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Interplay Developing $75 Million Fallout MMOG

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the a-plan-with-money-hats dept.

Role Playing (Games) 132

Next Generation has very, very good news for RPG fans. Interplay is going to be developing a Fallout Massively Multiplayer Online Game ... and they're in it for serious. The official announcement says that they're going to be throwing $75 Million (dollars!) at development for this thing. From the article: "Production is proposed to begin as early as 2007, with a launch slated for Q3 2010. The company's proposal expects 1 million subscribers during the first year, and projects profitability in year two, revenue of $160 million annually after its first year and net income of $50 million annually starting in year three." Those are fighting words, and the 1 Million club they're aiming for ... maybe not so easy to get into. Also, didn't Interplay go out of business?

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132 comments

PA (1)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220656)

Also, didn't Interplay go out of business?

Yes. Yes it did. [penny-arcade.com]

But I guess Gary didn't buy the rights to Fallout after all. Maybe he went for the jar of spit instead.

Re:PA (1)

Lex-Man82 (994679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220760)

According to the article there parent company Titus Interactive went broke. They go on to say that Interplay managed to stay afloat by licensing the rights to Fallout three to Bethesda.

Not good news yet (2, Funny)

germ!nation (764234) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220664)

Next Generation has very, very good news for RPG fans

So now we are hyping things before they even start production. Wake me in Q4 2009 when we have proof that it might not suck.

Re:Not good news yet (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221058)

Even if it wasn't hype, it appears to be a non-sequitur. MMOG != RPG. Not even close.

Re:Not good news yet (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 7 years ago | (#17227678)

Exactly. This is horrible news, because it just means that it'll probably be even longer until I get to play another single-player Fallout game.

A non-trivial portion of the gaming market HATES hearing of a new MMO game in a francise that they like, as it means a lot of dev time going to a game that we'll NEVER play, rather than towards one that we almost definately would. The mixed (OK, in America at least, almost totally NEGATIVE) reaction to FFXI is a good example of this.

Also, it seems like about 1/2 of the games on the shelf for the PC these days are multiplayer-only or multiplayer-centric, like the Battlefield series and the plethora of MMORPGs. My fiancée is a big console RPG player, but she likes PC RPGs, she just has a lot of trouble finding them, since every time she sees a box on the shelf that looks interesting, then starts to read the back and the story sounds interesting, she notices the part where it says that it's an MMORPG.

I know that it's a lucrative market, and I understand that there are a lot of people who like MMOGs, but for the many people who do not, every new MMO announced is just more bad news, ESPECIALLY if it's in a francise whose fans have been dying for a new installment in the series, like Fallout.

It'd be like someone announcing a new System Shock game, except that the gameplay is going to be like Sim City or something equally bizarre for the series; many fans would be very disappointed, because they have no desire to play that game. Same thing with this announcement.

Re:Not good news yet (1)

Ryunosuke (576755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226780)

I fail to see anything good in news related to Interplay and gaming. Last time I checked, the last Fallout game was tactics and ... well, that kind of speaks for itself doesn't it? So two of the worst together = great? Let's wait and see.

Potential? (4, Interesting)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220690)

Basically a Fallout MMORPG would be unquestionably cool, but how would they implement combat with firearms? I'm not familiar with any of the MMORPGs that have firearms, so I don't know how it's been implemented in the past. I don't really see how it would work. Fallout's combat is tactical, so that's what they should aim for (no pun intended).

They'd also have to balance the character building system (if they scrap it and make an entirely new one, it isn't going to resemble Fallout too much), and they'd have to find a way to keep players hooked. I'm having a hard time imagining WoW-style items and stat increases in Fallout. Now that I think about it, I'm having a hard time imagining Fallout as a MMORPG. Maybe I'm just trying too hard to imagine it like Fallout, but with 3D graphics and other players.

Check Anarchy Online (2, Informative)

Tei (520358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221092)

Firearms are simple like bows and crossbows. Nothing complex on a MMORPG. It feels Ok. You can simply download and play Anarchy Online to test how feel.

Re:Check Anarchy Online (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221270)

Anarchy Online combat is boring. Target, click attack and wait. Why not aiming like in a shooter?

Re:Check Anarchy Online (1)

grimwell (141031) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221474)

Ok, try Endless Ages [endlessages.com] if you want MMORPG + FPS shooting.

Re:Check Anarchy Online (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222126)

Eh, sounds pretty lame. Fine for World of Warcraft, but imagine playing it with nothing but ranged weapons. You'd just stand there and exchange projectiles until somebody dies. Fallout is all about firearms, so it would be boring.

Re:Check Anarchy Online (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222740)

Fallout has a healthy selection of melee weapons... Like sledgehammers, knives, and powered sledgehammers! Heck, you might be able to play as a Deathclaw and then you can't even use guns.
http://www.falloutvault.com/index.php?title=Deathc law [falloutvault.com]

Re:Check Anarchy Online (0, Offtopic)

eboot (697478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223192)

So pretty much like playing a ranged class in WOW? I hear there are a few who enjoy doing so...

Re:Check Anarchy Online (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224472)

Isn't that the way combat works in all MMORPGs? With firearms you could at least use things like cover, movement (when moving yu hit less but take less hits, too), effective ranges, etc. Of course ammo plays a role too and I don't think you'll be able to beat it out of scorpions or rats.

Re:Check Anarchy Online (1)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225700)

As another poster said, Fallout had a plethera of melee weapons. Combined with the appropriate character competencies (Ninja, Brawler, etc), melee weapons were just as viable as ranged weapons, and usually more effective than other end-game weapons like miniguns and automatic shotguns.

Re:Potential? (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221260)

WoW style stat increases and items are utter shit, and I highly doubt the guys who made Fallout 1 & 2 would go that route. I'm hoping to see how combat works, especially PVP. Hopefully they go the route of UO and Darkfall [darkfallonline.com] and setup the SPECIAL system, if they even use it or a variation of it, to work like in those two games with stats.

Re:Potential? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222112)

I imagine that, in order for the game to be succesful, it needs to have those traditional MMORPG elements that attract people. Namely, the acquisition of increasingly powerful items and stats. Fallout already has the skill and perks system which would probably cover the latter.

Re:Potential? (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222220)

You don't need increasingly powerful items, that's a farce created by games like EQ and WOW. A truly good game will let the players create the best items, and even then the most deciding factor should always be player skill, something games like WOW are incapable of having due to auto hits where the only thing that determines a hit or miss is a dice roll, not the attacker and the attackee controlling their characters to the best of their abilities to hit/dodge the other person.

Re:Potential? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224652)

Yes but good game design does not include the factors you need for an MMO to be profitable, namely addiction. Increasingly powerful items create a ladder of goals where each item you get means you reached a goal but have a new one to reach. Player created weapons aren't nearly as tiered and while you'll probably have to pay quite a few caps for the good ones they aren't as hard to get as the good weapons in normal MMOs which need a lot of boss killing to work. Unless you make the raw materials so rare that you have to kill a boss to get them in which case it's really not much different from the normal system except you don't wonder "why does a giant crab drop a gatling gun?".

MMOs gain their addictiveness from their reward pattern which lets monsters randomly give you rewards (equipment, level up, whatever) and mean that there's always a carrot that you can almost reach and just a little more...

After all an MMO doesn't really have more content than a normal game but it gets money per month so it has to keep the player occupied for months with the amount of content other games fill 10 hours with. Item hunt and the threadmill require little content for a big time investment.

Re:Potential? (1)

Pancake Bandit (987571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221480)

There have been several MMO-FPS hybrids [wikipedia.org] , though none have been able to compete with the big MMOs, as far as player-base would go. It is unlikely that a Fallout MMORPG would be able to achieve as many as 1M subscribers, especially in a year. Even 100,000 subscribers would be an accomplishment.

Re:Potential? (2, Insightful)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221760)

"Basically a Fallout MMORPG would be unquestionably cool"

What about it would be cool? What was cool about Fallout was the non-linear nature of the map, random encounters, NPC party interaction etc etc. The tactical combat had its charm (though I preferred FO Tactics version that gave you more control. One of my favourite games that and I don't care what people say.) Above all the feeling that what you were doing had an impact on the gameworld. You'll have none of that with an MMO. This may even be a MMO in the vein of the console action RPG that came out (the OTHER "BOS" I think it was.)

As somebody already said this sounds a lot like talking up the share price to keep money coming in to pay whatever salaries are still left at Interplay. Logically Interplay shouldn't be making an MMO(RPG) because everything they've touched lately has turned to crap. I'd have more faith in this actually happening (see the Phantom or the Gizmondo(sp) if you want to see how capital can be raised to grow lemons or just plant lemon seeds) if they were partnering with NCSoft or similar (or even Turbine...)

Re:Potential? (1, Flamebait)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222114)

You forgot to add "for me" in there, as in "what was cool about Fallout (for me) was..."

I liked the environment, the whimsical humor mixed with the emotionally engaging stories, the fun of figuring out how to accomplish various little tricks and puzzles, the "What happens if I do this?" questions.

In an MMO setting, I think all the things I really loved about the Fallouts could survive more or less intact. At the very least, it'll be nice to have more non-fantasy options out there.

Re:Potential? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222620)

What was cool about Fallout was the non-linear nature of the map, random encounters ...snip... You'll have none of that with an MMO.

I'd say at least a couple of the things you mentioned are rather easy to do in an MMO.

Re:Potential? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223110)

Lets see:

World of Warcraft
Anarchy Online
Star Wars Galaxies
Planetside

That runs the gamut from firearm-is-the-same-as-sword (AO) to MMOFPS (Planetside). I don't think guns are going to present any special technical challenge.

I think there is a lot more room for a challenge in a real technology system, for example, where your Science/Repair skill actually has some utility beyond a standard crafting system.

I think I'm kinda burned out on the idea of "New innovative MMO's!"...I'd really like to see something cool coming out of this, but it's more likely going to be a generic MMO with whores and drug use.

Re:Potential? (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224942)

I'm not familiar with any of the MMORPGs that have firearms,



World of Warcraft

City of Heroes

Star Wars Galaxies

Earth and Beyond (defunct) - Spaceship combat

Auto Assault

etc.

Re:Potential? (1)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225864)

I remember the first levels of Fallout being very challenging from a combat perspective, and things becoming much easier as I finally scraped together enough cash to buy a real weapon. Powered armor was just icing on the cake. I hope they preserve the feeling of wandering in the wilderness. One of my favorite things was to just wander off across the map waiting for random encounters (this was before I memorized where everything was of course.)

My main point when I started this was to point out that Fallout was very item and stat dependent. I see that transitioning well. I hope they preserve the viability of the non-combat roles though. I loved playing Fallout as a diplomat and trying to make it through the game without killing any human NPCs. I guess I'm thinking of Fallout 2 here.

Fallout (0, Redundant)

fjulll (1039292) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220694)

Fallout is a good game. I look forward to this. I guess this game will be overhyped. SECOND POST!!! maybe

Anyone know how to submit a resume there (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220698)

Interplay's main website made my geocities website look professional. There's no links to careers though. Anyone have a link. I'd like to be one of the people who made Wasteland online.

Re:Anyone know how to submit a resume there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17220798)

I don't think they hire Slashdotters. Stick to doing the CG for the ladyboy & midget porn, it's far more profitable.

Re:Anyone know how to submit a resume there (1)

myspys (204685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220824)

whois interplay.com gives:
INTERPLAY ENTERTAINMENT CORP.
100 N. Crescent Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
US

mobygames.com gives:
Location and contact information in Dec. 1994:

Interplay Productions Inc.
17922 Fitch Avenue
Irvine, CA 92714
Tel: 714-553-6655

but wikipedia says:
Under "Contractual Obligations" it is revealed that Interplay does not have a headquarters at present because Interplay, in 2004, forfeited its lease and vacated its office space in Irvine, California.[4]

good luck!

The MMO Business Pitch (4, Insightful)

trawg (308495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220756)

...or, how to get investors to give you a dumptruck full of money:

1) Show them the statistics that explain how video games are now bigger than the movie industry.
2) Show them Blizzard press releases announcing the number of million subscribers (we'll call this x.
3) Explain how each of those people not only shelled out for the game, but pays per $y month for playing.
4) Create a PowerPoint presentation which shows xxy (ensure your projector screen has enough room for all the zeros that come after the $ sign.
5) Let investors know where the dump truck is parked.

In all seriousness - I can't believe Fallout has the brand awareness that the Warcraft brand does. Whoever managed to scrounge together $75m should get some sort of medal. These guys are going to have to be in it for the long haul, but I wonder how much of that cash is going to be allocated towards the marketing budget to try to get WoW players to switch teams.

Not only that, they've got a three year development window to compete with. Who knows what other massive mass-market brands are going to get their MMOs out the door in that time, further chewing away at the potential player base (I'm waiting for the Harry Potter MMO to come out and rule the world - hell, if they make it kid safe and put in enough decent content...).

It's sold millions (1)

Sulka (4250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223042)

I believe the exact sales figures haven't been published but the Fallout series has sold millions of copies worldwide. This squarely puts Fallout into the "well known game" segment.

And hey, I don't care. Fallout 1 & 2 are my all-time favorite adventure games. I'm seriously worried about my life going down the drain if a Fallout MMO ever comes out. :)

Re:The MMO Business Pitch (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223044)

There's this strange idea that the MMORPG market has a set number of people, and that in order to have anyone you need to steal customers from an already existing MMORPG. While attracting players from other MMORPGs is hardly a bad thing, such logic would have dictated that there would only ever have been less than a million players in the days of EQ.

MMORPGs are a market with a large potential to grow, especially sci-fi themed games. We are already up to our necks in present and upcoming fantasy games, while there is only one noticable sci-fi MMORPG out today and a mere whisper of another one on the far horizon.

If Fallout is done well they need only have an easy way to get a trial of the game in order to have a good shot at being successful.

Re:The MMO Business Pitch (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223614)

To be fair, Warcraft wasn't that widely known before World of Warcraft. I'd estimate than less than 10% of the players of the latter had played the former.

Re:The MMO Business Pitch (1)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225614)

Oh, really? [gamearena.com.au] :

WarCraft 3 has been in steady development for the last few years, and has lured strategy fans with its impressive feature list and lush graphics - but probably more alluring, just the sheer thought of another Blizzard title in the WarCraft strategy universe. Millions of gamers around the world have been drooling at the mouth for this title, to such an extend that it prompted an unprecedented pre-sales figure of over 4.5 million copies.

This doesn't necessarily mean that more than 10% of WoW players had played Warcraft 3, but both Warcraft and Blizzard were very well known names (especially in Korea) and gave WoW the early buzz it needed.

Doesn't Bethesda own Fallout now? (1)

duncanator (982678) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220834)

Ahem, what? I thought Bethesda bought the fallout franchise. http://www.bethsoft.com/news/pressrelease_071204.h tm [bethsoft.com]

Re:Doesn't Bethesda own Fallout now? (4, Informative)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220914)

Bethesda bought the rights for everything EXCEPT a MMO in the Fallout universe, if I understood it correctly.

Re:Doesn't Bethesda own Fallout now? (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221104)

Is amazing how we are stuck on 3 letters style of games. I remenber the old god times, on the 64 bits, most games are widly different each another. Yes nowdays all seems 2D and mostly platform based, but that whas not trued then. I blame the inventation of RTS and FPS nicknames for two gameplay styles :(

Re:Doesn't Bethesda own Fallout now? (1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221734)

Don't blame three-letter acronyms for the demise of computer games- blame the corporate need to "build" games faster and cheaper, stifling the creativity of potentially brilliant designers. Same goes for lots of products- everything today is about advertising, which means it looks nice* but doesn't necessarily work well.

* (have you seen any WOW commercials on TV? They only show the trailer to attract customers- I wish they would show me what playing is like, since the installer crashes on me and I'm not upgrading my hardware just to test it. And no, I don't have any friends who play it.)

Re:Doesn't Bethesda own Fallout now? (1)

prator (71051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223444)

Imagine sitting in front of your computer for hours on end performing the same mind-numbing tasks over and over again while occasionally receiving an incremental reward. It's a lot like work except you have to deal with anonymous foul-mouthed morons everywhere you go. Maybe that is exactly like work for some people.

Actually, the Office Space commercial works a lot better than I thought. You could swap out your normal job with WOW and hardly notice the difference.

Re:Doesn't Bethesda own Fallout now? (1)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225922)

I'm sure there are at least PVP gameplay videos on YouTube. That's going to give you just as biased a view as a trailer though; it won't reflect the endless grinding and sheer boredom of the game. I'll grant you that I'm not much of an MMO guy, but I gave it a fair shake. I'll still take an RTS game any day.

Re:Doesn't Bethesda own Fallout now? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17220922)

Everything except the MMORPG rights.

Outlook grim for Fallout fans. (2, Interesting)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220936)

I can't remember if Bethesda is developing or publishing Fallout 3, but it really doesn't matter. Judging from their latest releases on both fronts, I'm not enthusiastic. Oblivion was a travesty next to Morrowind. ST:Legacy was a badly-done console port.

Back on the subject, though, the news of a Fallout MMO is not heartening. The last MMO I enjoyed was FFXI, and that was because it was (sorta) Final Fantasy. And it had mithra, too. Fine. I admit it.

It's my opinion that this doesn't really bode well for the Fallout series. Tactics was lackluster at best. I only hope a successful Fallout MMO would generate more interest in making a new Fallout game in the more traditional vein we're used to. It has only a slim chance of "beating WoW" and thus being noteworthy in the modern MMO market.

My real fear is that we'll end up with a NWN2-style sequel--"better" graphics, linear plot, and some fixes for some annoyances from the previous entries in the series.

Re:Outlook grim for Fallout fans. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222904)

"Oblivion was a travesty next to Morrowind."

Yes, heaven forbid they bring back armor that actually looks like armor, quests that aren't boring as hell, and the ability to not have to spend three RL hours walking between quest steps.

Oblivion is a return to Daggerfall, and I thank god for it.

Re:Outlook grim for Fallout fans. (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224094)

Amen, I find a lot of the people who hate Oblivion started the series with Morrowind. I could get into Morrowind as it bored the hell out of me. Spending 6 hours crawling around a dungeon in Daggerfall was a blast though. I am happy for the compass in Oblivion though as it helped to streamline the game since I do longer have the time I did back when I played Daggerfall and Arena.

Re:Outlook grim for Fallout fans. (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226932)

I liked both Oblivion and Morrowind to a point, but my main dislike was the leveling monsters in Oblivion. I'd rather have the easy areas stay easy and the game keep pushing you into harder areas by giving you 0 experience for the easy stuff. Even better, have the monsters just run away when you come near.

I found it odd that they removed some of the gameplay (like levitation puzzles) and to be quite honest, the oblivion towers were very repetitive by game end.

Morrowind had a hideously slow pace at the outset and I found it impossible to start the game over after completing it. About 10 hours in I started to enjoy it, but quit playing it when my character was unbeatable and some other games sucked me in.

Daggerfall crashed on startup on my PC and when I finally got to play it a couple of years later on another PC, the game was so buggy and crash-prone it was nearly impossible to play (unpatched). The dungeons became monotonous quickly, but I admit, it was fun for a while. I probably would have liked the game better had I played it when it came out and not a couple of years later.

I never got to play Arena - I started with Daggerfall, and while I played Redguard (an offshoot) a couple of times, I never felt it was worth putting time into.

I love Fallout more than anything Bethesda has put out though, just because there are moments that are laugh-out-loud funny. I think I've played fallout 2 about 20 times with entirely different types of characters because there are so many things you miss building one way or another (stuff like having a high luck to get certain random encounters). I probably would have done the same with FO1, but I had the mac version and sold it when I no longer had a mac (incidentally, I have one again, though it's and old B&W G3). I hate the start of fallout 2, and I know that turned off a lot of people that were not fallout fans - basically, it assumes you know that you need to hit-n-run the scorpions and ants if you're not a bruiser and your character is combat oriented enough to beat a guy at the end. I think I died off about 10 times before I realized I was faster than the ants and scorpions and probably another 10-20 trying to beat the guy at the end with my mostly non-combat (or firearms heavy) char.

Real question. (1)

moheezy (1032844) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220986)

The real question is will it take a part of WoW [mmogchart.com] 's part of the pie.

WHOA - alternative to wow (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221002)

Fallout is a BIG name. And with such a budget, if spent even fairly wisely, it will easily be an alternative to wow. in gaming-sense of course, as they are in seperate fantasy settings. however it would be nice to have. even i might want to maintain 2 accounts one in wow and one in fallout, and get a bit of a change of air every now and then by going into one and the other.

Re:WHOA - alternative to wow (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222688)

World of Warcraft will be long gone by 2010. They would be lucky to have 250,000 subscribers at that point. We've seen 'big name' MMO's fail before, such as star wars galaxies. I'm hoping fallout online will be a hit, I've played it all the way back to wasteland on the Apple2c.

Some consumers are put off by the cost boast (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221206)

Maybe I'm alone, but whenever something is being built / developed / undertaken, and the first you hear about it is a boast about how much it will cost, it gets on my nerves. It's like thsoe roadworks that cause you huge inconvenience that say "2 million pound bridge widening project".(especially there, as thats 2 mill of MY money they are wasting).
I don't actually *care* how much ANY game / book / movie / play / tv show costs to make, all I care about is if it's actually any good. The only people who get a thrill out of this 75 mill figure are the CEOs and finance guys who get hard-ons when they boast about it "Yeah babe, I'm packing a 75 mill budget this time". A 75 mill MMORPG will cost the same to me as a 2 mill MMORPG. Theres scant evidence to suggest that the more expensive ones are the most successfull or playable. I doubt Star Wars galaxies had budget worries, but the game fell to pieces. Eve is a relatively small MMO by some standards, yet insanely popular.
It's far more impressive to see a game/movie/tvshow that is a huge success and yet cost a pittance to make. that takes way more skill.

Stop boasting about the budget, tell me how your new game isn't a dull grind, and has flexible pricing options for light / heavy users, or has suprisingly low system requirements, or a revolutionary gameplay mechanic. ANYTING but penis-extension boasts about how much money your wasting on it.

Re:Some consumers are put off by the cost boast (1)

kasek (514492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221416)

They (Interplay) are not boasting about the cost of development. The 'announcement' is a nothing more than a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, outlining plans to sell common stock in order to raise funds to develop the game. That would explain why there is a lack of detail regarding features, and plenty of detail regarding dev costs, return on investment, etc.

Read the articles.

Other fall-outy games (3, Informative)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221240)

Fallen Earth (http://fallenearth.com/ [fallenearth.com] ) might be interesting too. And since they have already shown a playable demo in an interview, it might be ready a lot earlier than the interplay game ;-)

Re:Other fall-outy games (1)

Terminal Saint (668751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225776)

Twilight War was looking very promising too, though there hasn't been too much news since it got sub-licensed out...

I'm failing to see how this is "good news" (3, Insightful)

DoctaWatson (38667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221274)

MMO's have a tendency to, how should I put this, erode their source materials.

There's few things worse than seeing a world or setting that you've loved for years suddenly inhabited by psychotic idiots. One of those few things is when the people in charge of managing that world start changing it to cater to said psychotic idiots.

For reference, see Ultima Online or Star Wars Galaxies.

Fallout deserves better.

Re:I'm failing to see how this is "good news" (1)

Imaria (975253) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222500)

As I loved Fallout, I took this as very good news... until I read this comment, and realized you're completely right. Damnit.

I really don't want to be traversing the wasteland when I come across BigCokz439,

Re:I'm failing to see how this is "good news" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226142)

You're missing a huge part of the point. We're talking about the Fallout franchise. A world populated by asshats and/or psychotic idiots out to make your life miserable because they can is actually not terribly far from what Fallout is supposed to be to begin with! This is actually a brilliant move, because it turns one of the classic problems with MMOs (griefers) into an asset.

Re:I'm failing to see how this is "good news" (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226532)

But see, it is a perfect concept! The post-apocolyptic world would probably really be inhabited by psychotic idiots!

Re:I'm failing to see how this is "good news" (1)

SimDarth (975287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17227434)

Great point. If I remember the tag lines from Fallout 2 it was something like: "Fall in love, get married, pimp out your wife for money." I thought that was in the instruction book for it, but all I can find is my old CD... which I quickly loaded up on my laptop for a quick blast from the past.

A Fallout MMORPG could work. Just like a Star Wars MMO could work but didn't. So like another poster said, wake me in Q4 2009 so I can see if it doesn't suck.

2010? (3, Funny)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221284)

That's like so far off! Civilization could be in ruins, a radioactive wasteland by the time it comes out..... Seirously though, it is a setting that needs an MMORPG.

Re:2010? (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223370)

Post-apocalyptic desert is definitely an undertapped setting for MMOs, but for a reason - they're depressing. I really like the Fallout games but the setting doesn't have the mass appeal of lush forested fantasy realms. I fear this game may go the way of Auto Assault - a rather good MMORPG in this setting. Hopefully the masses will be bored of swords and sorcery by 2010.

Re:2010? (2, Insightful)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224532)

"they're depressing"

A wild west fallen society libertarian dream is depressing? Man.. Depressing is if I have to sit at this desk for the next 50 years paying off debt, acomplishing absolutely nothing, and never having the thrill of driving battle hardended muscle cars over the sun parched alkali flats hearding brahmin, or possibly a zardoz-esque population of sub humans.

Do you even know what happiness is?

Fallout is great, but... (2, Interesting)

Thakandar2 (260848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221300)

it's not a huge popular name like other successful MMO's. It's popular with the critics, but not with the general gaming public like Blizzard was with World of Warcraft, Sony was before Everquest, and SquareEnix was before Final Fantasy XI. Urqhuart (sp?) is better known in the current community for Planescape, KOTOR 2, and now NWN 2 than for Fallout, and it looks like he won't be involved. I worry it's just been too long. Fallout: Tactics didn't help the situation, either.
 
I know other MMO's have been "successful" without big names, like Asheron's Call, Eve Online, etc, but those might not return the $75 million investment like WoW does every two months (7 mil x $15 US and less in Asia), or FFXI does every half a year (500k x (13$ +$1 per char)) per month).

Re:Fallout is great, but... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222432)

Feargus Urqhart is running Obsidian these days, and there is plenty of bad blood between him and Interplay. There is no way he is going to touch this. From what I understand, Obsidian made their bid for the Fallout 3 rights, but got outbid. And they did buy some licenses (I think Icewind Dale) from Interplay during the firesale, but they'll never work for Interplay again after the Fallout 3 (Van Buren) and Baldur's Gate 3 (Jefferson) fiascos.

Re:Fallout is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222466)

Urquhart also didn't do much of anything for Fallout. Tim Cain and Chris "I didn't write Total Annihilation" Taylor were the ones responsible for most of the design and implementation.

In the Related stories (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221336)

The cesspit article calls Turbine one of their competitor's. I don't think anyone has to worry about ANYTHING from that studio. After what they did to Asheron's Call 2 and the subsequent rape of Asheron's Call, arguably one of the best MMORPG's to come out yet, they have no hope of ever redeeming themselves.

AWESOME (0, Redundant)

HazMathew (207212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221904)

SWEEEEEET!!!!

For real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17221918)

In my line of work I have discovered that people who use the phrase "for serious" are the same kind of idiots who use the phrase "for real." The only difference is that they are dorks.

Sign me up! (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221956)

Personally I though that Fallout 1/2 (and Wasteland before) had one of the best Sci-Fi athmospheres in a game, ever. If they can make this work multiplayer, I am all for it!

Dollars? (4, Funny)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221994)

$75 Million (dollars!)

Oh thanks. I'm always confused by that symbol that looks like an S with a line through it... I could have sworn it stood for "miles-per-hour", but this article submitter has made it clear!

Re:Dollars? (1)

Dennis_123 (962330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223530)

Canadian Dollars?

Re:Dollars? (1)

TheAngryMob (49125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223668)

Your confusion is understandable as most slashdotters insist on putting the dollar-sign after the number.
 
Let the healing begin.

Re:Dollars? (1)

rk (6314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225036)

No, silly. The $ sign means "snake on a stick." They're throwing 75 million snakes on a stick at it.

Cue the Samuel L. Jackson "snakes on a..." jokes.

Wishful Thinking. Old Wishful Thinking. (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222256)

This 'news' cropped up at about the time Interplay went into bankruptcy, there's nothing new about it. It's nothing more than a desperate attempt to get re-listed on the stock market and to squeeze that seventy-five million out of gullible stockholders-- at the moment, they're little more than one of the penny stocks that clog inboxes these days.

At best, Interplay has four or five guys in an unheated room, doing this out of the goodness of their hearts and the vacuity of their heads. When there are employees absconding with computer hardware because Payroll can't make ends meet, there's no bloody way that they can afford a project of this magnitude.

It's doubtful that it will be anywhere as good... (1)

zullnero (833754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222262)

As the original Fallout or Fallout 2. It's basically a pure moneymaking scheme by Interplay to capitalize on the cult status of the Fallout franchise. Basically, all the stuff that made Fallout really fun and entertaining, probably won't be there. Instead, you'll probably see some weak attempts at trying to recreate the humor and the experience...but ultimately it will be toned down in an attempt to appeal to a broader base of users.

In any case, expecting Betheseda, who now holds the Fallout single player license, to produce a decent Fallout 3 is probably an even bigger stretch. Just because Elder Scrolls was popular, doesn't mean they're up to the task of creating something that will live up to the original. They're two totally different games, being developed by entirely different people.

Basically, if you're a fan of Fallout like me, don't get your hopes up any time soon. You'll be let down.

Another MMOG? (1)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222276)

IS it just me, or am I the only one who doesn't like today's model of MMOG? It's not the online part so much as the additional subscription cost to play the game online. I just don't have that much dedicated time to spend on a game while I am at home. I thought games like Diablo 2 and Half-LIfe were the perfect examples of a good solo game which had a great multiplayer interface. I have only played one of the Fallout games, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. However, if they make this game an online game strictly, then I will have to pass.

Re:Another MMOG? (2, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223362)

I think you aren't clear on what MMOGs are. That's Massively (as in huge) Multiplayer (as in many people) Online (as in the internet) Games (as in fun).

These games weren't designed with single player in mind. FFXI and WoW are clear evidence in this. Both require parties for much of their content. If you're looking at MMOGs and thinking "I wish that were single player" I recommend avoiding the genre as a whole. To want an offline, single player experience from a game designed for a massive number of people online at once is somewhat silly.

Diablo 2 and Half-Life were excellent games both in their single player and multiplayer aspects. The key difference here is they were not MMOGs. Their fundamental designs were for a single player game, but were well adaptable to multiplayer fun.

The cost is really the largest factor for many people, but I don't even think about it anymore. $15 a month is three movie rentals from Blockbuster or less than two tickets to an actual theatre (not counting food if you pay those outrageous prices). That's 4 to 6 hours of entertainment. There have been months in the past where I've played WoW for just a couple of hours the whole month and I don't feel I've wasted my $15. Just because I could get more out of my money by playing the game night and day doesn't mean I didn't get my money's worth by only playing a few hours.

I guess it's all just an American drive to maximize our dollar.

Re:Another MMOG? (1)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223996)

I know what the acronym stood for. Thanks for elucidating that for me.
I guess my point is why do they need to be seperate? Would it be possible to make a single player game and have a multiplayer aspect to it? What about bundling the game as a single player game, and if you want to play the game online, then you could charge a subscription fee?

I know that these games are getting larger and more expensive to produce. The best way to get a return of investment is to charge a monthly fee to recoup these costs, since game companies are becoming so risk adverse and see this as an assured way for 'easy' income to assuage the risk. Unfortunately, I only see this trend in gaming growing, which as my time for gaming shrinks, then I cannot justify the cost (even at $15/mth).

Let think of it this way. Doing some math, a $50 initial investment and 1 year of a $15/mth subscription fee means $230 over the year. While I can afford this, I am not willing to sink that much money into a single game. Especially considering how much time I have to actually play the game. However, if this game was a single player game, then I would almost certainly buy it.

Re:Another MMOG? (1)

loopback_127001 (695885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226554)

There is a world of difference in terms of content and design between a single player and a multiplayer game. This is one of those "water is wet" statements.

What might be unbalanced-but-no-big-deal in a single player game can be a game-breaking dynamic in a multiplayer game.

And the monthly fee for an MMO is not there to recoup the costs of game production itself, but to cover the costs of actually maintaining and providing the service. Again, this is on the level of "water is wet". Bandwidth costs, 24x7 uptime/network monitoring and silos of hardware are neither cheap nor free, and likely require semi-frequent upgrades. Include things like semi-regular patching and free content updates, and the cost continues to seem reasonable.

You are also failing to take into consideration what you do not spend money on as a result of a game like EQ or WoW or DAoC. I know that when I was a serious player of EverQuest, I bought perhaps 1 game a year, instead of a game a month or game every other month. at even $40 per title, I was ultimately saving money. Now it's true that I was sinking money into a single game, but if you enjoy that single game, and wind up saving money over time, why not?

In short, you're making a lot of the same un- or mis-informed arguments by people who don't play MMOs and can only see the $15/month pricetag as being an affront to their sense of what the 'right' way of paying for a game is.

To reiterate: water is wet.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222440)

A Duke Nukeum Forever MMORPG is slated to be released 2Q 2011.

Film at 11.

2010 is just around the corner... (1)

CaseM (746707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222716)

Production is proposed to begin as early as 2007, with a launch slated for Q3 2010.

Cool, I think I'll pick this up along with Duke Nukem Forever 2.

75 million what? (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222828)

$75 Million (dollars!)

Oh, DOLLARS.. Good thing they specified, because that $ symbol can also denote peanuts.

At first I was thinking "Holy swashbuckling legumes, Batman! That's a lot of peas!"

It's good that they specified, to avoid any confusion.

I hope they get the same plot writers (1)

raverman (860256) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222872)

Fallout 2 was not something special in most of the gaming aspects, but ruled in one: The story. And the humour! OMG, I have never seen something like this in a game since then.
Hell, I am going home right now and will install the game and play it AGAIN, but in a DIFFERENT way!

There's some confusion here (1)

jonaac (763147) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222984)

First that's not an official announcement, but a SEC filling reporting the will by Interplay of raising at least 50 million (to 75 million) dollars from overseas investors to create a Fallout MORPG. Interplay today is one person, Herve Caen, and a couple of lawyers and a webmaster that do the odd job here and there. They have millions in debts to companies like Warner Brothers and their former employees, which they aren't paying, so this is an attempt to raise some money from overseas investors just to stay alive (well, sort of "alive"...). They don't have developers, they don't have staff, the last agreement they had with a MORPG company was with the developers of Ballerium, and they never paid them ( http://www.ballerium.com/community/showthread.php? s=d493aea59c78ace9f73bb3d50b12ec34&threadid=2645&h ighlight=interplay [ballerium.com] >Ballerium ), so the project was suspended, it is being restarted without Interplay involvement. So this is not to be taken seriously, as you can see in the discussion from when the news was first released, this is just a financial move filled with vague promises and a few lies (Interplay had zero involvement with World of Warcraft, and in the filling they have the nerve to say they were involved in creating it...). Nothing really substantial has come of this and there is no guarantee that it will ever be made. More here http://www.nma-fallout.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3 3825 [nma-fallout.com] this is the original newsbit that was caught by gaming sites.

Hopes and $0.25 will get ya a phone call (1)

Trails (629752) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223182)

The company hopes to gather a whopping total budget of $75 million
(from the linked article)

They hope to gather $75 mil? Based on what? A kiss and a promise to deliver a smoking hot MMO?

While there is a sucker born every minute, are there enough to generate $75M for Interplay? After the whole Titus fiasco, do these guys actually have any credibility at all?

I love Fallout. Fallout 2 is one of the best games ever made. I would love to see more fallout games. But I'm not going to hold my breath. This looks too much like a VC grab.

I'm skeptical (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223208)

Personally, I'm cautiously skeptical. The thing that made Fallout great is something that doesn't translate to an MMO - namely, the tactical combat. The story was entertaining, but I think the battle system is what really floated it. So Interplay is going to have to take the WoW tack and create a completely different game that is only tangentially related to the rest of the franchise. While that could certainly be a good game, it doesn't have any better chance of being a good game than a completely new MMO that doesn't bear the Fallout brand.

Re:I'm skeptical (1)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226052)

As a counterpoint, when I think "Fallout" I don't think of a good combat system. Rather, I think of a hilarious game with a highly customizable character system. I think the character system was its strongest point.

This is going to ruin Fallout (2, Insightful)

dinhluong (1039392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223380)

Assuming, of course, that they actually get it out the door.

  • SPECIAL and the skills/traits/perks system is awesome, but it is kinda meaningless when people get up to level 50 or so and have every possible skill maxed out and obtain every perk possible.
  • Tactical combat will be a bitch. What are you going to do - make every person in the world take turns?
  • A "wasteland" isn't a wasteland with 1 million people running around doing the same damn quests as me.


With those three points alone, everything I love about Fallout is ruined. It's been said before, and I'll say it again - Fallout Online = FOOL.

Re:This is going to ruin Fallout (1)

xantho (14741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224516)

1. Make character levelling model human development.

In childhood, all sorts of really basic skills are learned at ridiculous speeds (walking/motor control, language/speech/reading, arithmetic). In adolescence, a smaller number of more specialized skills are learned (social skills, better math, another language, brute strength, dexterity). In adulthood, few skills are learned and only slowly (how to spot good stocks or analyze companies, how to hit a 90 mph baseball over a fence, how to repair an automobile).

Do that, only with game skills, so that the first 10% of the game is spent getting skill levels to a baseline usable level, the next 30% of the game is spent taking half of those up to good proficiency, and the rest specializes the crap out of maybe a third of those.

2. Maintain real time gameplay until you're in a combat situation, then take it to turn based combat. Have some rules about other players entering or fleeing combat since that play is necessarily slowed down and would allow all sorts of other people to show up from long distances and interfere (which could work), or prevent faction based play altogether (which doesn't seem feasible).

3. What if the game is about fighting back against the people who started the social experiment in the first place? Or about the struggle to rebuild society or something. Other than that, I can't really help you there.

Re:This is going to ruin Fallout (1)

dinhluong (1039392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226102)

1. Skill tree would be nice, but it wouldn't be the same as Fallout. (I could live with this change, though.) But to accurately model human learning, it must become harder to go back and learn/improve completely new simple skills when you get older, as well; something I've yet to see an MMORPG do. 2. There's no good way to do that. If by limited by people involved, that will lead to abuse by higher-level players. Plus there will be teammates/random passers-by who will want to jump in and help. On the flip side, if it's limited by area, random passers-by who DON'T want to be involved will be annoyed by the slow-down. 3. Yeah, I can't think of any way to explain a huge population in a sparse wasteland.

Re:This is going to ruin Fallout (2, Informative)

Mondoz (672060) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224594)

You make some good points here.

Some of my favorite Fallout moments were completing quests that actually made a difference.
Go kill the thugs terrorizing a town and the town gets happy.
Go blow up the outhouse that leads down to a cave, and you have crap all over the place forever.
Take out one of the major factions in town and things change...

One thing I hate about typical MMORPGS is that everything is infinitely repeatable. It has to be. If I can do a quest, then you have to be able to do the same quest. For that to work, everything has to reset.

If I screw with the controls to the nuclear reactor and irradiate everyone in town, I don't want to run back into town and see everyone has come back to life and waiting to see if you're going to kill them all too.
If I want to run into town and kill everyone there, right down to the women and children and claim the town as my own, I don't want to see you come in and do business with the newly resurrected weapons dealer.

Re:This is going to ruin Fallout (1)

dinhluong (1039392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225906)

Exactly. For an MMORPG to not have this problem, it needs to do two things that I don't see happening anytime soon.

  1. No NPCs.
    • Leveling NPCs aren't needed.
    • Training can be through experimentation, books or other in-game items, or learned from other players. The first players can learn from GMs.
    • Especially no random NPCs waiting around to ask you to kill 10 rats for them. Have some rats in a house/sewer/whatever. If you kill some, that's cool, get exp. No arbitrarily given exp for getting that 10th rat.
  2. Permanent death. If your character dies, start a new one.

Re:This is going to ruin Fallout (1)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226018)

Ha! I didn't know you could destroy the outhouse. I used a rope to climb down...

Re:This is going to ruin Fallout (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17227450)

Actually, if you mouse over a section of wall in the outhouse some words pop over your head about using dynamite to clear it out. You end up down there in the first place by following quest leads.

My favorite part of the Fallout were the bizarre quotes like "...the drugs, the money, the neverending stream of prostitutes - typical project manager" (about Myron, the Bill Gates-alike character).

Re:This is going to ruin Fallout (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 7 years ago | (#17228186)

EXACTLY.

Part of what made the Fallout games great was that you are THE WANDERER. You a one of very few people who are willing to brave the wastes, to see what's left of humanity. You're the outsider who steps in and kicks ass until the town's problems are solved (or made much, much worse, if you want to be that way :) ) and then you move on to new territory.

I don't know how you can capture that feel in an MMORPG. Sure, you're THE WANDERER, but so are the other 30,000 players on your server.

Re:This is going to ruin Fallout (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226482)

Tactical combat will be a bitch. What are you going to do - make every person in the world take turns?

Have you played Fallout Tactics? It had realtime tactical gameplay that worked very well.

Beats Shenmue's Budget (1)

acgrissom (1002693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224168)

This game now takes the budget crown from Sega's Shenmue and its massive $70 million budget. Of course, back in 1999, it was even more outrageous for a game to cost that much.

How Interplay can make $74 million. (1)

9mm Censor (705379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225158)

1 Take $75mil to make a Fallout MMO.
2 Spend $1mil hacking together a Fallout MUD.
3 ...
4 Instant $74mil Profit

as long as I can (1)

tyroney (645227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225228)

as long as I can make a character that's all ST and no IN and have my in-game text mangled to at least 1st-grade level, I'll be happy.

one more time... (1)

skam240 (789197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17227044)

i've said it before and i'll probably say it again, not another MMORPG. I don't want to play a game that basicaly has no story, i dont want to play a game with a bunch of idiots i dont know, i dont want to be forced into guilds to get things occomplished and i don't want to pay a monthly fee for the game i just spent 60 dollars on. it's really sad to see the state of the single player rpg scene on the pc. sure we just had two recent big releases but prior to that there hadnt been anything big in quite some time (compared to one or two MMOs coming out ever year). i'm just really upset seeing this solid staple of the single player rpg genre being made into a MMO. I want fallout 3.

don't get me wrong though, i know alot of people like the MMO thing as it is currently done and i dont want to knock that. i just hate seeing all this developing time and money being spent on titles that had previously been solid parts of other genres but are now being made into MMOs.

Fallout only in name (1)

LuciferosX (987569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17227452)

But it will likely be just like the Fallout Lite that Bethesda is bringing out. i.e., no violence to children (I'm gonna miss cutting them in half with gunfire), selling them to the black market for the sex trade...prostituting out women. None of the meat of Fallout that made the franchise great (before BOS) will be there. So, it'll only be Fallout in name. There's really no point in bringing out a Fallout without all the violence and terrible things you could do. I bet there'll barely be any blood.
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