Fallout London's project lead is not taking the surprise drop of Fallout 4's update well: 'That has, for a lack of a better term, screwed us over'

Crossed wires.

abril 24, 2024 - 09:00
Fallout London's project lead is not taking the surprise drop of Fallout 4's update well: 'That has, for a lack of a better term, screwed us over'

Dean Carter, the project lead on Fallout London, revealed in a short interview with the BBC that Bethesda gave their team of modders no warning before Fallout 4's next-gen update, which he says "has, for a lack of a better term, screwed us over."

Originally, the "DLC-sized" mod that promises to transport Fallout 4 players to post-nuke London chose April 23 for its release because it was a "day that would work well for us, it would be after the series had come out, and also, it had related to when the in-game start date is as well being St George's Day," Carter explains. 

But things didn't go as planned. Fallout London was forced to push back its release date after Bethesda announced that a next-gen update for Fallout 4 would arrive on April 25. "I don't want to say 'suspect' because that makes it sound malicious. But if you were a big corporation and there was a fantastic [Fallout TV] series that just came out, you think you'd coalign it and have the big update ready on the same day the series comes out," Carter argues. "I don't think it's malicious, but it seems like a very arbitrary date for them to drop."

The Fallout 4 script extender will be what breaks after the next-gen update, so the Fallout London team will have to just wait and see what happens and then change the framework before making everything compatible. These problems are why Fallout London's release date got pushed back indefinitely.

Carter also explained in a video how all their work over the last few years is at risk of breaking. "We've just been tweaking and testing to get things as stable as we can for you all in time for that release. But with the new update dropping just 48 hours later, the past four years of our work stand to just simply break."

Since the video, plenty of fans who've been looking forward to exploring a Fallout location set outside the United States have voiced their annoyance towards Bethesda, and while Carter does reiterate that he didn't intend for the publisher to get the brunt of this, he says it's "inevitable when there's that lack of communication. So I just wish that they had a conversation with us." I don't think it's ever "inevitable" for a publisher to get tons of backlash for not working closely with an unofficial mod, but it isn't massively unsurprising in this case, given Fallout London's reach. 

Bethesda does have the verified creator program, which allows creators to earn royalties from their work—although many just view this as a way to wring money out of the modding community. However, Fallout London is separate from this and stands as an unofficial Fallout 4 mod. It's in part because of this that the team "had zero correspondence with Bethesda," but even so, Carter can't figure out why the team wasn't just asked to sign an NDA so they could be filled in with everything going on instead of "blindsiding us out of nowhere." Granted, this would have solved Fallout London's problems, but even still, for a large company to involve an independent modding team like that would be unprecedented. 

"I do understand that there is always going to be a hesitancy about working with the community because we're not industry professionals," Carter explains. "But there are schemes where they do work with community members, so why isn't that being done?" 

Carter argues that the team has "out-performed some of the Fallout 76 announcements … You’d think that they’d have at least had a conversation to just be like, 'Look, you guys are clearly at least notable, you’re not official, but let’s make sure that we don’t ruin this for the fans.'" 

I can understand why Fallout London is so upset, it's a grand effort to get this mod off the ground and to the point of release almost four years later, but this seems more like a case of crossed wires with a company that had no malicious intent, there was just a break down of communication. There's no word on an updated release date yet for Fallout London, but you never know the team could get lucky with a day-one fix, so maybe not all's lost yet. 

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