It's no secret that Bethesda and Interplay are at each others throughts right now over the Fallout MMO. While the legal details are interesting to say the least, many commenters on this wiki seem to have divided themselves into two factions over the issue. For the sake of simplicity, I'll call them the Bethesda side and the Interplay side, since most people tend to take the side of one of the companies. When ever an update is posted on the wiki about Bethesda v. Interplay, both sides come out and basically have a verbal sparring match over which developer is right, how Bethesda and Obsidian have improved/ruined the Fallout series, and how good/evil/stupid Interplay/Bethesda is. While thats all well and good,both sides are kind of missing a bigger picture. Is the Fallout MMO a good idea? In all of the arguments made in the comments section on this case, very few people actually post whether or not the Fallout MMO is a good or bad idea.
So, because so few people actually post any comments on this matter, I'm going to present a list of the three Pros and Cons of a Fallout MMO and my personal opinion.
The pros of the Fallout MMO:
1. Bigger Wasteland to Explore.
One of Fallout's key features is a giant open world. Exploring the post-apocolyptic ruins of cities, secret military instilations, and the occasional real world land mark, are some of Fallout's greatest experiances. Now, imagine that, but 20 times larger. MMO's are known for their large enviornments. A Fallout MMO would not have any problem with providing a large world for players to explore. Giant military bases could be used as instances, with several players simply starting off exploring the area and have the instance progress based primarily on the players exploration. Hey, better then a fetch quest, right?
2. Currently established races and factions.
Most MMO's have taken a que from World of Warcraft and added several races and factions into the very structure of their games. Current information on the Fallout MMO points to the player being able to select their race from Fallout's established races. Thus, a player could be a Super Mutant, or a Ghoul, or just a human, with each reciviing racial bonuses. Factions in Fallout could range from joinable groups, such as the Brotherhood of Steel after an exstensive quest line, to hostile factions, like the Enclave. In short, the structure of a Fallout MMO's races and factions are there, they just need to be used correctly.
3. Player Groups!
Ask anyone who has played the origional Fallout about the recrutibal followers in the game, and you'll get countless stories of how stupid the companion AI was. A Fallout MMO would not have to worry about such a thing, because the player could team up with other players. Say you get a quest to fight a pack of Deathclaws, chances are that your going to team up with as many people as you can to take them down. Need to level a raider camp, get a group of your friends and paint the town red, litteraly.
The Cons of the Fallout MMO.
1. The Fallout MMO can't be a WoW clone.
Several comments that I have read have stated that the Fallout MMO will most likely be a WoW clone with a Fallout paint job. The sad fact isn't that they're probably right, but that a Fallout MMO will most likely fail if it is. The game play mechainics of Fallout need to be carfully transfered into MMO format. Failer to do so could mean that long time fans of Fallout won't play because the MMO doesn't feel like a Fallout game. The problem isn't so much that it would be hard to do, but that it would take a lot of time and effort to do. That time and effort costs money, which Interplay does not have a lot of. This leads to the second, and possibly most serious problem with a Fallout MMO.
2. Interplay is virtually broke!
According to Gamasutra, Interplay is 2.8 million dollars in dept. Feargus Urquhart has been quoted saying that it takes around 100 million dollars to bring an MMO to market...in 2006. Considering how much has changed in over five years, the cost has most likely gone up. Interplay doesn't have the money to develope the Fallout MMO. Even with Masthead Studios, the quality of the Fallout MMO is already in question considering Interplay is nearly bankrupt.
3. The Fallout MMO is not canon.
In recent reports on the Bethesda v. Interplay case, information has surfaced that states that the Fallout MMO will diverge from established Fallout canon. Surprisingly, Interplay not only stated that this was intentional, but used it as a means to insult Bethesda for a previous legal argument they had made. This is an outright insult to fans of the series. If the Fallout MMO were to be released, it would already be considered non-canon, meaning every story element in the MMO would be one the same level of canon as Fallout: Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. While not as serious as Interplay's financial situation, it is by far the most insulting thing Interplay could do to fans of Fallout.
The Fallout MMO is a bad idea. Not only has Interplay shown that it is not taking the development of FOOL as seriously as it should, it also does not have the resources to produce an MMO. Even with Masthead studios helping in FOOL's development, I personally feel that the Fallout MMO is just not a good idea. Interplay did produce Fallout and Fallout 2, and they are classic RPG's in their own right. Yet, Interplay also produced Fallout: Tactics, whos cannicity has never been fully solidified, and the down right insulting, non-canon Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (seriously, Bauls Gurrana?!). I understand why so many fans are stepping up to defend Interplay, and I respect their opinions (even though they can get a little out of hand at times), but the Fallout MMO isn't going to happen. In the end, the tale of Fallout Online will be one of a last ditch attempt by a developer well beyond its prime to win a war it had already lost years ago.
War never changes.