It's one of the biggest Fallout: New Vegas mods of all time, but Fallout: The Frontier has had a seriously rocky launch since it released on 15th January. After crashing Nexus Mods on launch day and racking up 82k unique downloads, Fallout: The Frontier started to face accusations it was secretly a "fetish mod" - with critics highlighting a number of questionable moments from the mod as examples. Last night, things escalated rather dramatically, as one of the mod developers was ejected from the team for allegedly posting "animated paedophilic content". A few hours later, the entire mod was taken offline.
At 9:19pm, an announcement was made on the mod's Discord explaining that a member of the development team had shared "deeply disturbing" paedophilic content on their personal artist accounts. This individual was removed from the team, but the troubles didn't end there: as word got out about the controversy the mod's Discord was "raided" by 4Chan users, resulting in the shutdown of all chat channels as the dev team struggled to moderate the influx of new users.
By the early hours of the morning, project lead Thomas "tgspy" posted a message on behalf of the dev team to address the situation, explaining that a number of controversial lines in the mod were being removed, along with all the content made by the expelled developer. "We have received requests to remove some content provided to us by artists and voice actors, so we will be complying with these requests," tgspy added. "I will be pushing a final build to [Nexus Mods] and waiting for the steam build to be accepted. This will be the final official build pushed for The Frontier.
"Unfortunately many of us are too burnt out and upset at the recent happenings to continue work on the mod."
Shortly after, tgspy announced his departure from the project, explaining that the project had been an "infinite bed of stress" for him. "It's sad to see so many years of my life devolved into this, but as I've said for years, if even a single person has enjoyed the mod then I'm happy," he added.
Before last night's drama kicked off, the mod team was already facing criticism for containing "fetishy" content. Many of the complaints were centred on the companion character America, and in particular, a line of dialogue that allowed you to turn her into a slave. America also had a line describing the rather horrible condition of her feet, which is apparently appealing to some people. Both of these lines are now being removed from the mod.
Haven't played Fallout Frontier yet but I am absolutely astounded by this one character just being a surrogate for the writers barely-disguised fetishes pic.twitter.com/pi4UOl2X9p— proud democratic socialist who will never mo (@seinfelddahog) January 21, 2021
The team had already removed other controversial scenes, including an "on the nose" line calling the Enclave fascists, and a skill check to have sex with a deathclaw (yes, really). The latter interaction, tgspy told me, was a wild wasteland encounter that was disabled in a hotfix due to its "incomplete state". Prior to last night's events, tgspy told me he felt he "[didn't] believe any fetishes were brought into the mod in the first place", arguing the content being highlighted as fetishy "already existed in the old games", and telling me it was unlikely the mod would be tweaked further as a result of the complaints. Recent developments appear to have changed the team's mind.
Despite all this, the Steam version of Fallout: The Frontier - which was delayed due to "numerous issues with the launcher" - is still going ahead. According to tgspy, it's currently being finalised, and this will be the final official build released for The Frontier.