Fallout 4 Next-Gen Update Could Break ‘Game-Sized Mod,’ Forces Delay

Fallout 4 Next-Gen Update Could Break ‘Game-Sized Mod,’ Forces Delay

Last week, Bethesda surprised folks by announcing that its long-in-the-works next-gen update for Fallout 4 was arriving in a few weeks. The update, which was announced back in 2022 and missed its initial 2023 release window, comes on the heels of Amazon’s hit Fallout show, and is set to arrive on April 25. However, not everyone was excited about this announcement. For most, the news of Fallout 4’s next-gen update is a well-timed boon, but for the team working on an ambitious mod, the news has completely blindsided them.

Fallout London is a “game-sized mod” currently being worked on by a team of volunteers called Team FOLON. As the name suggests, Fallout London moves the action away from America and to the United Kingdom’s capital city, which has been painstakingly recreated by the team, which has been working on the game during its free time. It looks so good that Bethesda even hired some of the modders who worked on it. After years of development using Fallout 4’s mod tools, Fallout London was finally given a release date late last year for April 23, two days before the arrival of Fallout 4s next-gen update. Unfortunately, since Team FOLON is pretty sure the update will completely break its upcoming game, it has opted to delay Fallout London indefinitely.

In a video update, team lead Dean Carter breaks down the difficulties Fallout 4’s next-gen update introduces for Fallout London and why the team is positive the changes introduced will basically break the mod. “Break” is the operative word Carter deploys throughout the entirety of the update, suggesting that it won’t be as simple as some incompatibility issues or some performance hitches. According to him, the team can say “with certainty, that systems based on F4SE [Fallout 4 script extender], which for those unaware is the framework behind basically all of the dialogue system in Fallout London and many of the other mods out there, will break.” The UI will accordingly break, as well as the 2D art made for Fallout London, and the painstaking work the team has done to stabilize the majority of its world, which Carter claims is “as dense and detailed as downtown Boston” in Fallout 4, will need to be fixed.

Throwing fuel onto the fire is the fact that so much of Fallout London’s systems are built by support teams that are entirely composed of volunteers. As Carter puts it, these volunteers could find the fixes in a matter of days, weeks, or months depending on their availability, but since they aren’t on retainer to do so, the team has to simply wait and see. In short, the team expects the mod to be completely inoperable once the next-gen update goes through and don’t have the resources to provide a timeline. Until then, Fallout London’s release is up in the air.

To his credit, Carter’s update isn’t all doom and gloom—As much as it clearly pains him and the team to have to delay Fallout London, he does suggest that the changes coming to Fallout 4 will ultimately benefit the development of the mod. Though there’s a lot to work through, Carter does sound excited to be able to provide even more to the fans who have been anticipating his team’s work. He also states that the mod, which was always going to be too big to come to consoles, actually turned out to be too large for Nexus Mods (a popular host for game mods) as well. GOG, a digital storefront from CD Projekt Red, has stepped in to help with distribution whenever Fallout London releases, and Carter seemed optimistic that this development could lead to eventual releases on other storefronts like Steam and Epic Games Store, but only after the team has fixed everything Fallout 4’s next-gen update threatens to break.

Elsewhere, Carter reveals that he and his team have had no real communications with Bethesda, despite social media posts from the latter about Fallout London and a prominent feature as an in-game loading screen. These interactions, Carter reveals, only happened through conversations with community managers, rather than with the entirety of Bethesda Softworks. According to Carter, a proper conversation with Bethesda could make a huge difference in terms of Fallout London’s release as a standalone product, which as he cites, the studio has done before with Enderal: Forgotten Stories, a Skyrim mod that eventually released as its own game. Until such a time comes though, Team FOLON’s priority is addressing the fixes it knows it’ll have to make after April 25, and trying to release Fallout London as soon as it possibly can.

Fallout 4’s next-gen update is arriving soon after the release of the critically-acclaimed Fallout show, which has had a bit of a domino effect on the games. Since it dropped, people have been ravenously digging into the latest games, and we’re once again discussing which Fallout game is the best starting point. It’s like we’re back in 2015. Fallout London seems like a very exciting place to start too, granted that you’re willing to wait for its release and go through the effort of installing a mod. From the glimpses I’ve caught of the mod, it just might be worth it.

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