Bethesda's Fallout 3 Patch 1.5 Overlooks PS3 Expansions Again
Bethesda seems to be taking an interesting tack when it comes to software updates for Fallout 3.
Ever since the 1.4 patch, including the new 1.5 patch (which adds Broken Steel achievements and fix a few bugs), the releases have been for the PC and Xbox 360 only.
Of course those updates, besides bug fixes, are updating Achievements for expansions that are also not available on the PlayStation 3.
This could all point back to the surcharge on downloads that Sony began implementing on PSN downloads back in October, 2008, around the time Fallout 3 was released.
Since then Sony has charged developers $0.16/GB for content downloaded through PSN. Even content that's free, like the Fallout patches, would be subject to the charge for the first 60 days that the content is out. Paid content would be subject to the fee as long as there's a charge associated with it.
This could also be why we haven't seen the major Fallout 3 expansions on the PS3 either. Operation: Anchorage released on January 27, 2009 for 800 Microsoft Points, The Pitt ended up having a broken release in March for the same point value and the 3rd content pack, Broken Steel, will be out in May.
So far none of these expansions are even announced for the PS3 and the reason could be simple mathematics. On the Xbox Marketplace it shows the file sizes for both Operation: Anchorage and The Pitt.
Combined they make up 861 MB. Given Sony's $0.16/GB fee for downloads that means any user who downloaded both of them would cost Bethesda $0.14 (assuming a pro-rated schedule).
So, hey, you say to yourself, fourteen cents isn't that big of a deal. Until you realize that there are potentially more than a million downloaders. That $0.14 rapidly balloons to $194,600 if all 1.39 million PS3 players download both updates.
Even if we're to be conservative and say that only 500,000 people download both packages, that still represents an extra $70,000 to be carried by Bethesda.
In the face of this there is simply no incentive for developers to release their products for download on the PS3: better to wait and do a "Game of the Year" package or something similar and avoid losing profits and dev costs to what is effectively a "download tax" that is not attached on competing platforms - in the meantime forcing game owners to pay for another full game that includes the extra content.
I figure it's really just the limitation of the install base. I remember reading somewehre that Microsoft doesn't actually charge those to devs hawking their content? I bet sony's just trying to make sure they get every inch out of that thing until it's really strong... Either way, Fallout should be played on PC, with a mouse, and a keyboard...
I don't buy it. For one thing, I'd gladly pay an extra 14c to get the Fallout 3 DLC. Just pass the cost to the consumer.
Bethesda are ignoring PS3 owners for one of two reasons:
1. Microsoft is paying them a very large amount of money
2. They have a philosophical objection to the PS3 or PSN
Reason 1 is totally possible. It's exactly what happened with the GTA4 DLC.
Reason 2 is, I feel, something that is really going on at Bethesda, much like it is at Valve. I don't think it's a PSN thing though - the 360 and PC are getting some of the DLC as a retail disc, and PS3 is left out of that as well.
What I'd like to know is, if Bethesda really does dislike the PS3, why did they develop Fallout 3 for the PS3 at all? It doesn't make any sense. It doesn't make any sense to spend all that time making a PS3 port of the game, and then not follow it up in the same way as the other ports.
1.39 million people bought the PS3 version of Fallout 3. Is their money not good enough for Bethesda? No matter how many more bought on 360, it doesn't pay to ignore the wishes of 1.39 million people.
Last edited by YMM; 05-02-2009 at 11:44 AMReason: slight sentence clarification
just what has been said in the article, i also think the best solution for bethesda would be to release a special collector's edition of their game on the ps3 with all three expansion packs. this would cut out all the download taxes if the expansion packs were to be put on PSN store for download.
BUT bethesda has to absolutely time the release of this expansion pack as soon as they're done with the last expansion pack for this 3rd installment of their fallout game. if they release it at the end of this year, then it would be too late. i don't think it would still hold up the same hype especially with the 3rd expansion pack being available sometime this month and big exclusive ps3 games expected at the end of this year.
it would be in bethesda's financial interests to release these expansion packs on the ps3 as soon as possible. and i think they're going to do it, unless Microsoft has made an agreement with Bethesda, like GTA4, where the DLC are exclusive to the xbox360 and possibly even Microsoft's property.