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Fallout MMO Proposal Detailed, Budgeted at $75 Million

In 2004, Bethesda announced that it had licensed from faltering publisher Interplay the rights to make additional games based on the acclaimed post-apocalyptic RPG series Fallout. Just prior to that, Interplay had announced that it would be retaining the rights to produce an MMO set in the Fallout world. Now, Interplay has filed a proposal to the SEC detailing specific financial plans for such an MMO. The project is estimated at a total of $75 million, with $5 million for preproduction, $40 million for production, and $30 million for the launch. Development is stated to begin in January 2007, with the game launching in July 2010.

Interplay hopes to achieve a userbase of 1 million within a year of launch, with the game becoming profitable within the second year and bringing annual income of $50 million starting in the third year. No specific development studio was named, though the presentation notes that Interplay management has had experience with World of Warcraft while working at Vivendi. In one amusing note, the company points out that "due to the subject matter of a post apocalyptic world resulting from the Cold War (1945-1990), all consumers 20 and older will have some ties to Fallout and will be intrigued to find out in this virtual world: 'and what if the nuclear war really had happened?'"

From The Chatty
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    December 12, 2006 4:13 PM

    75$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hmmm I wonder if it really takes that much money to make a mmo? Seems kinda nutz then again all I have done is mods and XNA so what do I know just seems pretty insane.

    Intresting --> [$30 million for the launch]

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      December 12, 2006 4:18 PM

      MMOs cost a ton. Especially one as ambitious as I imagine Fallout will be.

      Not looking forward to the Bethesda game, though...

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        December 12, 2006 4:27 PM

        How can you be not looking forward to a game you know nothing about aside from that one of the only RPG devs (and, as best I can tell, the most successful) that still exists in the PC world is making it?

        Really, all they've said about it, last I knew, was that they wouldn't be taking to heart the suggestions of the douchebags at No Mutants Allowed. (in nicer words, but still)

        Also, I've heard mentioned that the gameplay won't be 1st or 3rd person-only but something "proprietary" (I'm still hoping for 1st person exploration, pull back to 3rd person for the turn-based combat)

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          December 12, 2006 4:30 PM

          I have nothing but dislike for Bethesda and their games, especially Oblivion. They released what, in my opinion, was a very poor product and relied on the modding community to fix it for them.

          The games themselves are extremely dull to me, and I don't think they'll be able to pull off the humor and style of Fallout, as they lack much of their own. The rumors that it'll be using the same engine as Oblivion is also very depressing, as it leads to the creation of repetitive environments (Damn you, Speedtree).

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            December 12, 2006 4:31 PM

            Oh. Well, I guess that sucks for you then...nothing really I can say if you really thought Oblivion was that poor.

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            December 12, 2006 5:19 PM

            Your opinion is false. Oblivion did not suck!

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            December 12, 2006 5:29 PM

            Oblivion totally sucked ^^^^^ This person knows ze truth.

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              December 12, 2006 6:27 PM

              I'm gonna agree with the two that claim Oblivion sucked...

              Thankfully I didn't full invest in it, for those that did, and felt they got what they paid for, good for you. For me, I didn't get sucked into it like WoW or Zelda, or any of the GTA games. It was boring and reminded me of windwaker... HUGE ENVIRONMENT... too fuckin slow moving around and getting from place to place.

              Oh and the fact that a guard would chase you non-stop... that got old real fast.

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            December 12, 2006 7:24 PM

            I don't really know what else you can ask for from an RPG that Oblivion doesn't offer. You want smaller environments? Oh, just less repetitive ones, want insanely long development times? The scope of the Oblivion world and the amount of detail in it is unmatched by any game to date, RPG or not. I don't really know where these insane expectations for RPGs come from. I know everyone hated that enemies got stronger as the player did, but I never even noticed it. I was kicking ass more and more as I leveled up.

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              December 12, 2006 8:10 PM

              After what they did to the elder scrolls i have little hope for my beloved fallout series.

              I mean they had Morrowind, which despite its rough edges and tedious beggining was probably the greatest CRPG ever made, with a story that sucked you in (after a while) and a massive unique and original world to explore with quests that were challenging and cerebral. It was a role-playing game where the role you were playing was meaningful to you, where there was always something more out there for you to find that made the game exploration fun. The dungeons were huge and maze like.
              Morrowind stayed on my hard drive for 3 years.

              Then along comes the complete let down of oblivion. I game where the story is so dull and boring you end up skipping past all the dialog in annoyance. The world is generic and repetitive. The exploration is more like walking around and looking for icons on your map. The items are generic and repetitive. Every dungeon is small and pretty much identical to the last one you were in. The game is virtually over after a month or two of play.
              Oblivion stayed on my hard drive for 3 months, and that was only because i sincerely hoped the game might become fun again after beating the main quest and becoming completely and utterly boring after only a month of play if i just let it sit a while, but no it is not fun to play anymore, its boring.

              And the thing that really pisses me off is all the idiots who said Oblivion was better than Morrowind. These people obviously didn't play the game for the role-playing or the story, but more for the gimmicks like graphics and combat.

              Now bethesda probably thinks they know what gamers want: Graphics and combat... but heres a newsflash: fallout 2 had shitty graphics and combat and yet many people played the hell out of it for the roleplaying and story. The same people that cried when they got there asses kicked trying to raid a morrowind dungeon at level 3. Bethesda took care of you pansies and left there loyal fans in the dark.

              If bethesda makes another hack job sequel that takes a fine CRPG franchise and turns it into an action based brainless bore like oblivion i swear they will burn in hell for all i care, i'm not gonna be stupid and wait in line on release day for another main stream stupified sequel. Oblivion was made for xbox and xbox gamers, not crpg gamers. I hope this time they stop and take a look at what the previous games were all about and not deviate from that completely in an attempt to reach a broader but very short-term audience. Of course they make more money this way so i would bet on thats whats gonna happen.

              Why make a game that engrosses your smaller core group of gamers for years when you can pump one out that empresses a large group of gamers for a couple months. That seems to be bethesda's new motto. They got greedy and their games have suffered.

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                December 12, 2006 8:43 PM

                Thanks for the epic post. I would never claim that Oblivion is better than Morrowind, as I love both games, but I really don't see as big of a difference between the two games that you do. Story seems to be your main problem, and I can understand that. The Morrowind story was far more epic, and smashing Dagoth Ur’s head in with my enchanted hammer was one of the more satisfying gaming experiences of my life. However, the items and weapons in both games are essentially identical in my eyes…I can not remember much more variety in Morrowind. Sure, they got rid of throwing stars but those were worthless. Also, the combat is extremely similar in both games, though they changed the hit system slightly. But I really didn’t see a huge difference, and yet you say Oblivion is “action based”. I got my sneak level up wicked fast so I didn’t have to use much combat, so I disagree with you completely. I experienced less combat in Oblivion than in Morrowind.

                You talk about these two games like they are worlds apart, but there are really only minor differences that I can see. I really did think there was a good variety of environments in Oblivion, but thinking back I guess the towns aren’t as radically different as they are in Morrowind. But really, environments take a back seat to fun for me, and the Mages Guild and Dark Brotherhood were super fun quest lines for me. I’ve put over 120 hours into the game and still have not explored most of the random dungeons. I guess we will have to agree to disagree, but I would be interested to know more about what you disliked.

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                  December 12, 2006 10:20 PM

                  There is way more rare items in morrowind that make exploration a necessity, you cant just walk into any dungeon and expect similar loot, you have to go looking for it. Also finding that awesome loot is much more exciting because you know that its something that is truly hard to find and not just a combination of being the right level and a little luck. There are barely any rare items in oblivion and you will see them drop a few times each before the end.

                  Check out this link, it is a list of all the items in Morrrowind.
                  Check out how many different named weapons/armor there are!

                  Another big gripe is with the story tho for sure. When i was playing Morrowind it was like sitting down to immerse myself in a good book, you could really get soaked up into the world and events. In oblivion i felt like i was just well... "grinding"

                  My next big gripe is the repetitive dungeons. They all are small and look the same, furthermore you will get the same loot wherever you go so there is really no reason to go looking for obscure dungeons. Also many (not all) the dungeons in morrowind were very large and easy to get lost in with secret passages and such that could easily be missed.

                  Because the loot table was maxed at lvl30 in oblivion I really got the sense that there was nothing more to see at that point. I played morrowind until level 60-something and every time i came across an unpillaged dungeon it was very cool because i had no idea what i would find inside. In oblivion i knew exactly what i would find... more of the same.

                  In all tho to sum up everything that morrowind had and oblivion didn't can be said in one word... longevity. After a point oblivion gets very stale, and that point comes way to soon, the combat and the pretty graphics do nothing to extend the games lifespan when you really get down to it. I never felt that combat was an important factor in morrowind, is was more like the labor of exploration and looting.

                  I will be perfectly honest with you i thought oblivion was a good game, Unfortunately after years of morrowind and waiting for the TES4 i was expecting another epic, what i got was merely another game to entertain me for a short while but thats all. I really found nothing memorable about it that won't be wiped out the next time a better looking game comes out with a cool combat system. Everyone now is talking about morrowinds poor graphics with bad character models etc. Just goes to show that graphics are not memorable because everyone was raving about morrowinds graphics when it came out.

                  They should have called oblivion the elder scrolls lite, or the elder scrolls: tactics so everyone would know that they were getting watered down role playing with more action/adventure substance.

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                    December 13, 2006 3:53 AM

                    download the oscuros mod. Thousands of new items, enemies and better leveling system.

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              December 12, 2006 8:37 PM

              How about a game where the role playing systems aren't obscured by a thousand layers of abstraction designed to hide the numbers behind the game in the name of immersion, thus severely limiting the control the player has over the development of his character?

              Oblivion was a medieval FPS with some RPG-lite stuff thrown in more than anything else. I felt like I had more interesting character development in Diablo than I did in Oblivion.

              Also, less cookie cutter RPG classes, please. Oblivion actually manages to have more boring characters than the average D&D based CRPG, which takes some doing.

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                December 12, 2006 8:41 PM


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                December 12, 2006 8:47 PM

                Micro management has never been my thing, but I can see your point. Is there a recent RPG that does this really well? I would like to try that approach again to see if I can get into it.

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      December 12, 2006 4:27 PM

      $30 million for the launch is insane, few games have production costs of that do they? Advertising around the globe would pay off if they got a million subscribers or more.

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        December 12, 2006 5:28 PM

        I think this $30 million includes marketing, publishing (box art, distribution), web site, community help, etc.

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        December 12, 2006 5:38 PM

        This isn't out of norm for big budget games, such as Halo, GTA, etc.

        This is why MMO's charge money- because they cost so damn much to make.

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      December 12, 2006 9:09 PM


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