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Bethesda: Why Fallout?
None - posted by Elwro on Wed 9 January 2008, 14:47:33Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3
There's a nice article at Rock, Paper Shotgun, in which Kieron Gillen discusses possible goals Bethesda might have had in mind when buying the Fallout IP. Why would they do it?
I’ve said this before, but the nagging question is why they’d take up this particular poisoned chalice of post-apocalypse role-playing anyway. “A new game by the makers of Oblivion” is a much bigger story to the gaming mainstream than “Sequel to old PC game you haven’t played”. Hell, the “3″ even risks alienating people who’ve never played (or heard of) the original, dismissing it out of hand - there’s eighteen year old PC Gamers who’d have been six when the thing comes out.I'm not sure about the last part. Just because they bought rights to a game which includes good dialogue doesn't mean they will be able to prepare something of similar quality themselves. Buying the IP has no impact on "working out how people act and talk" - any developer with a brain and without the IP should be able to do this himself. Still, the article definitely offers some food for thought, so be sure to read it.
Thirdly… well, one of the major worries about Fallout 3 from even less fanatical fans is that they don’t believe Bethesda are capable of wrestling with the actions-and-consequences aspects that have traditionally been involved in a Fallout Game - they’re fine with multiple mechanisms (Assuming they get the experience system right), but the payoffs are limited. Just as key is their limitations as creators of fiction - while they’re good at verisimilitude and a sense of place, the fiction - dialogue, plot, whatever - of the Elder Scrolls have been merely acceptable at best throughout. This has lead some people to think that Bethesda, by definition, can’t do it. Thing is, by buying Fallout 3, they cover their weaknesses. They don’t need to create a world from whole-cloth - they have an inspiring world. They don’t need to work out how people act and talk - they have a game which shows the interactions between individuals and whatever. Buying Fallout actually acts as a crutch for Bethesda’s traditional faults.
Thanks, baby arm!