In many dogfights it can be hard to pick a winner, and that's the case with Bethesda software vs Interplay.

On the one hand we have Interplay, the zombie corpse of a once great computer game company, desperately trying to milk some change from its last real remaining asset, a tenuous grip on the right to make a Fallout MMORPG.

On the other hand we have Bethesda software, which has killed most of its critical and fan goodwill with astonishing speed by turning into the next EA. Bethesda is using Interplay for releasing a Fallout Trilogy pack, consisting of Fallout 1, 2 and Fallout Tactics, a game most people would rather forget.

Fans reacted with predictable outrage, charging Bethesda with trying to keep the original Fallout games off the market, all the better to clutter it with 5000 Fallout DLC packs. They might have a point, Bethesda certainly doesn't want anything else branded with the Fallout name competing with their stuff for shelf space. And more importantly Bethesda doesn't want Interplay to actually have the financing to continue fighting it in court and perhaps even turn out that dreaded Fallout MMORPG. The brisk sales of the Fallout Trilogy pack would certainly pose a triple threat to Bethesda, which hasn't invested all that marketing money into Fallout 3, just to let Herve siphon some off with his own Fallout game line.

But a game pack named the Fallout Trilogy is not exactly playing fair either. Fallout Tactics was never Fallout 3, that was reserved for Van Buren. Fallout Tactics was a spin-off focusing on tactical game play. And while most experienced gamers know they won't be getting Fallout 3 in the pack, it's not exactly unreasonable that many casual gamers will just to exactly that conclusion. Anyone who can count, can think that a Trilogy means Fallout 1, 2 and 3.

But it's not as if Interplay has any monopoly on deceptive packaging. The Fallout 3 packaging implies that users will be wearing Power Armor, and are buying a complete game, instead of a game that requires buying Broken Steel in order to actually wrap it up.

A plague on both your houses anyway?