We received a press release from Bethesda Softworks, announcing that the Morrowind developer has licensed the Fallout franchise from Interplay and will develop and publish Fallout 3. The deal with Interplay allows Bethesda to make future Fallout products on PC, consoles, handhelds and other media.
"We're extremely excited about this opportunity and what it means both for Bethesda and for Fallout fans around the world," said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks. "Fallout is one of the great RPG franchises. Millions of Fallout games have been sold worldwide, and fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of a Fallout 3 title. Bethesda's proven expertise in this genre, building on our experience and the tremendous success we have enjoyed with our cutting-edge Elder Scrolls series, will enable us to create the next chapter of Fallout that is worthy of the franchise." ...The press release mentions that Bethesda is also working on the next installment of The Elder Scrolls. Interplay also issued a press release, mentioning that they retain rights to an online Fallout game (and still own the intellectual property), and reiterating plans to develop a Fallout MMORPG. Update: on HomeLAN Fed you can find a mini-Q&A with Bethesda's Pete Hines about their creative control, involvement from Fallout 1 & 2 team members and a release date.