The hunky-looking Fallout 3 remade in Fallout 4 overhaul, the Capital Wasteland Project, has all of a sudden cased development.
A conversation with Bethesda, owner of Fallout and maker of the games, revealed a legal minefield the Road to Liberty modding team had not foreseen - much of it revolving around reusing audio and voice overs. And as a result the "not taken lightly" decision to stop work was made.
The statement by project leader Nathan "NafNaf 95", shared on Twitter, read: "Recently we communicated with Bethesda regarding our planned method to implement the voice acting and other audio from Fallout 3 into the Capital Wasteland. During this conversation it became clear our planned approach would raise serious red flags that we had unfortunately not foreseen. This contact resulted in use changing our methods to attempt to continue working.
"After some thought it appears there is no fully legal way for us to continue developing the Fallout 3 in Fallout 3 portion of the Capital Wasteland. Projects like this have always existed in a grey area of the law... If we were to continue and complete Fallout 3 in Fallout 4, legally I, as the project lead, would most probably be liable for any acts of piracy and copyright infringement resulting from the project's release.
"At first we were very reluctant to halt work and decided to start looking into re-recording all the voice acting. We quickly realised we would have to replace iconic voices like Liam Neeson's, Malcolm McDowell's, Ron Perlmann's and of course phenomenal Eric Todd Dellums'. Without some of these voices Fallout 3 loses its charm and personally I can't bring myself to replace them.
"If at any point in the future it becomes fully legal for us to continue working with the blessing of Bethesda and Zenimax, we will... I'm sorry we couldn't accomplish our dream."
As some people pointed out, the Skywind and Skyblivion TESRenewal projects skirt the issue by requiring you to own The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim game. Twitter user JuiceHead, a YouTuber close to the the Capital Wasteland Project, said he believed this was proposed to Bethesda but was rejected. He later clarified (in a series of tweets verified by Nathan "NafNaf 95") a number of points:
- "The proposed a audio extraction tool that required Fallout 3 to be owned is one of the things Bethesda said would be in a legal gray area/not allowed.
- "The team Road to Liberty (people working on this project) isn't necessarily disbanding, they are just no longer working on this project.
- "They can't release all of the files because the team doesn't own the files. Some of these people in light of the news pulled out and thus their files are no longer technically allowed to be used.
- "They talked internally for a while about this and I believe consulted a lawyer. There isn't some big legal loophole they missed as lots of people are trying to suggest."
That, then, appears to be that.