This is a Nukapedia News Blast... Something new we're trying out.
Warning, I'm not great at sticking a script, so there are slight differences between the audio version and this version
I’m Agent C, and this is a Nukapedia News Blast
Coming up in this annual review, we’re going to look at the state of Fallout 4, Whats happened with our favourite developers, and finally get an update on the current status of the War that Wasn't - the Cold War.
But first, we’re going to turn to Fallout 4 news. Here’s a complete list of what we know about the game.
Thats right, there isn’t any news. Pete Hines may have said today that they’re “working on a game” but this is hardly a revelation - they are of course a game studio and not a hot dog stand. Todd has already said there’s no timeframe, and with a guy like him Bethesda don’t exactly have to rush him. I know that’s not going to please my anonymous fan, but now I’ve got that out of the way, he can tune out, and the rest of you can keep listening.
We had a lot of false starts this year, lets recap them all. Firstly, and most significantly, the march of the fakes. We had a “Fake Memo” claiming to tell employees not to use the words “Fallout” and “The Elder Scrolls”, followed by the deeper mystery of the survivor site. These events somewhat split the community each time into believers, and non believers, each part had a different degree of believability, but ultimately they were all discovered fake not so long after.
In order to try and stop these things happening again, I’m going to let you know what you should be looking for.
When a company is about to launch a new title, there is a lot of work that goes on. The Legal guys are going to file for Trademarks. A trademark allows you to protect your brand, you can file for one just before you’re going to use it, and it keeps around for 6 months or so if you don’t - although you can get a few extensions to this. If you start using it, it usually lasts as long as you keep using it, although like Ketchup, Hoover and Asprin, if people start using it too much as a regular word, then you can effectively lose it.
You can expect the legal guys to apply for these in most major markets they’re going to launch in, in particular the EU, and the USA.
What we learned with the Survivor hoax however is that the EU trademark website however, is unreliable. it turns out they’ll put stuff in their database before anyone pays for the filing… this means for a few days at least if you post say “Fallout: Gary Indiana” as a trademark, along with Bethesda’s legal team address as yours, it will look real for a few days. What we didn’t see during these fakes however was any appearance on the US Patent and Trademark Office’s database of registered marks.
What does this mean in the future, well, if its a European trademark thats not matched in the US, you can pretty much presume its fake until proven otherwise.
Next key piece of evidence is to look at the site where its being hosted. You can check who “owns” an internet domain name through a WHOIS search. Don’t however just look at who seems to own it - you can pretty much put in anything you like when registering the domain. Look at instead where the site is hosted.
If all of Bethesda’s sites are hosted by one company in Maryland, and a new one pops up hosted in Poland, you can be assured that its probably a fake - why would they contract another company they’ve never had dealing with before when they can just add it to their existing account.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, use some common sense. If you’re looking at a leak, say a leak of a document, lets say in this case a memo, that says specifically not to leak stuff, ask yourself one question “What kind of person would be stupid enough to leak that?”. Anyone caught leaking stuff will not only find themselves fired, but unable to find similar employment in software development for the rest of their lives. It would take someone completely starved of attention and sense to somehow think that was a good idea.
Lastly, look at how the information came to light. If its a “Trailer”, is it on the existing Bethesda Youtube Channel? If its not, its fake. Is there any mention of it on the official twitter feeds - no, they’re not keeping quiet to build suspense, its because they haven’t released it.
Before we move on, we should talk about the leak to Kotaku of a script that claims that the player character will have a voice. I know this causes a lot of skepticism in the community, some because its Kotaku, and some because they don’t want to believe that the main character may be voiced. Kotaku say they’ve got it verified by someone, and given their other leaks around the same time, I believe they have what they say they have.
What it means though is another question, hopefully it was just for an idea they were trying out.
With that out of the way, lets turn to a word from our sponsor
That piece of art was discovered by the guys at the Cutting Room Floor, where they discovered an entire radio station cut from Fallout 3, broadcast from Tenpenny tower, and that brings us onto our next section, news on our favorite developers… how so? Well because our first story involves a lot of cuts.
Bethesda Softworks this year has taken a bit of a cut in its quest to become an independent publisher, rather than just self publishing its games. The only independently developed game on their future releases list - Prey 2 - was cancelled earlier this year. This means the only games that Bethesda and Zenimax are publishing are games made by their inhouse studios. Now, that doesn’t mean there is no work for the publishing guys - Id, Battlecry, arcane, Tango, and Machine games and of course not to mention Bethesda SoftWorks and Zenimax online, there are games for em to work on, just not so many. Zenimax have made up for their maiden year last year with TES:O, Wolfenstien and The Evil Within, but its nowhere near the number of games most publishers handle. Might be worthwhile seeing if this is something they start to refocus on in 2015, or if they stop self publishing completely.
Speaking of TES:O, its out, mostly. Console fans are still waiting for a release, and the game continues to expand, although given the next big expansion will include a justice system, and the ability to steal and fence, one has to wonder if the game has actually been released well before it should have been. Personally, i thought the main quest was fun, but whether or not its worth the online fees is another question, try it first if you can. Props though to the Zenimax guys for doing their live Q+A twitch sessions, if only more developers would do that.
Over at InXile, we saw the released long awaited sequel to Wasteland 2. Wasteland of course being the game that inspired Fallout, and Fallout being the game that Interplay made because they couldn’t make wasteland 2 at the time. I know a lot of people hate EA, but as they owned the rights they are an indirect reason why there is a fallout series at all
However, what we have seen just this last month is a company linked to InXile registering trademarks for “Van Buren” and “Meantime”. Van Buren of course was the codename of the cancelled Fallout 3 project being made at Interplay before it was cancelled in favour of the horrible console game we wont mention, and Meantime was going to be a time travelling followup to Wasteland… Brian Fargo has said that these are ideas that may be some years off.
If you haven’t played Wasteland 2 yet, now is a really good time. Unfortunately at release it was buggier than a termite mound, but its now stable, and is a great story well told. You don’t need to have played Wasteland 1 to follow along, but it helps if you haeve
Big year of course for the guys at Obsidian. They saw the release of the highly acclaimed Stick of Truth, and more stuff come to light about Pillars of Eternity, a game thats going to see them return to their 2d Top Down RPG roots.
Stick of Truth if you haven’t played it is a brilliant game, but perhaps only good for one playthrough. Its very faithful to the show in story and style, if you see it cheap in the steam sales you should definitely do yourself a favour.
As for Interplay, with Project V13… Not a word seems to have been said. I think we can say that that particular scam is well dead. All the members of the project seem to have moved on. Interplay are no longer required to file reports with the SEC as they have less than 300 shareholders meaning we can’t get an idea of whats going on in there; their shares at last check were less than 1 penny per share. We can’t give you financial advice but it is probably not a good idea to buy it.
Chris Taylor however has licensed from them the rights to a Freespace Tactics Board game, he’s asking for $75k and so far has about $17k and 2 weeks to get it. It looks profesionally done and here’s hoping something comes out of it
Its time for your long awaited cold war update in the War that wasn’t. Well it looks like the battle lines might be moving. Firstly on the Eastern Front, a year of Turmoil in the Ukraine has seen them lose the Crimean territory back to Russia, you might remember this was where Gorbachev was relaxing when he was deposed in the short lived Coup in the soviet union. Ukraine had struggled with a neutral-ish policy between the East and West since the Soviet Union’s disintergration, but has now made moves to try to join NATO, which could bring the western nuclear alliance right to the Russian Border. Russia is of course not happy with the situation, but is now facing financial pressure as western based sanctions begin to bite.
North Korea might have entered the cyber warfare space, with them being blamed for the hack against Sony. Official statements from North Korea have been somewhat confused, both disclaiming any responsibility for the hack, whilst saying they have taken “The toughest” response against sony’s movie “The Interview”. Whilst many theatres did refuse to screen the movie, many brave souls risked what was threatened as a September 11 style attack by the hackers, or streamed it online in the US, with further global releases still to come.
And in the Americas, it looks like the little country America has loved to hate since JFK might be coming in from the Cold. The USA and Cuba will be working to “normalise relations”. Although acts of congress will be required to remove the full range of sanctions and embargos that have prevented trade between the countries, it has been suggested that communication equipment could be amongst that exported to the country. Some Cuban Americans though are beginning to worry if this is the beginning of the end of the sweetheart deal that sees Cubans on the fast track to American Residency and Citizenship should they arrive in the US.
But from the Nukapedia Newsroom, thats all for now, I’m agent c, stay safe out there.
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- This week's pictures have been selected by NOTY nominee CassieT234