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Games Entertainment

Fallout 3 Gets Leaked, Goes Gold 249

Fallout 3 is due to be released in a few weeks, and Bethesda recently announced that all versions of the game have gone gold. They provided the systems specs for the PC release as well. Unfortunately for them, the Xbox 360 version was leaked onto torrent sites almost three weeks early. Bethesda is "looking into" how the game was distributed. In preparation for the launch, game director Todd Howard spoke at length with Gamasutra about the scope of the project, and the differences from their previous games, such as Oblivion. CrispyGamer recently ran a three-part series detailing their four hours of hands-on time with the game. We've previously looked at some gameplay videos for Fallout 3, and discussed the fact that no mod tools will ship with the game.
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Fallout 3 Gets Leaked, Goes Gold

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  • by Dr. Manhattan ( 29720 ) <[sorceror171] [at] []> on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:02PM (#25359547) Homepage
    Maybe from Sony's perspective, Blu-ray was an extra hurdle to help reduce piracy. There are a lot more DVD burners than Blu-ray burners, for now.
  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:10PM (#25359657) Journal

    In fairness, the number of people who actually download and run the Xbox 360 leak will be tiny compared to what the effect would have been with a PC-version leak. Getting pirated games running on a 360 involves the kind of hardware modification that is beyond the level of the average user and, in any event, makes the machine unusable on Xbox Live.

    The impact of this leak will be fairly tiny in terms of lost sales. Plot spoilers etc are going to be more of a concern.

  • by Sancho ( 17056 ) * on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:15PM (#25359729) Homepage

    Release dates mean a lot. Playing with them lets you adjust your income based upon your fiscal year (look at Harry Potter 6 release date shenanigans.) Shareholders want consistent earnings from year to year, not large fluctuations, for example. There are also times of the year when people tend to use their disposable income more freely, such as around holidays. Releasing your game too far from, say, Christmas means that a great deal of your marketing (which will almost certainly coincide with the release date) won't be as effective when people are actually spending the money.

    Then there are other release considerations. Who wants to release their flagship product at the same time that another company has a major release? There are a lot of things that need to be considered when picking a release date--it's not as simple as "release it when it's ready."

  • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:22PM (#25359799)

    I just don't understand this logic. Why do you feel that you have a right to the game as soon as it is complete? Doesn't the company have a right (actually, a responsibilty to thier shareholders) to maximize their profit through marketing and targeted release dates?

  • by Beyond_GoodandEvil ( 769135 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:42PM (#25360107) Homepage

    Thanks for keeping us posted one the minutia of your life, man. Be sure and post here to let use know about all the other stuff you don't have or aren't able to do. We're dying to know.
    Isn't that what twitter is for?(not the /. dude)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:56PM (#25360301)

    It's in the article.

  • by chaim79 ( 898507 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:58PM (#25360323) Homepage

    Probably dealing as much with the space requirements as anything else, a 5-7 gb download is no-where near a 30 - 50 gb download, most computers wouldn't have enough free space to handle more then two of them sitting around (to seed) and there wouldn't be very much demand for them with very few people having Blue-Ray burners.

    I suspect there won't be a real PS3 disk-based game piracy issue for a while, Blue-Ray will have to be a lot more popular and HD space & bandwidth will have to be pushed in order to make it worth anyone's while.

    However, if someone would get on hacking download-able games I'd be all for it, especially if they got home-brew games working, I'd love to be able to dink around with programming a game, load it using USB, and play around with it. I'd probably never be able to do anything impressive but I'd have some fun and interest.

  • by Cythrawl ( 941686 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:01PM (#25360379)
    Ummm.. Diablo 3 dumbed down???

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Diablo games aren't/were'nt that complicated in the first place! You could play Diablo 1 and 2 with one hand on the mouse. Really when you look at it Diablo is really just a Gauntlet clone with good storytelling. There's never been ANYTHING complicated about Diablo.. Which in my opinion is what makes it great!.. No need to think about anything, just click and play.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:13PM (#25360547)

    Getting pirated games running on a 360 involves the kind of hardware modification that is beyond the level of the average user and, in any event, makes the machine unusable on Xbox Live

    The Xbox Live part was true for the Xbox, but not the 360.

    Yeah, modding a 360 to play pirated games is absolute cake and involves virtually zero risk to the hardware or your Live account. I'd bet that a lot of people knuckle down and mod their systems just to play this release.

    I personally save quite a bit of money on my gaming habit as a result of modding my 360; I no longer buy or rent games to try them, I just download and burn. At $2 or so per DL DVD+R, it's a no-brainer.

  • by Cythrawl ( 941686 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:17PM (#25360607)
    You never said easy.. you said "Dumbed down for the consoles". There are MANY console games that are also far from easy. My point is its not being dumbed down for consoles. Its the same damn gameplay elements that are in all the other Diablo's.. And for the record I have finished all the Diablo games. Please try to put some filler in your discussion other than " you obviously havent played it".
    Diablo isn't that complicated of a concept to begin with. As I said in my previous post its really like a evolution on the original Gauntlet with a beginning and an end and great visuals and a great story. Theres NOTHING to dumb down in the first place. Get over it.
  • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:32PM (#25360857)

    Parents start shopping for the holiday season starting in late October, early Novemeber. They are more likely to choose to buy the game that is most prominantly displayed. During the holiday rush, dozens of games are release and games don't get to have the massive display for long before it is pushed out by some other game. Therefore, it can be extremely advantagous to wait until the holiday rush has begun to release your game.

    Marketing and timing can make a huge difference in a games success, especially for games released for the holiday season. To be fair, I don't think it would matter as much for games such as Fallout 3, it is targeted to an older, already attached audience. If this were a title like LittleBigPlanet (new audience, younger target) for instance, releasing a couple of weeks early could be devastating.

  • Re:review copy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:11PM (#25361471) Journal
    I refuse to be saddled with morals regarding video games while the publishers are doing their very best to strip me of the right of first sale.
  • by CroDragn ( 866826 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:23PM (#25361593)
    Yes, it is, and that's why I will never be doing it for any consoles I own. It's all down to step 1) Opening the 360. Doing so voids all warrantees on the system, so if the system breaks down later for whatever reason, even unrelated to the mod, you'll still get a nice big bugger off from the company. When it comes to hardware, this is a big deal for me, and even more so to the population at large. PC pirating, even though more complex, does not suffer from this type of problem, which is a large part of why is it so much more popular.
  • Re:review copy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:28PM (#25361643)
    *hops on xbox live*

    hmmm... no demo. where do you get one?

    oh.... you mean wait for several months after release for a demo to come out. fuck that
  • by supertusse ( 1237022 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:38PM (#25361743)
    Soldering some wires, attaching a modchip, those kinds of mods would be hardware mods. Updating firmware, however, that's a software modification. Feel free to put that asshat back on.
  • by Kingrames ( 858416 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:38PM (#25361751)
    um, World of Warcraft has a major content patch tomorrow and a month afterwards, an expansion.

    There's going to be some heavy competition in the weeks ahead. Thankfully I can afford both.
  • by Mister Whirly ( 964219 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:48PM (#25361835) Homepage
    Think of it this way - if you don't buy 4 $60 games because you can borrow/rent them and burn them onto a $2 DL DVD, you can buy a brand new Xbox when you get the red ring of death. Simple economics.
  • by dougmc ( 70836 ) <> on Monday October 13, 2008 @06:02PM (#25362015) Homepage

    You can play chess [] with one hand on the mouse (or occasionally used to move pieces on the board, if you wanted) and the other hand down your pants. Is chess dumbed down too?

    More computer game-ish, NWN and NWN2 played just fine using only the mouse if I recall correctly. Needing only the mouse doesn't mean it's dumbed down (though NWN2 and especially NWN1 was somewhat dumbed down from the traditional non-computer D&D ...)

    My problem with Diablo II is that it made my clicking finger ache. :)

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @06:10PM (#25362099) Journal

    You want your big advertising spend to coincide with the timem of year when the most people are buying. A month-old game just doesn't have the same buzz.

    It quite rare, of course, for any game to be ready *early*. November usuallly sees a bunch of half-fininshed games rushed to market as patchware.

  • by rtechie ( 244489 ) * on Monday October 13, 2008 @06:17PM (#25362171)

    What boggles my mind is why sit on the game until some arbitrary release date and why not sell it sooner?

    They don't. You don't understand game development.

    The fact is, virtually all "big" games like Fallout 3 ship late. Usually VERY late. This is because of unforeseen problems that arise during development which stretch out development times. Typically development times are stretched to fix bugs and add features as long as possible, and even then the game is "rushed out the door" with engineers working very long hours to fix bugs and finalize code. Much of the time the release date is picked because that's the day when the company runs out of money to keep moving the project forward (really). Developers are also rewarded for shipping a game "early" (which, in general, means not as late as usual), but more often than not they don't meet these targets.

    Only games with deep multimedia connections, like Force Unleashed, are delayed due to the marketing and the tie-in products not being ready.

    And finally, as many posters pointed out, games in general tend to be released between late October - early December to take advantage of the holiday season.

  • Re:review copy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rtechie ( 244489 ) * on Monday October 13, 2008 @06:55PM (#25362569)

    I'd also point out that you're typically not allowed to return video games after purchase. If you buy it and you're unhappy, you're SOL. Some retailers (Gamestop) will refuse to return games that are defective. I found this out with Lost Odyssey, where the 3rd disk on every single copy in the store was scratched. It took legal threats for them to give me a store credit.

    It's crap like this that drives people into piracy.

  • by bogie ( 31020 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:54PM (#25363105) Journal

    They give some BS reason about not being able to give the "full experience" of Fallout 3 in a demo because they would have to ship the entire game. Ummm, sure whatever. You can always tell when they're lying and frankly it's insulting.

    Anyway they've been whining about piracy but all this will do it make sure that everyone goes out to piratebay and downloads it for free. In this economy people don't want to pay $50-$60 to try out a game and a) hope their system runs it well and b) hope they like it. But hey, what do I know.

  • by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @09:50PM (#25364025)

    Convincing Slashdot to upmod you for saying "Let's transfer money from video game studios, which we love, to Microsoft, which we hate, because they have hardware problems". Really, there needs to be a meta-meta-mod for subverting anti-capitalism like that. I'd love to see your take on how we should abandon Linux to tie up MS' support lines, spend millions on iTunes to DDOS Apple's DRM servers, and vote straight-ticket Republican to convince everyone the Diebold voting machines must be rigged.

  • by Zalminen ( 658870 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:18AM (#25365571)
    I've played both Fallout 2 and Oblivion and I sincerely hope Fallout 3 will be nothing like Oblivion.

    The autoscaling of everything was pretty much the worst thing in O3.
    It meant that you could go and beat the Big Bad Guy with a total wimp. It meant that if chose your skills wrong, you'd get slaughtered just by traveling along the main road when you were on a high enough level.
    I meant that there was almost no point in exploring. You could search the most remote ruins and only find broken knives if you were on low level and once you had enough levels under your belt, every damn critter dropped stuff worth a fortune.

    Lots of side quests? Sure. Your choices make a difference? Oh really...
    Sure you could choose if you wanted to join the mage guild or the fighter guild or thief's guild or save the world or just do all of these. None of it mattered except within that quest. Sure you just saved the world, became the top fighter on arena and became the leader of the mage's guild - but when you decide to join the fighter's guild, no one has even heard of you. Hey, if it had been more like 'Oh, you may think you're the big hero, but in here you're a nobody' I'd have been overjoyed but the harsh reality was that all the quests were totally separate.

    And did you have actual choices? What if you wanted to be the good guy and actually arrest the notorious thieves guild leader? Nope, as soon as you joined the thief's guild, even your journal assumed you had become a bad guy. And the only options were to complete the quests as a bad guy or to totally ignore them. I've heard one of the last quests even involved a 'traitor' who was basically trying to get the thief's guild leader arrested - and you could not actually leave the room unless you killed him. Choices indeed...

    I don't even want to talk about combat except to say that compared to the highly tactical, engaging battles in Fallout 2, Oblivion was just totally boring.

    Now Fallout 3 may turn out to be a good game, but after Oblivion I have serious doubts about it.
  • by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @04:22AM (#25366059)

    Convincing Slashdot to upmod you for saying "Let's transfer money from video game studios, which we love, to Microsoft, which we hate, because they have hardware problems".

    This may have been modded Troll, but this bit is actually quite insightful. If you like the game, it's a lot smarter to pay for the game than for extra hardware.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle