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Bethesda Needs More New Vegases

Bethesda Needs More New Vegases.

For those unaware, Fallout: New Vegas was a title created after Fallout 3 that was not created by Bethesda. It was made by Obsidian Entertainment and was essentially a super-mod released as a full price game.

We’re Not Doubting New Vegas’s greatness; Many hail it as an overall mechanical improvement over Fallout 3 with its diverse weapon modification systems, more interesting world, and interesting faction karma systems. We’re calling it a glorified mod because it essentially consisted of Bethesda handing over a lot of their assets and their engine to a different developer so that developer could make a game in the Fallout franchise. We’re calling out because it referenced the split-second instant that Bethesda recognized the capabilities for their software to become fully-fledged mod platforms.

It’s also, for some reason, just about the only time that this has happened. Not long-term projects like The Elder Scrolls Online, however: New Vegas was a standalone Fallout game that was quite excellent, and allowed Bethesda some extra time to work on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

So why hasn’t this happened again? It wouldn’t be particularly hard to do, and doesn’t even need to be to the scale that Fallout: New Vegas was. To many, even after officially integrating mods with Fallout 4, it seems as if Bethesda still does not understand the full potential of their titles as platforms for original content.

For example, if Bethesda decided to take advantage of this more with their next Elder Scrolls game, and perhaps released a series of deals to indie developers tasking them with creating shorter stories inside of The Elder Scrolls 6, they could push smaller projects forward with far smaller budgets than they would normally require due to almost all of the work on modeling, mechanics design and movement mechanics already being included in the main game. These micro stories could be released as DLC expansions without the traditional annoyance by gamers that usually comes with the sale of many DLC additions: The complaint that DLC practices are driven by ‘developer greed’ and that the DLC products could have been included with the original game.

Even if these products did not sell as well as traditional DLC projects, and even if Bethesda had to (for PR reasons) split the profits of the titles with their indie developers, they could still have these stories created for their game for next to no cost. Using this method or a method similar to this to generate content for their game by treating it as an evolving platform that a community can improve upon would require almost no investment from them, and would ensure that their own next games will include many of the best improvements from add-ons to the last title. This means the players of the games have more ability than ever to influence the direction the series goes in, and in all but the most extreme of cases, communicating more and including more ideas from one’s audience is never a bad thing.

Featured Image Via Flickr / simbatch

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