CW: sexual abuse & language
You may have heard of Fallout New Vegas: The Frontier, but if you haven't here's the gist: it is (or was?) a massive expansion mod to Fallout New Vegas, the beloved RPG from Obsidian, that has been in development for 7 years. On paper it seemed rather promising: a big, snow-covered open world set in Oregon, with a faction-heavy storyline, drivable vehicles, new weapons, and a fully-voiced script.
The mod launched on Nexus Mods last week and made headlines after its popularity crashed the website. But just a couple days ago it was taken offline by the development team after it came to light that one of the developers had posted pedophilic content to their personal artist account.
Initially I was bummed to hear that the team had been compromised in such a way, because I had been looking forward to checking this out and the news effectively torpedoed whatever interest I had. But some folks got their hands on the mod before it was removed, and it sounds like the whole thing is pretty wretched in some truly unimaginable ways. Bestiality, rape, and an 18 year old girl named America that you can enslave and call "bitch" and "little slave girl" are just some of the criticisms lobbed against this thing. Even with a hypothetical absence of the mod's depraved sexual fantasies, it sounds like it's incredibly inconsistent with Fallout lore. The team had promised a consistency with series fiction pre-release, which isn't exactly congruent with the mod's inclusion of a Solid Snake cameo in which he asks if you'd like to see his "Liquid Snake."
What's more disturbing is the team's statement regarding the developer who posted the pedophilic content:
Some deeply concerning news has emerged in the past few hours. We have been recently notified that one of our developers, ZuTheSkunk, had posted animated pedophillic content on their personal artist accounts. The items in question are deeply disturbing to the entire team, and we condemn them in the strongest sense. ZuTheSkunk has since been removed from the Development Team and banned off of our Community Discord. We will be conducting dialogue with members of the development team to hear their thoughts regarding the current situation and help make our decision more informed. We have stopped production and work on the mod to address the current events properly. More measures will be undertaken and a more detailed address will be posted soon.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed both in the mod, and outside of it, belong solely to the authors who write them, and not to the mod's organization, community, or other group or individual.
It is rather unbelievable that this team A) was not aware of this person's predilections given how apparently open about it they were, and B) that they are deeply disturbed by this, given how the mod is replete with juvenile depictions of sex and slavery that should be absolutely embarrassing to everyone involved with the project. The mod's Twitter account later posted that, "We will be making changes to the Frontier going forward to remove inappropriate lines and content. This will be our final build." But I cannot imagine a world in which a version of The Frontier scrubbed clean of its worst impulses is worth giving the time of day to, given that this team was okay with its original release to begin with. What a shame.