Project that remasters Fallout 3 as a Fallout 4 mod canned over voice acting rights

Cal Jeffrey

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The Capital Wasteland: A Road To Liberty” is an ambitious project that looks to recreate Fallout 3 as a huge mod for Fallout 4. Unfortunately, due to copyright concerns the project has been put on “indefinite hold.”

Unlike so many other mod and homebrew ventures we hear about getting snuffed out by copyright holders, this one was not halted by a DMCA notice from Bethesda. In fact, when it comes to the modding community, whether it be Fallout 4 or Skyrim, Bethesda has always been very supportive. This instance was no different with one exception.

The five-man mod team was set to tackle the task of importing the voice acting assets into compatible Fallout 4 files. After figuring out what they needed to do to extract them, they contacted Bethesda to discuss it. During the conversation, the company raised concerns over the legality of the process they were using to grab the audio.

The problem is Bethesda does not fully own the rights to the voice acting used in Fallout 3. Apparently, the voice acting was licensed, so to use those audio files in another production would put the project into a legal “gray area.” Bethesda did not forbid them from doing this but did strongly caution against it. They warned the team that it could be facing legal trouble outside of the studio's control.

Facing the prospect of possible legal action the team had to come up with another plan. The most obvious solution would be to create new voice files, and this was considered. However, the idea was sidelined since the original voice acting is part of Fallout 3's appeal. The modders did not feel that they would be doing the game justice by replacing the voice acting.

“At first we were very reluctant to halt work and decided to start looking into re-recording all the Voice acting,” project lead NafNaf_95 wrote on the home page of the project's website. “We quickly realised we would have to replace iconic voices like Liam Neeson, Malcom McDowell,Ron Perlman and of course the phenomenal Eric Todd Dellums. Without some of these voices fallout 3 looses its charm and personally I cant bring my self to replace Them. [sic]”

The team promised to pick up where they left off if they ever get “the blessing of Bethesda and ZeniMax,” but that possibility seems highly unlikely. For the studio to give the go-ahead, it would have to purchase the rights to the acting. It is not likely that the company will be willing to buy those rights or re-license them just so that they could be used in a mod that will not make money for the studio.

“This decision was not taken lightly and it pains many people on my team including my self to have to halt development of the Fallout 3 Story. I personally would like to apologise to the many members of the community that love Fallout 3 as much as I do. Im sorry we couldn't accomplish our dream. [sic]”

It truly is unfortunate. The project is surely one that would have fans flocking back to Fallout 4 just to play what would essentially be a Fallout 3 remaster. Too bad there was not an easy way to monetize it to cover the costs of re-licensing the acting (Creation Club — wink wink, nudge nudge).

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TomSEA

Posts: 3,238   +1,833
That's really disappointing. I hope they reach out to the licensing group for the original voices to see if something can be worked out.
 
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Dyson Parkes

Posts: 49   +34
Why not a translation system...use player's owned copy of F3 voice files and translate into F4?
What if a player doesn't own F3? Does it become silent? Would still require re-recording in that instance.
Or checking that F3 is installed when trying to load the mod.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,334   +535
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Or what about this: Discuss re-licensing with the licensing group and negotiate a fair price for it. Then start a GoFundMe or KickStarter page to cover the costs. Worth a shot. A reasonable price I'm sure could be agreed upon since without the project the license holder gets nothing.
 

Prosercunus

Posts: 280   +123
Or what about this: Discuss re-licensing with the licensing group and negotiate a fair price for it. Then start a GoFundMe or KickStarter page to cover the costs. Worth a shot. A reasonable price I'm sure could be agreed upon since without the project the license holder gets nothing.
This sounds like a great idea. There are easily enough people interested in this to make a reasonable goal.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,091   +3,149
I would actually love for someone to redo all of Liam Nissan's parts. He had probably the worst lines in the game and it wasn't a very good effort.
 

Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,183
Or what about this: Discuss re-licensing with the licensing group and negotiate a fair price for it. Then start a GoFundMe or KickStarter page to cover the costs. Worth a shot. A reasonable price I'm sure could be agreed upon since without the project the license holder gets nothing.
The only problem with this approach, even though I like it, is that the modders will be committing to the project to the backers, by doing something specific in a specified timeline and backers will feel entitled to complain about anything and everything if they don't deliver, as the rights are worth nothing without the mod, putting unnecessary pressure into the team that is doing it just for the sake of it.
 
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EClyde

Posts: 2,171   +841
Sure...just loan your own hard earned talent out to whomever and see how long that lasts you.
They got paid...they didn't "loan" it. Build bridges not walls(around your compound). I would like to get paid everytime someone looks at the CBC I did 10 years ago