Players invited to brave wasteland in 'Fallout Online' beta test

The makers of Fallout Online, a massively multiplayer game to be set in a ravaged post-apocalyptic world, have unveiled the project with a new website and invited players to sign up for the game's beta testing phase.

Despite protracted legal wranglings between Fallout Online's Interplay Entertainment and Bethesda Softworks, who made 2008's hit Fallout 3, the Fallout Online website now offers 'a special chance to apply to the open beta' to those that subscribe to a newsletter.

Bethesda purchased rights to the cherished Fallout series from Interplay on April 3, 2007, which gave Interplay the necessary funds to resurrect itself from a mire of financial troubles encountered in the early to mid 2000s.

The agreement allowed Interplay to develop a massively multiplayer Fallout game under license, but only if development began within two years - hence the announcement of a partnership with Masthead Games on the cusp of that 24-month period's expiry.

Though Interplay's previous estimate that any beta trial wouldn't start until 2012, interest in the title toppled Fallout Online's website in the hours soon after its launch.

World of Warcraft currently rules the roost as far as massively multiplayer online gaming goes among western PC users, though big name franchise efforts such as Star Wars: The Old Republic (due March-May 2011) and Warhammer 40,000 Dark Millenium Online (also 2012) are among those looking to make inroads.

Fallout Online's website is