Eurogamer: Consumer reaction to premium DLC varies enormously, as you know. What sort of lessons learned with Oblivion were you able to apply here?
Jeff Gardiner: Well, we're not making more Horse Armour! In seriousness, we found that games want to enhance their existing experience without feeling ripped off. We're hoping to strike that balance with our new DLC.
Eurogamer: The 800 Microsoft Points price point is often challenged by gamers - look at the Gears 2 Combustible Map Pack, for instance - and you have some experience with pricing issues. How's the reaction been so far? Are you still comfortable with it?
Jeff Gardiner: We're offering several hours of unique gameplay - along with a bevy of armor and weaponry the player can use throughout the entire main game of Fallout 3. Reaction has been very positive.
Eurogamer: With G.E.C.K. (good name, by the way!) now out and about, will PC gamers be able to take advantage of the Op Anchorage and other DLC assets when they come out?
Jeff Gardiner: Yes, you can use content in the DLC to create new plugins and mods, but anyone who wants to use those plugins/mods will have to have bought the DLC and have it installed.
Eurogamer: You've said you'll raise the level cap with Broken Steel, the third pack. When Pete Hines spoke to us just after the launch, he said there were "no plans" to do that and you felt level 20 left you "plenty tough enough". What's changed? Also, how far will you be raising it?
Jeff Gardiner: Pete was talking about the level cap in the game as it was released. Level 20 is plenty tough. But we felt there's no harm in letting the player enjoy the game as long as they'd like, and so along with removing the game's "ending" with Broken Steel, we figure raising the level cap would allow them to do that. We plan on raising it to level 30 - but it will be a long, hard climb to get there!
Eurogamer: Will there be any differences between the DLC packs on Xbox 360 and PC?
Jeff Gardiner: No, the content is identical.
Eurogamer: Is the exclusive relationship with Microsoft timed? Will we see these bundles on PlayStation 3 eventually? And if not, will there be any other content for PS3?
Jeff Gardiner: We are doing this DLC exclusively for Xbox 360 and GFW.
Eurogamer: Can you give us any details on the new Achievements? Will it be another 250 gamerpoints' worth? (Is that still the DLC limit for extra gamerpoints?) Will it be split across the three packs?
Jeff Gardiner: We plan on including around 50 gamerpoints per pack.
Eurogamer: You released a patch before Christmas to deal with certain issues in the PS3 version, with PC and 360 updates to follow. What's left to fix, in your eyes, and how soon can we expect further news?
Jeff Gardiner: We are in the final stages of getting updates completed and released. We just want to be sure that they're available across all platforms and languages, as much as possible, and so there are a lot of them to get finalised and released. Won't be long now though.
Eurogamer: Finally, can you tell us anything else about The Pitt and Broken Steel?
Jeff Gardiner: The Pitt is a more 'Traditional' Fallout 3 quest - it's full of morally grey choices, shady NPCs, and features another city ravaged by time, neglect, nuclear waste and moral degradation.
Broken Steel not only extends the game to level 30, it alters the core ending. It allows the player to continue exploring the ashen Wasteland and see the fruits that are born, or that die, from their decisions. It will reprise several main characters, and conclude some of the story threads left dangling.
Eurogamer: And finally finally - our readers have named Fallout 3 their game of the year. Congrats! Anything you'd like to say to our excellent and intelligent readers to mark the occasion?
Jeff Gardiner: It's an honour and privilege to be able to work on a game such as Fallout 3. And it's an even greater honour to be admired by gamers who really know their stuff as being the best game of the year, so thank you.
Fallout 3 Operation: Anchorage - the first of three DLC instalments - is due out this month.