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Bethesda: We Can't Make Dawnguard Work On the PS3

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-on-again dept.

PlayStation (Games) 371

An anonymous reader sends this quote from Geek.com: "PS3 gamers may now never get access to the content in Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC. That's the news coming out of Bethesda via their forums. Administrator and global community lead Gstaff posted an update on the state of PS3 DLC for the game, and it's not looking great. Gstaff explains that releasing sizeable DLC is a complex issue, and it seems like for the PS3 it might be just a bit too complex. No detail is given as to what the specific problem is, but Bethesda is preparing PS3 gamers for the reality that Dawnguard, and for that matter any other Skyrim DLC, may never reach the platform. I'd like to know what the exact problem is they can't overcome, but I'd also like to know if this is a failing on Bethesda's part or a shortcoming of the PS3 architecture. Maybe Sony should pay Bethesda a visit and see what's going on." In other Skyrim news, a mod for the game that attempted to recreate J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, has received a Cease & Desist letter from Warner Bros, causing development to stop.

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First PC (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189749)

Consoles cusk.

Re:First PC (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189873)

Your mother cusked me off last night.

the reason (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189795)

The rootkit takes up too much disk space on the drive.

Is it Bethesda or the PS3? (5, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | about 2 years ago | (#41189803)

One way to answer that question is to ask are any other companies having problems with large DLC on the PS3?

Re:Is it Bethesda or the PS3? (3, Interesting)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#41190199)

Well, Bethesda themselves released Shivering Isles on the PS3, and that was a rather large piece of DLC.

As someone who owns the PS3 version of Skyrim (wasn't paying attention and ordered it instead of the PC version, said "screw it, I'm impatient" and played it instead of returning it, and now I'm regretting it more and more each day), I can't tell you if Dawnguard is more complex than Shivering Isles.

I spoke with Gamestop a couple weeks ago, and they offered $23 for Skyrim. Right now, they have a +50% trade-in bonus going on, making the trade-in value $34.50. I'm tempted to take advantage of it, and then watch Cheapshark for deals on the PC version of Skyrim. I've seen it for $30-$35 in the past.

Re:Is it Bethesda or the PS3? (1)

Darby (84953) | about 2 years ago | (#41190387)

As someone who owns the PS3 version of Skyrim (wasn't paying attention and ordered it instead of the PC version, said "screw it, I'm impatient" and played it instead of returning it, and now I'm regretting it more and more each day),

As someone who owns a PS3 but not an XBox and is waiting on a major price drop before buying Skyrim, I have to ask why apart from this?

Re:Is it Bethesda or the PS3? (3, Informative)

ildon (413912) | about 2 years ago | (#41190397)

At one point during the Steam summer sale, Skyrim was ~$30. I'd expect a similar (or better) price drop on Steam either during Black Friday or just after Christmas.

Re:Is it Bethesda or the PS3? (2)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 2 years ago | (#41190525)

I haven't heard of anything like that before. Could it be that Microsoft just lined those guys' pockets? Everybody know that the Xbox division has been given unrestricted playroom in order to get exclusivity...

Consoles are at their limit (3, Interesting)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | about 2 years ago | (#41189809)

With gfx, storage, cpu, mem all piling on the pressure, consoles are drowning. Eventually, devs will move back to the PC because of its more open, less limited setup - even with the headaches that brings with it.
Frankly, with steam its a good platform for devs and users. And the hardware is pretty amazing today, even in the medium PC markets, with bang for buck being quite high.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189871)

Woah woah woah! Didn't you get the memo? The desktop PC is dying! Everyone is going to be playing FPS' on their touchscreen tablets.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189929)

Yikes.... I cant even stand playing an FPS on a console, let along on a tablet o.O

Re:Consoles are at their limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190109)

You posted that from your tablet, didn't you? I can tell ...

Re:Consoles are at their limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190445)

Being over 30, I wholeheartedly support this. See if these snotty little pricks can insta-headshot me now!

Re:Consoles are at their limit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189879)

*Current gen* consoles are at their limit (well past them, actually, most games can't even come close to 720p @ 30fps these days, let alone 1080p @ 60fps), but there will inevitably be a pair of new consoles out next year that will reset the clock so that instead of working with a 10 year old PC equivalent the devs are only working with 2 year old PC equivalent.

The PC will always end up ahead in terms of raw power and flexibility but game devs like the stability of consoles and the low barrier to player entry that gives them a bigger target market.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (1)

RoboJ1M (992925) | about 2 years ago | (#41189959)

We had this conversation the other day. The Xbox GPU is around the ATI X1800 mark, and if you look at games released on the PC in that year they look... poop.

Having a static development target means x360 and ps3 games look better then their equiv gen pc cousins ever can/could.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (0, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 years ago | (#41190449)

"Having a static development target means x360 and ps3 games look better then their equiv gen pc cousins ever can/could."

I am sorry, but you're full of shit. When the 360/PS3 came out, we already had GIGS of RAM in our machines, with far more advanced GPUs (The PS3, released in November 2006, ran a modified 7800GT, that same month saw the 8-series GeForce GPUs come out) more hard drive space, and more. The limitations of consoles forced developers to LOWER texture/model/level/detail quality and come up with rendering tricks to make games work with such limited hardware.

Almost every single comparison between a console game and the equivalent PC version shows the PC version way ahead of the console in detail, effects, and more, even when the PC version is a port directly from the consoles. Why? MORE AND BETTER HARDWARE ON THE PC END.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (5, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 2 years ago | (#41190493)

Should developers move back to OpenGL, then the API is relatively fixed, and these particular issues all go away. What's more, 1 codebase for all platforms, and then consoles will essentially die, to be replaced by commodity small form factor PCs that will perform better, are most likely upgradable regarding CPU, and just all around better. Since DirectX seems to be slower than OpenGL, there's no argument for coding to that proprietary API anymore anyway, and perhaps we really can move to a single graphics API, which would improve things across the board even if you can't take advantage of that one little hack on a specific system to get that 401 fps vs 400....

Barriers to whose entry (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41190021)

game devs like the stability of consoles and the low barrier to player entry

PCs, on the other hand, have far lower barriers to developer entry. You don't have to start by making a mobile phone game in a genre you dislike in order to get a job working hundreds miles away for five years in order to build "relevant video game industry experience" in order to qualify for a console devkit.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41189915)

Eventually, devs will move back to the PC

No, eventually MS/Sony/Nintendo will release a new generation of consoles. But do keep dreaming.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (5, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 2 years ago | (#41189927)

Eventually, devs will move back to the PC

No, eventually MS/Sony/Nintendo will release a new generation of consoles. But do keep dreaming.

In terms of sales the PC is the largest and fastest growing game platform every single quarter.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (0, Redundant)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#41190233)

Oh, how appropriate this is today:

http://xkcd.com/1102/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Consoles are at their limit (1)

an unsound mind (1419599) | about 2 years ago | (#41190459)

Given that the GP said "largest and fastest-growing" - no, it isn't appropriate at all.

You seem to have entirely missed the point of the comic.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (4, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 years ago | (#41189987)

The move back to PC is already happening. The proportion of games which aren't single platform console exclusives which don't get a PC port is shrinking fast. And if anything, the number of single platform exclusives on the consoles is shrinking even faster; one lesson of this generation has been that development costs are so high that you can't afford to limit your market unless you're getting a very, very high degree of financial support from the console manufacturer.

We're also at the point now where even the shoddiest and most rushed of PC ports are significantly better than the console equivalents. I recently played Spec Ops: The Line (great game, don't be put off by the title and box art, it's not a generic modern military shooter) on the PC and felt pretty hard done by. The port's an absolute mess, with all of the rubbish around lack of graphical and control customisation options that drive PC gamers up the wall. Then I saw the 360 version running on a friend's console. And all of a sudden, I felt rather better about the PC version, simply because it was so much easier to actually see what was going on with a decent resolution.

The true next-gen is probably still 18 months or so away (the Wii-U doesn't really count, in hardware terms). Developers know they can get a head start on it at the moment by working on PC development - particularly with all the indications that the PS4 will go for a more PC-like architecture.

We've been here before, actually. Just as "PC gaming is dying" is a cyclical thing, so is "console games have been left in the dust". The PC actually moved into a very commanding position at the end of the SNES/Genesis cycle, when there was a long gap before really credible console successors emerged in the form of the Playstation and (to a lesser extent) the N64. That was a great time to be a PC gamer and a terrible time to be a console gamer.

We kind of missed out on this at the end of the last cycle because, to be honest, the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube probably had a year or so of life in them when they were replaced by a new generation (indeed, the PS2 carried on doing quite nicely for ages after the PS3 launch, getting some of its best games during this window). But that was in a different economic environment, when there was felt to be a lot of customer demand to spend money on new consoles and when it felt like a genuine race to market. This time around, the PC's had much more of a chance to come into its own.

Of course, 6 months after the next Xbox and the PS4 launch, the gaming headlines will be full of "PC gaming is dying".

HTPC gaming (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41190159)

The proportion of games which aren't single platform console exclusives which don't get a PC port is shrinking fast.

One way to shrink it faster would be for PC makers to get serious about marketing gaming PCs whose cases are designed to fit in next to an HDTV. Case in point: Mortal Kombat (2011), another WB game, is for Xbox 360, PS3, and PS Vita, not PC, despite that the engine it's based on began on PC, because it's designed for the players to plug in two joysticks, and that's an uncommon use case on PC.

Re:HTPC gaming (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 2 years ago | (#41190251)

you do know its just as easy to plug 2 wired xbox controllers into a PC and play as it is to plug them into an xbox right?

Re:HTPC gaming (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41190413)

plug[ging] in two joysticks [is] an uncommon use case on PC.

you do know its just as easy to plug 2 wired xbox controllers into a PC and play as it is to plug them into an xbox right?

I am aware of this. But multiplayer on a PC requires more than two controllers; it requires two controllers and a game compatible with two controllers. Most major PC game developers do not anticipate this use case.

Depends on the genre (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41190003)

And the hardware is pretty amazing today, even in the medium PC markets, with bang for buck being quite high.

True, PCs have enormous bang for buck with single player, long-form games like Skyrim [cracked.com] . But some other genres tend to have shorter play sessions, and multiplayer among people in the same room can become expensive (if all PCs are owned by the head of one household) or impractical (if everybody has to bring his own PC).

Re:Depends on the genre (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 years ago | (#41190073)

That's true, but unfortunately, the number of console games which allow for local (split-screen) or LAN multiplayer is pretty damned small these days. With the Wii-U likely to suffer local multiplayer restrictions due to controller limitations, the last bastion of console local multiplayer (Nintendo platforms) looks set to be undermined. Xbox Live and the PSN is increasingly where console multiplayer happens.

Consoles in general have done a good job of undermining their historic strengths vis a vis the PC over this current cycle. In particular, we've lost a lot of the "insert cartridge/disc and play" ethos from console gaming, due to incessant firmware updates, patches and installs.

Re:Depends on the genre (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41190281)

the number of console games which allow for local (split-screen) or LAN multiplayer is pretty damned small these days.

Mortal Kombat (2011) is console-only despite that PCs can take multiple gamepads and display on large HDTV monitors.

With the Wii-U likely to suffer local multiplayer restrictions due to controller limitations

Nintendo has been spinning these limitations as creating an opportunity for "asymmetric gameplay": one player playing one role with the tablet and three players playing another role with Wii Remotes. There was a tech demo of this on the GameCube (Pac-Man Vs.) that used a GBA as a display.

Xbox Live and the PSN is increasingly where console multiplayer happens.

Does this mean parents will have to start buying one console per child instead of one console per household? Last time I asked about that [slashdot.org] , I was told it was an uncommon luxury option.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41190063)

A console is just a form factor. It can be filled with all the processing power you need.

Re:Consoles are at their limit (3, Insightful)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | about 2 years ago | (#41190523)

You've just demonstrated a large ignorance of games, consoles, and hardware.

If gfx, storage, cpu, mem were the issue, we wouldn't be seeing Skyrim on PS3 at all.

Skyrim is already on PS3. This is purely adding a small DLC. There's no way that its memory or gfx or cpu limitations.

Maybe, MAAAAAYBE I could see an argument for RAM limitation being the limiting factor here, but I still feel like there'd be tons of workarounds. Most of the new content isn't stitched into the existing world, and I don't think they're that maxed out on RAM budget all the time, they could just cache to disk more, and the game already has to have to cache to disk. Most of the new areas are separated from the overworld, and so allow you to unload the overworld from memory to load the new areas.

Bethesda is just incompentant (2, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41189811)

The simple answer is they are incompetent. After all the issues I had with Fallout and New Vegas I will never buy another Bethesda game. The crashing, the stalling, the slowing down of the game as you get farther along.

Games are my time to relax, not be frustrated with the amateur hour programming Bethesda seems to employ.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#41189933)

Yep, I'm sure it's a problem with bad programming, because good programmers never produce serious bugs, right? It's not like quality control is actually really hard, especially with large and complex software under a single unyielding deadline. Forgive me, but it seems like you've never done professional software development in your life.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41189991)

Good programmers can make serious bugs, but good companies fix their products when they find them.

What unyielding deadline? These games have been out for years and they are still not fixed.

Oh noes, its hard, so we should be able to ripoff the customer with an unfinished product that we will not take a return on nor will we ever fix.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190275)

If you played the game and saw the type of bugs in it, you'd change your mind. Some of these bugs aren't "Ugh, what a crappy XYZ I have to work with, I can't get it to work properly" type of bugs but rather simple logic bugs like "Hmmm, I didn't bother making sure speech check A doesn't break the same quest I programmed it for". It's like a webpage with a broken submit button. Amateur hour, indeed!

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

The Moof (859402) | about 2 years ago | (#41190287)

Yea, good programmers create bugs, and nobody will ever code a flawless system. But Bethesda really raises the bar in the "screwing things up" department. Some of the problems they have had in original releases and patches would have never cleared a preliminary round of testing in a "professional software development" environment. They also have a knack of reintroducing bugs fixed in previous patches. Their problems range from glaringly obvious but cosmetic problems (such as displaying the entirely wrong buttons/keys in game for actions if you changes any keybindings - doubly so for 'hidden' action associations) to enormous, game-breaking problems (patches wiping out all system settings and save files).

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41189957)

I'll take a Bethesda huge open-world game any day over 99% of the games from every other studio. Of course they're buggy. *You* try building open worlds on the scale and complexity of Fallout New Vegas or Skyrim and see if you don't end up with at least a few bugs, bucko!

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41190027)

We are not talking about a few bugs, we are talking about a great many bugs, and that two plus years later are still not fixed.

If they ever go back and fix Fallout 3 or New Vegas, just one I am not greedy, I will buy more Bethesda games.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 years ago | (#41190495)

"If they ever go back and fix Fallout 3 or New Vegas,"

That's implying the Oblivion engine can be fixed.

It can't. That's by far one of the worst game engines I'd ever seen, laid hands on, and tried modding.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41190515)

A refund would be a fine fix.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41190225)

Of course they're buggy. *You* try building open worlds on the scale and complexity of Fallout New Vegas or Skyrim and see if you don't end up with at least a few bugs, bucko!

But is that why they're buggy? I suspect not...

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189981)

In all fairness, New Vegas was put out by Obsidian. I stopped buying brand new stuff from them and wait until it's in the bargain bin.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (0)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#41190053)

Right. Incompetent. Amateur hour....Sure.
It has nothing at all to do with the limits of the consoles when playing what is essentially a massive PC game crammed into a tiny unexpandable box.

And before the "fanboy" comments... of course I'm a bethesda fan, been playing their games for years...on a PC. Starting with Future Shock IIRC. I'll call bs when I see bs. and the BS i see is "ill never buy another game from thos eidiots"....idiots who apparently did something right enough to be laughing all the way to the bank for YEARS now, from multiple franchises.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41190121)

I played the PC version of Fallout 3. There are game ending bugs there too. The community patches are about the only way to play it.

They have been putting out buggy garbage for at least a decade. The fact that you and other fanboys still buy it is what keeps them going. What they have been doing right is not investing in QA, not investing in patches and putting out half done projects. The margins on that sort of thing are pretty good compared to doing the development right.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (3, Interesting)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 2 years ago | (#41190313)

The real problem here is both of those games are on console, and if they fixed the pc version they would be forced to also patch the console versions, and console patches are HUGELY expensive.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41190497)

No they would not. They could release a PC fix and say the console fixes were not financially viable.

The reality is they don't care about quality and until they do I am not buying their products.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41190443)

idiots who apparently did something right enough to be laughing all the way to the bank for YEARS now

I thought the myth that intelligence equals financial success had been dispelled long ago...

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

2fuf (993808) | about 2 years ago | (#41190139)

Ooh, their sooo incompentant!

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

2fuf (993808) | about 2 years ago | (#41190149)

nobody makes mistakes, right?

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41190175)

Ones that you can't fix even after several years?

I can accept bugs at launch, happens to the best of them.

Fallout 3 came out October 28, 2008 and today Aug 31, 2012 nearly 4 years later still has major bugs on all three platforms.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (2)

Altanar (56809) | about 2 years ago | (#41190309)

Considering the size of Fallout 3, the bug list [wikia.com] is pretty short. Personally, I've never had any issues with Fallout 3. New Vegas is a different story. But then again, Bethesda didn't make New Vegas. Obsidian did.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

not already in use (972294) | about 2 years ago | (#41190165)

not be frustrated with the amateur hour programming Bethesda seems to employ.

You are aware that the PS3 architecture is notoriously difficult to develop for, right? Bethesda should be given a medal for getting Skyrim running on a system with a single general purpose processor and 256 megabytes of system RAM.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41190191)

Fallout 3 worked just fine on my old core 2 duo with 2 gigs of RAM and an ati 4250. Not a crash or a slowdown once in 70 some hours. Perhaps the issue really is the PS3.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190201)

Open world sandbox games are more difficult to code properly than a level based game. A level based game can forget most of what you did after you completed the level. An open world sandbox game however has to constantly remember and check against almost everything you did throughout the game, in case you return to an old area or talk to an old npc again.

It's no surprise then that Bethesdas games are buggier, they have many more variables they have to work with.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (2)

Altanar (56809) | about 2 years ago | (#41190257)

You can't judge Bethesda for New Vegas. New Vegas was made by Obsidian, masters of half-finishing games.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (2)

Thruen (753567) | about 2 years ago | (#41190427)

It's a massive world with more options than you can count, as open as game play gets, you can dump hundreds of hours in without ever doing the same thing twice, of course it's buggy. Find me any game with a world that large and open that Bethesda didn't make with fewer bugs. Go for it. I don't think you'll have any luck, though. MMOs are often as big but they're far simpler worlds, much more linear game play, and all the ones I've played (which is a good number) have both been full of bugs and failed to hold my interest past a single end-game run. The closest single-player showing I can think of is Two Worlds, which had such potential to beat out Oblivion with mounted combat and two-player action, but never stood a chance with a crap story and more bugs than you can shake a stick at, definitely more buggy than any Bethesda game I've played. The truth is, most of us know exactly what we're in for with a Bethesda game, it's going to be somewhat buggy, but it's going to be a better game than anything else out there so we put up with it. If you don't want to, that's fine, but to call them incompetent is a bit absurd given the popularity of their games, obviously they're doing something right and most of us appreciate it.

Re:Bethesda is just incompentant (1)

ildon (413912) | about 2 years ago | (#41190451)

Skyrim PC, while still exhibiting a lot of Bethesda's traditional AI goofiness, is the most stable Bethesda game I've ever played, even before it had any patches. I completely understand your trepidation after Oblivion/FO3/NV, but as long as you don't get the PS3 version, Skyrim is actually pretty damn solid. Part of that is likely due to them moving to their own game engine rather than continuing to rely on Gamebryo.

I've played Bethesda games (1, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41189825)

so I'm not surprised it's too difficult for them.

Re:I've played Bethesda games (2)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#41189971)

I've played their games too. But on a PC. They make PC games, and then cram them into consoles. You think you can do better? Prove it.

Re:I've played Bethesda games (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41190045)

You don't have to be able to better yourself to state facts about flaws.

Do you think Ebert makes better movies? Do you think you should not be able to sue GM when your new car burns up in your driveway because you could not make a better one?

Re:I've played Bethesda games (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#41190185)

Hah! Nice one. Just a single look at the deficient UI for Skyrim on PC should be proof enough that Bethesda makes games for the most profitable platform available at the time, and then try to mostly port it to the other platforms. Hint: that platform isn't the PC.

This is why the 360 gets the best experience with the fewest bugs and receives all the DLC exclusively for a certain time period.

Pfft. Warner Bros... (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#41189855)

F em. the mod team put more time and effort into their free project than WB has put into....well pretty much anything since the 70s.

Middle Earth and Lawsuits go together by tradition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189859)

I am not at all shocked to see this C&D letter arrive at their doorstep. Commercial rights owners will act to protect their properties. The (any) team doing dev work on a IP other than their own and acting without a license should expect as much too. It is always best to use IP with permission or that is original no matter how 'cool' the property may seem.

Re:Middle Earth and Lawsuits go together by tradit (2)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#41189921)

Yeah, but it would be nice if the receivers did not have to bow simply because they can not afford to fight back. The rights of IP ownership are often much more restrictive then the companies sending out these C&D letters with they were.. but they have discovered that they can abuse the civil system to make it behave like they have rights they do not, simply because it would be too costly for the defendant to defend themselves.

Re:Middle Earth and Lawsuits go together by tradit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190163)

These teams are better off making their own original IP - if your team (commercial or not) cannot afford to buy the rights, go make your own stuff up! Success is NOT limited to adhering to Middle Earth or any other author's universe. If you really want to celebrate J.R.R.T., do something original; he did (sorta). There is no defense for that team because they don't own the rights.

Re:Middle Earth and Lawsuits go together by tradit (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41190215)

Plus it would have been good PR for the upcoming Hobbit movie.
Now instead we get storied about the big bad WB being mean to the underdog dev.

Permission how? Original how? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41190065)

It is always best to use IP with permission

How should a non-commercial mod team go about obtaining such permission, practically?

or that is original

How should a non-commercial mod team go about making sure that what they create ends up being legally original, that is, not "substantially similar" to anything already widely published?

Re:Permission how? Original how? (2)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#41190183)

It is always best to use IP with permission

How should a non-commercial mod team go about obtaining such permission, practically?

By asking nicely.

Ask nicely, how many times? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41190361)

On average, how many owners of copyright in a fictional universe will decline a non-commercial license before one allows a non-commercial license?

Re:Ask nicely, how many times? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#41190439)

And why should that stop them asking?

Re:Permission how? Original how? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190235)

Either have the money to buy the rights you want or be willing to do the brainwork and make something up from whole cloth. JRRT did, why can't these folks take a REAL page from JRRT and do something original (if you gotta have influences, use mythology which nobody owns, just like JRRT).

Nonliteral copying (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41190339)

Either have the money to buy the rights you want

Where does a startup come up with such money?

make something up from whole cloth. JRRT did, why can't these folks take a REAL page from JRRT and do something original

Because JRRT and those who followed in his footsteps [tvtropes.org] have already laid claim to various concepts. I am aware that copyrights are not identical to patents. But under copyright, the combination of "access" and "substantial similarity" implies infringement, and courts have held that "substantial similarity" includes similarity of nonliteral elements.

Re:Permission how? Original how? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41190415)

How should a non-commercial mod team go about obtaining such permission, practically?

Do they need such permission?

Serious question: does the fact that someone owns the movie rights to these films preclude someone from doing an artistic work which is inspired from the books as long as they're not using someone else's copyrighted material or using their designs?

There is a truly huge amount of artwork inspired by Tolkien's books, much of which was drawn on for inspiration for the movies.

Much like Disney can't stop you from making stories based on the same stories as they did (providing it isn't using their images and the like), I am puzzled they could even possibly have the right to say "You can't make something set in Middle Earth, we own all of it".

Re:Middle Earth and Lawsuits go together by tradit (2)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41190193)

I am not at all shocked to see this C&D letter arrive at their doorstep. Commercial rights owners will act to protect their properties. The (any) team doing dev work on a IP other than their own and acting without a license should expect as much too. It is always best to use IP with permission or that is original no matter how 'cool' the property may seem.

Its no big deal. They just have to change a few things. They'll be marching with Bobbits (make your own joke) and smelfs, fighting balsmogs on their way to Fordor.

As long as the game play doesn't include any pinchy motions, they'll be just fine.

Re:Middle Earth and Lawsuits go together by tradit (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 2 years ago | (#41190505)

I'm more surprised that they own the IP in the first place. It's been 75 years since The Hobbit's release, the author is dead, and it's owned by some mega company?

Everything that's wrong with the IP system is right here.

PC for any Bethesda game (2)

danbuter (2019760) | about 2 years ago | (#41189863)

I'm really glad I bought Skyrim on PC. I've got at least one "Dawnguard expansion" worth of material free as mods. (I've even posted a few small ones of my own)

Re:PC for any Bethesda game (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190015)

Yes, we're all familiar with your "Winterhold Male Brothel" mod, Dan.

Re:PC for any Bethesda game (-1, Flamebait)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41190123)

That would be more creative output than you've ever come up with, asshole.

Obligatory (4, Funny)

bazorg (911295) | about 2 years ago | (#41189895)

"I'd like to know what the exact problem is they can't overcome[...]"

perhaps an arrow in the knee?

Re:Obligatory (1)

FSWKU (551325) | about 2 years ago | (#41189999)

"I'd like to know what the exact problem is they can't overcome[...]"

perhaps an arrow in the knee?

This (NSFW) [youtu.be] seems an appropriate response...

The RAM is the issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189937)

Bethesda just has less to work with. The PS3 only has 256 megabytes of RAM compared to the 360's 512 megabytes. I'd also bet this was the reason for PS3 Skyrim's performance issues.

Re:The RAM is the issue. (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#41190169)

If they are trying to be pixel perfect it's an issue. It's how much they can scale back before it looks awful is the other. I always thought the PS3 was supposed to win with procedural textures - bet it would look awful.
I would happily spend the money to upgrade the ram in the thing. consoles are boring.

Re:The RAM is the issue. (4, Informative)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#41190221)

The PS3 only has 256 megabytes of RAM compared to the 360's 512 megabytes.

It's not as simple as that - PS3 has 256MB CPU RAM and 256MB GPU RAM, where the 360 has 512MB shared by both CPU and GPU. In real terms, the memory available is more or less equal.

Re:The RAM is the issue. (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41190239)

Yea, I thought it was established that the RAM was the initial issue with Skyrim and that later patches semi-fixed it.
Maybe next time Sony wont be stingy on the RAM.

Re:The RAM is the issue. (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#41190401)

expenditures rise to meet income. With 4k 3D displays to cope with, they'll need 16GB+.

Re:The RAM is the issue. (0)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41190485)

The PS3 only has 256 megabytes of RAM compared to the 360's 512 megabytes.

I'm not a console gamer but I distinctly recall that they both have 512MB...

Huh? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41190061)

In other Skyrim news, a mod for the game that attempted to recreate J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth has received a Cease & Desist letter from Warner Bros, causing development to stop.

This sounds like a gross abuse. Unless they actually used images from the films or made it look too much like the films ... the sheer amount of artwork imagining Middle Earth was already vast when I played D&D in the 80s.

There's no way Warner Bros has the rights to all artistic works related to that. They may have the film rights, but I seriously doubt that precludes anybody from trying to do artwork featuring Gandalf and Elves and the like.

Hell, the actual map was in the books ... it's not like it's a secret, and it's not like they created it. All this IP crap is getting ridiculous.

Obviously they can't afford to fight this. Sad there doesn't seem to be a link to the actual C&D letter (at least that I can see) ... I'd be curious to see what they're claiming. I'd be willing to bet they're on some shaky footing with whatever assertions they've made.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190345)

Warner Brothers has exclusive rights to make Lord of the Rings based video games. It is fully in their right to protest someone making such a game without their agreement. Before they bought Turbine, WB only had rights over a large subset of LOTR video gaming potential, now they have all of it.

It doesn't say "Warner Bros Middle Earth" (1)

monkeykoder (1820796) | about 2 years ago | (#41190071)

It says "J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth" Tolkein is dead now his family who did not create this slightly above average series of novels gets to sell his work and make millions. There is nothing that seems right about this in my mind. No one should profit from another persons work. If you aren't doing the work yourself or at the very least making it easier for the person doing the work to do their job you should get nothing from it. Money is meant to represent a person's contributions to society if you haven't contributed you shouldn't have any.

Re:It doesn't say "Warner Bros Middle Earth" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190151)

If you inherit money or assets from your parents, you'll (of course) give them away because "no one should profit from another person's work", right?

Snarky comment aside, Christopher Tolkien generated 12+ books based on JRRT's work, so he can say he contributed to the IP... And Warners and the Tolkien estate don't exactly see eye to eye.

Re:It doesn't say "Warner Bros Middle Earth" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190227)

Tolkein is shit and nobody give a fuck about dildo baghold and his dumb elf friends.

Um, better be careful... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41190135)

Maybe Sony should pay Bethesda a visit and see what's going on

Search 'em for hidden thumbdrives before they;re allowed in the door...

That's a shame (1)

biochozo (2700157) | about 2 years ago | (#41190147)

Warner Brothers should have backed them instead of stopped them. I'm sure both parties could have come out on top there. Publicity for the Hobbit movie (say an exclusive area from the new movie in the mod). I could imagine the dollars gained from hype would make up for anything lost. Although in the real world even the legalities on the WB side would be insanely complicated to allow something like that to continue.

Unplayable (4, Interesting)

symes (835608) | about 2 years ago | (#41190181)

Skyrim is pretty much unplayable on the PS3, particular in the latter stages. I enjoyed the game but have since swapped to my PC and will no longer buy new games for the PS3... now it just sits there as a bulky blueray player. I think this is Sony's loss rather than Bethesda's downfall, imho.

Re:Unplayable (2)

Flector (1702640) | about 2 years ago | (#41190519)

I played to level 31 on a PS3 before buying the Steam version for the PC. The PC version is so much more responsive, not to mention moddable, that there's almost no comparison. The long delays on the PS3 when moving to another area, opening doors & etc. was pure torture.

I've developed for the PS3. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190211)

It's a strange architecture. Most modern machines are symmetric-multiprocessor (SMP). That means programming is very straightforward - all the processors share the same memory space and each processor can do any work you like, so you just have to worry about the normal threading issues (race conditions, deadlocks, etc.) but it's otherwise just standard multithreaded programming.

The PS3 is not SMP - it has one main processor with 256MB of non-video RAM (a big chunk of which is reserved for the OS) and a lot of smaller coprocessors that have very limited RAM (256K). If you can fit chunks of work nicely into 256K, then the thing screams. If you cannot, then you have to do most of the work on the main processor, in less memory than is available on the Xbox360. In other words, you've gone from 6 hardware threads on the Xbox to 2 on the PS3. The combination of less general-purpose processing power and less usable main memory is a really hard problem to solve.

Now, for a lot of games, the Cell is great. Fighting games, puzzle games, art games, ARPGs, JRPGs, platformers. Any time you can offload individual character animation or rendering to the SPEs, you win. The PS3 can animate and render a whole lot more mobs in a scene than the Xbox360 can. If you have a physics calculation like waves on water or swarm movement that is easily separatable into small chunks, the PS3 is also superior.

But think about an open-world game - especially one with the sort of wide-open spaces and anyone-can-go-anywhere gameplay of Skyrim. We did open-world games and we constantly had trouble because physics and AI could interact over a long distance. We broke the world up into cells and aggressively limited the range of some computations to avoid this problem, but still, a lot had to run on the main processor because once the size of a physics calculation or a pathfind exceeded 256K, you couldn't do it on the SPEs. And believe me, pathfinding data alone in an open-world game is always going to be larger than 256K! AI in modern games is expensive, and we know that Bethesda takes their AI very seriously.

Maintaining a large, persistent world also means keeping track of lots of stuff, and that means memory. On the PC, you have practically unlimited swap and tons of main RAM, so it's not an issue. On consoles you have limited RAM and swap space and fragmentation can kill you if you dead. To be honest, I'm surprised the game runs as well as it does on the Xbox360, but again, you have more memory there and they have the ability to "steal" RAM from graphics if they need it, whereas you can't on the PS3.

So while I wish Bethesda had overcome the technical hurdles and made the game workable on the PS3, I can hardly fault them for coming up short. It's just not a platform well-suited to the type of game Skyrim is.

Only Company to not figure it out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190395)

Really? Are they saying they could port that main game itself, but a little extra DLC has them complete bamboozled? I've never seen another developer say they Can't Do it On the PS3. Hell, Bethesda has done open-world DLC on the PS3 before, but all of a sudden they are stumped?

And saying, oh, we could develop for the Xbox and the PC! means absolutely nothing, as the Xbox was designed to make it easy to port games back and forth. They just are too lazy to redevelop it; all that extra work will reduce the massive profits they make off DLC.

Bethesda is just a shitty developer. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190399)

Always has been, always will be.

Anyone who says "We cant develop for the ps3 because its difficult and or hard" is 100% full of shit. How do I know this? Ummmm looks at the other hundreds of games on the ps3, hundreds of other dlc packs, hundreds of other digital only games, etc that dozens and dozens of other publishers and developers have put on the system.

Bethesda is a lazy, shitty, incompotent developer that makes "me to" games and nothing else. Every game they make is always the same thing. Skyrim is just oblivion, oblivion was just morrowind, morrowind was just daggerfall and fallout 3 was just all of those games via post nuclear war. And much like each game is the same thing they also all had major game breaking bugs that still to this day arent fixed because bethesda doesnt care and they cant beta test games and they cant code an engine worth a shit.

When you have that game company, naughty dog, kojima productions, quantic dream, grasshopper, irrational games, media molecule, 2k and dozens of other companies making trouble free, really fun and great games for the ps3 then no one else has an excuse. It would be one thing if only a couple companies succesfully made a game on the ps3 but its been done hundreds of times, there are tons of really great games on the system so they have no excuse. Its their fault and no one elses.

Bethesda, capcom, EA, activision, square enix, nintendo, bioware and a few others are companies I refuse to buy their products new from because I dont want to support those companies.

Screw the PS3... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190421)

... I'm more alarmed that MERP was nuked by WB. Does WB even have the right, when they didn't even create LOTR to begin with?

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