NEWS - Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Fallout 3 Q & A

The past year has been miserable for Fallout fans. 2003 ended on a low note, with Interplay's closure of Black Isle Studios and the cessation of development of "Van Buren," the company's code name for Fallout 3. 2004 opened with the ignominious release of the Xbox and PlayStation 2 game Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. Hardcore PC gamers greeted it with hostility, critics were lukewarm, and console gamers reacted with resolute indifference. Sales were even poorer than those of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2, Interplay's other tent-pole release. Together, the one-two punch of the two games' failure pushed the already listing Interplay closer to financial insolvency. The company was sued by former business partners, threatened with eviction by its landlords, and even temporarily shut down by the California Department of Labor. When interplay released its last quarterly earnings report two weeks ago, it revealed that it would run out of cash by the end of July if it did not receive outside funding. Even though Interplay CEO Herve Caen had floated the idea of a Fallout MMORPG, a new console Fallout, and bringing back Fallout 3, Interplay's dire finances caused many to despair the franchise would die alongside its owners. Others thought Caen would finally be forced to license Fallout, possibly to Troika or Obsidian Entertainment, two studios founded by former developers of the game. As it turns out, the latter group was right. This week, Interplay announced that Bethesda Softworks will develop and publish Fallout 3 and other Fallout games for PCs, consoles, and all other platforms. Interplay will technically retain ownership of the Fallout brand and still holds the rights to a Fallout MMORPG. But while the announcement sparked elation in some gamers, others fretted. Many forum-posters worried that Fallout 3 would merely become "Morrowind with guns" while others feared for the game's perk system, uniquely dark humor, and unapologetically mature content. Others expressed concern that Bethesda's intention to develop the game for PCs and consoles could dilute its role-playing elements a la Deus Ex: Invisible War. To help addresses Fallout fans' fears and comment on one of the past year's most surprising publishing deals, GameSpot talked with Bethesda Softworks' Todd Howard. An Elder Scrolls designer since 1996, Howard was project lead of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and has since become executive producer of the award-winning RPGseries. He will also oversee development of Fallout 3, pre-production on which has already begun....
  • GameSpot: It's been widely rumored that Interplay has been shopping the Fallout license for months. When did you first hear about it? Todd Howard: We've been interested in it, well, forever. We just love the work they did on the first two games.
  • See the rest of the interview here
    Source: http://www.gamespot.com

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