90 People Working On Fallout Online

By Quintin Smith on October 22nd, 2010 at 2:53 pm.

Anyone remember the recipes at the end of the Fallout 2 manual? Happy days.

The new Edge came sliding through my letterbox today. I was about to cut it up and reassemble it into a huge paper effigy of myself, like I always do, but then something caught my eye. An interview with Interplay’s president, Eric Caen? Ooh. What does he have to say?

Some quite heartening things about Fallout Online, as it turns out.

In short, there are 90 people at Interplay currently developing Fallout Online, and both the game and its beta are both scheduled for 2012. Caen says that “Even in January 2009, you were already able to move across the world,” so it sounds like the game’s a ways into development. He also says that the team are planning on amassing one MILLION subscribers, which strikes me as a pretty meaningless number.

On the subject of what Interplay are actually doing with Fallout Online, Caen is naturally pretty cagey, but the few things he does say have been published on the Edge site. To whit:

I think [Bethesda] miss a lot of the humour. Our Fallout MMOG will be extremely funny. At the same time, an MMOG must be a lot deeper than a standalone game… you can shoot, but it’s a very small portion of the game. The game itself is about reconstructing the world.

He also says Fallout Online will be unique in its approach to communication systems, and goes on to joke about Trolls receiving SMS messages from one another in World of Warcraft. So, by the sounds of things there’ll be some kind of player courier network, or fighting over radio stations. Reconstructing the world, and communication systems providing a unique challenge? Colour me very curious indeed.

If the idea of waiting more than a year doesn’t faze you, you can sign up for a place in Fallout Online’s beta on the official site.

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64 Comments »

  1. GenuineEntropy says:

    As a complete WoW/ EQ clone burnout case, and someone who has purchased and played just about anything vaguely MMO’ish that has tried to do things differently (APB being the most recent example), this is encouraging news indeed!

    To wit: I find myself loving the idea of MMOs, but utterly bored with the tried and tested formulas the majority insist on sticking to, the lack of dynamism and ability to effect/change the world physically, killing the same uber goblin overlord as everyone else etc etc.

    • GenuineEntropy says:

      P.S Quinns

      I’m also one of those weirdos thats really enjoying FO:NV.
      Glad to see your glum time with it hasn’t dulled your enthusiasm for the setting!

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      GenuineEntropy if you haven’t tried EVE Online yet, you should.

    • Michael says:

      @Genuine
      I wish I could share your enthusiasm.

      Please remember that Eric and Hervé Caen are running Interplay. The brother’s previous company, Titus Interactive, was responsible for many terrible games. To give you some context, they made Superman 64, a game which thought making Superman fly through rings for ten minutes at a time would be “fun.”

      So forgive me if his boast that “even in January 2009, you were already able to move across the world,” and a “player courier network” fills me with dread at a repeat of that “fun.”

  2. Tyshalle says:

    I would be extremely interested in this game if they go for a level of authenticity in this game that includes functional communication systems that actually exist for your character. It would definitely be a step in the right direction in making MMO’s actually have something to do with Massively Multiplayer, as opposed to what most MMO’s are, which are basically single player games you can choose to team up with other players for, if you want.

    Thus far, EVE has been the only MMO that has really got this right IMO. It’s be cool if there was an MMO that borrowed from the EVE formula but actually made a game that wasn’t boring.

  3. Kristian says:

    1 Million is a meaningless number? what?

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      it’s a number normally just said for impact more than anything

    • Quintin Smith says:

      If Eric Caen had said they were shooting to get 2 million subscribers, I’d have said “Oh.” If he’d said 500 thousand subscribers, I’d have said “Oh.” But he said 1 million, and so I said “Oh.” It’s not a number that tells me anything.

    • Starky says:

      It actually does, but in an indirect way – if they are aiming for 1 million, then they probably have a worst case of about 250k, which in turn sets the budget.

      It’s still basically an “oh” figure, but it means to me they’re not being too unrealistic with their aims.

    • Calabi says:

      To me it means they are making up the figures. 1 Million is just a round about completely made up off the top off their heads type figures. Its nothing to with figures, like number of subscribers required to equal cost(plus a bit of profit). Or number of subscribers the average mmo gets, not including wow because that would over inflate, and isnt comparable to the average. Those are just two, they should have loads more they should be calculating and take into account so that they can make a profitable business.

    • sfury says:

      Then they’re going to demand from them ONE BILLION DOLLARS !!! MUAHAHAAH…

    • Boris says:

      The pitch on Steam for “Ship Simulator EXTREME!”, claims the predecessor sold 550k units. Does that put things in perspective? Hum…

  4. The Hammer says:

    I notice that the same issues has a Time Extend of Dungeon Keeper 2, which will please Alec!

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Dungeon Keeper 2 is one of my favorite games ever and I have NO idea what you mean by that.

      As a sidenote, boy are there sure a LOT of trolls in these comment threads lately. I wonder why?

  5. James says:

    I’d like it if this game didn’t suck when it is finally released. Interplay, please make a note of this.

  6. muki says:

    April fools wants it’s day back.

  7. Bhazor says:

    Yet the so called developers still have no mention of the game on their website. So, yeah.
    http://www.mastheadstudios.com/games.php
    Though their Earthrise game looks surprisingly pretty.

    • Hendo says:

      Erm… what are you on about? Did I miss something?

      The developer is Interplay, website is:
      http://www.interplay.com/

      Nothing to do with “Mast Head Studios”…

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      why would they? they’re just the developer

    • Hendo says:

      I think I’m still missing something – are Mast Head Studios the developer and Interplay the publisher. I ask because the line “there are 90 people at Interplay currently developing Fallout Online” in the article made me assume Interplay were therefore the developer.

      That said, the article on Edge does say “While the publisher is still not ready to reveal specifics on the game”, which would imply their not the developer?

      Gah – so confused!!!

    • Hendo says:

      Right – so, the wiki article (because, when all else fails, wiki it) seems to indicate that both Interplay and Masthead Studios (spelt it right this time!) are developing the game together but Interplay is also publishing it.

      Couldn’t make it simple, eh?!

  8. Evo says:

    You’ve got some nerve showing your face around here Smith!

  9. clownst0pper says:

    No one will play it, we’ll all be too addicted to Guild Wars 2 by then!

  10. Nallen says:

    He also says Fallout Online will be unique in its approach to communication systems

    Will they be phoned in? I’m talking long distance, reversed charges, not-givinbwahahaha sorry :)

  11. Daniel Fuller says:

    Interplay’s CEO is called Herve Caen, if I recall correctly, and is a monumental crook and swindler. I think Eric might be his brother/partner in crime. Still, good to see that things are pushing ahead.

  12. Humble says:

    one MILLION subscribers
    /Dr. Evil

  13. Στέλιος says:

    Pfft. S.T.A.L.KE.R. online would have been much more entertaining. Grumble grumble.

  14. Erlend M says:

    Seems like their situation is better than it apparently was in 2004.

  15. RakeShark says:

    You know, Cheyenne Mountain once told us you could walk across the world in their MMO.

  16. José Rafael de Souza says:

    Well, I’ll have to say, let’s hope. It has coloured me curious as well, since I wasn’t expecting much of a Fallout MMO. Actually, I don’t really dig too much into MMOs exactly for that “grinding” mechanic. I want a game that is PLAYED massively, not just some batshitcrazy grinding of “killing the same creeps two hundred times to get teh drops”. That’s plain boring, there’s no depth, you completely LOSE the capacity of actually building a story for your character and playtime, which is what made me interested in MMOs in the first place… and what made me lay them off as well.

    This “fighting for radio towers” seems rather interesting. Controlling settlements on the wasteland would indeed make for a great setting. But what I would REALLY like to see is this:

    What if you could “set up a shop” with your character? Instead of NPCs, you had ONLY players selling stuff? Would be complicated, I know, but I haven’t seen such a system, yet. It might exist, of course, but I haven’t seen it.

  17. sidhellfire says:

    Oh noes!
    Seriously, if they want to fill this game with jokes, saying that it is important/needed/crucial to resemble Fallout world they’re going to screw things up.

    Of course, there were a lot of easter eggs in Fallout games, but they were not dominating the bigger picture. Instead of injecting portions of grotesque, they’re about to make dull parody. Seen screenshots of ghoul space rockets? WTF is that design? They are about to fail the same way as new fallout game series in their main objective “reconstructing world”. If it is so important and everyone knows that, why the hell they’re doing opposite. Who made a total moron a sheriff in F3? Why NPC’s do not value their lives, or goods? For what reason game lacks any depth?

  18. Freud says:

    One million subscribers sounds quite optimistic. Some googling turned up these figures for 2010.

    * World of Warcraft – 10,000,000
    * Runescape – 1,250,000
    * Lineage – 1,000,000
    * Lineage II – 1,000,000
    * Final Fantasy XI – 500,000
    * Dofus – 500,000
    * Eve Online – 300,000
    * Lord of the Rings Online – 300,000 (estimate)
    * Warhammer Online – 300,000 (estimate)
    * Age of Conan – 100,000 (estimate)

  19. I think says:

    I think mmos are a homosex genre… they should stop trying to cater to this market. This homosexual market.

    Also.. . fallout funny? Maybe fallout 2 which had too much stupid jokes, and was known as “Gayllout 2″ (because it was gay) between us video games connoisseurs.

  20. Don says:

    I have little interest in MMOs, but am keeping my eye on this because it’s Fallout. If it turns out okay, this could well be the MMO that finally get me to play one. The president of the company floating the idea that humor is a crucial element that Bethesda missed out on doesn’t really inspire confidence though.

    There’s plenty of humor in Fallout 3 and as far as I’m concerned it was just the right amount, enough to add color to the world without trying to turn it into some sort of post-apocalyptic sitcom. (There actually was a post-apocalyptic sitcom once, on Fox. It was called “Whoops!” Google it if you don’t believe me.)

    It’s a pretty meaningless statement in the end though and I still hold out hope that Fallout Online will be worth the trouble.

  21. Sunjammer says:

    What? Fallout is supposed to be lol-funny? I did not know this.

  22. ScubaMonster says:

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this

    • Chaz says:

      You and me both. It just feels like it’s going to be a rushed, messy and shameless attempt to cash in on the resurgance of the Fallout ip’s popularity with the success of the new Bethesda games in the series.

  23. Therlun says:

    Any kind of communication limitation will just mean that everyone will (have to) use out of game voice chat.

  24. Tycho says:

    If the material Interplay have released so far is any indication, the humour in the game will be forced and obvious. One of the enduring things about the humour in Fallout 1 & 2 (Particularly 2) was that it was subtle – just sitting at the edges, always tinged with sadness and/or pessimism.

    Please Interplay, moderation on the humour – if you want to recreate the world, focus on making a world that makes sense like the one in Fallout 1/2 did – where towns are where they are for logical reasons, and where NPCs have agendas, interests, and desires that make sense in their context.

    Also, make things that are supposed to be rare ACTUALLY RARE – one of the most jarring things about Fallout 3 is that for a supposedly post-apocalyptic world with sparse resources there was a shitload of everything in every container. For top-grade military hardware, there sure were a shitload of suits of power armour and top-secret weaponry available…

  25. JackShandy says:

    “Reconstruction of the world”? That’s an interesting claim. It gives an image of individual players actually having an impact on the world. I don’t know how they’d handle that.

    Say a player rebuilds a farm. Typical MMO design would have the farm disappear as soon as he left so that the next player could have a go at the farm-rebuilding quest.

    I’m afraid that they’ll just slip into that kind of quest design. If the players actions actually do affect the world, then soon enough the world would actually be fully rebuilt, right? They’d have to keep destroying whatever rebuilding work players are doing, just to keep the game suitably post-apocalyptic.

  26. sventoby says:

    They might be able to piggyback on the recent success of FO3. 1+2 were awesome but I’m guessing Interplay isn’t the same company that it was a decade ago. I guess I’ll wait for the beta I signed up for months ago to find out.

  27. K3 Visa says:

    wow…! Looking very interested. I will try it online. Thanks.

  28. m_s0 says:

    And I thought the Vault Boy from “Fallout” 3 looked horrible. Fallout Online is already setting new standards, it seems.

  29. Nostromo says:

    The tried and true “Trolls receiving SMS messages from one another in World of Warcraft.” has a very valid reason. It’s all nice and awesome to be fighting to control some radio station or whatever they want to shove down our throats this time, but in the end of the day when you get home and you want to play with your friends you just want to have a fast and easy ways to communicate with them. I think it’s that simple.

  30. Skaxz says:

    That’s just it. There really shouldn’t be any “farm building quests”. Why would you make it into a quest? Just allow players to build farms. And produce stuff from them. And allow other players to capture the farms, or raze them maybe? If they can kinda incorporate Minecraft elements into the game – the ability to create anything from basic materials and components, but with a focus on community, the game could be so much better than anything I have seen so far.
    Say you want to build a factory to make automatic weapons. The materials required are just too much for any one person to collect (unless they play 24/7/365), so you and your buddies collect the material components together and make a factory for your settlement. And if they could make it so you can build factories to produce robots, guns, armor, vehicles, automated turrets, houses, fortifications and all the little items that every fallout game contains – the possibilities for fun times would be endless.
    Just saying. ;)

  31. mbourgon says:

    The reason it’s been usable since January 2009 is that they bought an in-production MMO and are rebranding it for Fallout. It was the only way to meet the deadline-before-they-lose-the-license.

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