we wish them well in their development."
It is great to see a big company that is known for protecting their brand (within their rights) cutting the little guys some slack and allowing them to release this highly anticipated mod. Some people, such as myself, are actually looking forward to this mod more than the next official game in the series, Fallout 76.