Brian Fargo talks Fallout and Wasteland 2

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Sander, May 2, 2014.

  1. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Polygon has a lengthy piece on Brian Fargo's history in the gaming industry, his connection to Fallout and the production of Wasteland 2. It's a pretty interesting read, so be sure to check it out, but there's one particular bit that should interest Fallout fans: the reason Interplay was forced to sell the rights to Fallout was that Brian Fargo started hounding them to pay their debts.

    Later, he learned that many of Interplay's creditors were not being paid, some of whom were people he had done business with. He pulled them together and filed a winding-up order against Interplay.

    In order to pay its bills, and get Fargo off its back, Titus was forced to sell prime assets. One of them was a property called Fallout, which was picked up by developer Bethesda.

    "The whole reason why Bethesda has the rights to Fallout is because of me," he recalls. "Bethesda had already licensed Fallout from Interplay, but it was for a license deal, a percentage. [Interplay] sold Fallout to Bethesda for $3.8 million. Everybody got paid what they were owed, including some of my old employees.

    "Do you know how much Bethesda would have had to pay on Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas? It would have been tens of millions of dollars I saved Bethesda, because they got to terminate that royalty deal."​

    Well, thanks for that, I guess? Bethesda hasn't exactly been a great caretaker of Fallout, but I can't imagine Interplay under Titus would have done any better.

    Another interesting bit is marketing executives pushing to change Fallout 2's art style, and Fargo shutting them down.

    "[Fargo] was very in tune with the games that we were making," Urquhart says. "Particularly I remember a project review meeting on Fallout 2. We get into the meeting and I'm presenting." The presentation was not playing well to the gathered marketing execs. They made some suggestions about changing the game's art style. "We'd have to redo all the art," Urquhart says. "I wasn't as good at dealing with executives. I didn't want to just say, 'That's stupid.' Brian, he's like, 'No, it doesn't make any sense to change the art. People love the art in Fallout.' That ended it. I don't know a lot of other CEOs that would have been as understanding of the situation and the product and able to head off something like that. It could have really hurt us."​

    Plus, there's a hilarious picture of Brian Fargo with a mullet in there.
    Link: One of Fallout's fathers returns to the Wasteland - Polygon
     
  2. Paul_cz

    Paul_cz Mildly Dipped

    515
    Jun 11, 2008
    Well as flawed as FO3 is, I still enjoyed it, and we got fantastic New Vegas in the process, so that's good. I just wish Beth/Obsidian relationship was better (at least I think it went kinda bad, probably over that metacritic bonus bullshit ?) and we could get another Obsidian made Fallout.
     
  3. FearMonkey

    FearMonkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 12, 2011
    Please don't make me click a link to Polygon. :(
     
  4. Paul_cz

    Paul_cz Mildly Dipped

    515
    Jun 11, 2008
    Just finished reading the whole thing. Pretty damn good article. Say what you will about Polygon, but their long form features are usually fantastic, and so is their presentation.
    And it is kinda cool/stunning that trio Bioware/Blizzard/Obsidian all trace their origins back to Interplay.
     
  5. Geech

    Geech It Wandered In From the Wastes

    183
    Dec 2, 2008
    This is pretty much exactly how I feel.
     
  6. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    According to this history of western RPG, even CD Projekt Red/Bethesda try to get some Interplay's blood.

    http://www.mobygames.com/featured_article/feature,31/section,207/

    This is a compromise that i am willing to tolerate, but it doesn't mean it shouldn't be better.
     
  7. Gnarles Bronson

    Gnarles Bronson regular mutant

    373
    Oct 30, 2011
  8. FearMonkey

    FearMonkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 12, 2011
    /\
    lmao @ the comparison to Kenny Powers. :p
     
  9. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    What's wrong with Polygon?
     
  10. FearMonkey

    FearMonkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 12, 2011
    I dislike them for a few reasons. For one, the people who run the site are biased towards one console manufacturer over the others. They try to hide the bias but it's pretty clear it's there. I don't think all employees of Polygon share this bias, but the people high up certainly have it. In fact they made some video to document the creation of their website via money from said console manufacturer, i.e. Microsoft.

    Examples of their bias ran rampant during the reveals of the Gen 8 hardware released last November. They would nitpick Sony's console to death yet forgive the minor (and in some cases major) issues with the Microsoft hardware. One such nitpick was that the PS4 couldn't operate with a TV remote while the Xbox One could, but that was incorrect information. It will work just fine if your TV supports HDMI-CEC, which most HDTVs do. So either they honestly didn't know or they were lying. But you would think if they didn't know they would at least do research before saying something that could be easily proven incorrect. Which is my other problem with the site, their journalistic integrity.

    In the last year they've changed their review scores for a few games multiple times. Like if a game gets patched, they re-review it. Nobody should do this. A review should be based on the day one release version of a game. You can have an article afterwards that explains the improvements of the patch, or have an addendum to the review, but to change the actual text of the review and then the score, is completely unprofessional imo.

    That's a couple reasons why I prefer not to give that site clicks.
     
  11. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    This actually makes a lot of sense to me. The point of a review is to inform people about the kind of game they're buying, and patches are a constant thing in the gaming industry these days. A buyer will be much better informed if a review is up-to-date and takes the patches into account. Nothing unprofessional about that, as long as you acknowledge somewhere in the text that the review has changed because of subsequent patches.

    The other stuff I know nothing about so can't really say anything particularly insightful, but most of the accusations appear to be mostly a case of confirmation bias (based on a quick Google search).

    Eh, whatever. From what I've seen, they do good work -- but then I only really read the longform stuff.

    Full disclosure: Polygon is owned by Vox Media, and I work for one of their other properties (but have nothing to do with Polygon), so I'm probably a bit biased.
     
  12. Gnarles Bronson

    Gnarles Bronson regular mutant

    373
    Oct 30, 2011
    Not to tack on, but I agree with this. It seems like I've gone back and read reviews for games I liked, saw that they got bad reviews for having bugs which have since been fixed, and been like wth.

    Though I guess the flipside is if you leave the review based on how it is on release it might encourage game companies to actually release properly functioning games.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  13. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Fully agree with Sander.
    It is 1000% unprofessionnal not to do it.

    Every critics that mention bug that no longer exist should be deleted at the very second a patch that fully remove that bug is released.
    Because when you buy it, you will never encounter that bug.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  14. FearMonkey

    FearMonkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 12, 2011
    But that's why I say if they address them then there should be another article, or an addendum to the review. The original review text should stand. Otherwise it's borderline censorship. (I stress "borderline")

    And like Gnarles says, having the original review reflective of the quality of the game should encourage game companies not to release buggy games.
     
  15. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Not really. You should acknowledge that the text used to be different, but issuing corrections is fairly standard procedure across publications -- and you can see this as a form of correction. Which is exactly what they do. Unless they consistently break their own protocol, you will not find an article that was changed without an update explaining why attached to it.

    Regardless of whether or not this is what they should be doing, though, I do think it's fairly clear it's not unprofessional.
     
  16. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    I may be too kind for this, but i kind of expect games being bugged on release. It gives me the impression they were still working on it, until the very last second. I prefer having a great game with a few bugs, than a poor game with no bugs. (not mentioning that it is often the job of the publisher to work on QA, which is weird in some situations)

    Also, what bothers me more is the bug never being corrected, or the compatibilities issues with next operating systems.

    The thing is, the critics seems mostly targetted for players that don't have the game yet and want to know about it before buying.
    Reading about thousands of bugs that were, in fact, removed, is a slap in the face of the people that took time to correct these.
     
  17. Paul_cz

    Paul_cz Mildly Dipped

    515
    Jun 11, 2008
    Changing review scores after patches feels weird, but as long as it is properly explained and reasoned, and elaborated on what additional patches did, then it is a good thing and should be a standard for all reviews. Too bad no journos have the time to review games after they get fixed. Maybe Fallout New Vegas would have that damn 85+ on fucking Metacritic and Obsidian would get their bonus :)
     
  18. Gnarles Bronson

    Gnarles Bronson regular mutant

    373
    Oct 30, 2011
    You are being too kind, but maybe you're just being realistic. I don't buy into the whole "it proves they were working right up to the end" thing; to me it just proves they chose to release an unfinished game which, to me, we shouldn't make excuses for.
     
  19. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    I didn't say "it proves" but "it gives the impression". There is no way i can be sure.
    About chosing to release something unfinished, i would look forward plot-holes or broken C&C in which those choices are faked.
     
  20. Gnarles Bronson

    Gnarles Bronson regular mutant

    373
    Oct 30, 2011
    I'm speaking purely about New Vegas, in which the bugs made the game unplayable for me at first. Corrupted data, freezes and so on especially on a console are pretty unforgivable. I know it's beth's fault, not obsidions, but still.