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Revitalizing a Heritage: The Writing of Fallout 3
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Revitalizing a Heritage: The Writing of Fallout 3

September 4, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

So what do you think about episodic gaming? It hasn't really spread. Valve is in between episodic and full-length, Telltale is doing true episodic, and Hothead is just getting started. Do you think it's actually a valuable way to go?

EP: You know, it depends on who the company is. It says a lot about the state of PC gaming too. You've got companies like Valve and Blizzard who say, "PC gaming is great!" I think that's a little misleading. It's great for them, because they're Valve and Blizzard. Valve has Steam, the most important PC distribution network in the world. It's fantastic.

I don't think a lot of games have that opportunity. That's why I think [Xbox] Live [Arcade] is great. [For] smaller games like Braid, it's a great avenue.

For us personally, we've had a lot of success with our downloadable stuff, just our add-on stuff. But again, I think full releases simply generate more excitement for people. An expansion can be exciting, but it will never generate as much excitement as something new and fresh.

Going back to your comments on the PC industry, where do you think that's going? It seems like the PC industry is trying to figure itself out right now.

EP: It's funny. There are a lot of great PC games still being made, don't get me wrong. Now you're seeing a lot of great Eastern European games that are coming into their own. You look at something like The Witcher, which is a fantastic game. It's going to be made even better with the huge patch they're doing.

At the end of the day, it's a numbers game. It's still the case that a decently-selling PC game sells 300,000 copies or 400,000 copies, while a decently-selling console game sells around a million copies.

For a lot of publishers, they can't help but look at that. It's hard to take a chance on a new, high-scale PC game, unless it's [World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the] Lich King or Half-Life 3.

PC gaming will never die. But I think there's definitely a tendency towards consoles because of that. As more smaller developers get eaten up by the larger publishers, and that's what they want... We're still committed to PC gamers, and we'll never stop doing that, but I think we're a dying breed. We'll see.

I think a lot of that is due to scale -- a big, full-scale project like Bethesda's would be impossible to justify as a PC exclusive, but then you look at what Stardock does. They just teamed up with Gas Powered Games, another PC-oriented dev.

EP: Yeah, it's funny you mentioning Stardock, because it was such a good feeling to look at the PAX exhibit hall map and see that Stardock has such a big booth. Good for them! I've played Stardock games, and I think they're great.

It's a good model. That model works for them. They don't sell millions of copies of their games, and that's okay for them. They've got a little bit of a lower budget. If that's the model that works for the future, then great.

Are you guys pretty much in the home stretch on Fallout?

EP: Yeah, now that we've announced a release date -- October 28 -- the game's pretty much done. We're fixing the worst crashes, and the glaring bugs, but for all intents and purposes it's done. It's hard to wrap your head around that.

It's funny. Todd and I were talking the other day, and he showed me a design document that I had written, and it was like four years ago. It seemed like yesterday, really. We couldn't believe we had started pre-production on the game so long ago. It's been a great road.

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

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