Frustrating: Fallout 4 retail PC copy on single DVD (19GB left to download)

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Wraithtek

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Maybe it's a holdover from the days before digital distribution, but when you buy a game on disc, you expect to be able to install it from disc.

If this is a problem, why didn't you know about it beforehand?

Bethesda didn't publish this fact, doesn't include it in their product information, and didn't inform their support staff.

Months ago, I tried to find out if you could install the full game from disc. I tried:

  • Bethesda Softworks Forums (no info; when asking the question, no one else knew either)
  • Bethesda Store product page (no info)
  • Retailer product pages (no info)
  • Fallout 4 official site (no info)
  • E-mailing Bethesda tech support (they didn't have an answer)
  • E-mailing Bethesda store support (they didn't have an answer)

I raised the question in this forum, just over a month ago in the System Requirements thread, and someone said Pete Hines answered this on twitter. I looked through his twitter and found the relevant tweet - I don't remember exactly what was said, but it seemed like a yes. I figured this was what I needed, and didn't worry about it further.

Yesterday, I get my preorder copy in the mail. One DVD. Looking on Reddit, I find out that others have posted about this (the disc has about 5.2GB, and you have to download about 19GB). I also found references to another Pete Hines tweet, from around October 15, where he specified that you install part of the game from the disc, singular, and need to download the rest. Those who were complaining about this recently on Reddit just get a bunch of replies about how we already knew about this a long time ago. I don't constantly follow Fallout 4 news, on reddit or twitter or other sites. I don't watch unboxing videos. This wasn't mentioned on any of the gaming sites I follow regularly. When I went looking for this information, it wasn't there.

Why does this matter?

Right now, I have slow internet. And many people have data caps. So big downloads can be problematic. I preordered a retail copy specifically to avoid a huge day one download. And less importantly, so I could use my Best Buy GCU discount and rewards coupons. If I had known the full game wouldn't be in the box, I could have bought it on Steam and had several days to preload. I could have switched my preorder from PC to PS4.

Yes, I knew I'd need Steam and an internet connection to activate the game and install updates. Yes, I know games have day one updates, but they're (usually) not 19GB.

With just one disc, the only advantages of the physical copy now are saving 5.2GB of download (about 22% of the full game), the physical box (perks poster included), and the option to buy from a brick & mortar store (though you can buy Steam cards there, too). A physical PC copy of Fallout 4 is only marginally better than the PC copies of MGS V that just had a Steam key in the box.

Well the game obviously can't fit on one DVD. Didn't they have to do it this way?

But it could have fit on 3 or 4 DVDs. Yes, that would increase costs, but I have to imagine that boxed PC copies are a pretty small percentage of what they print/ship. (And would it really be that much more expensive than the console versions' blu-rays?)

You know what wouldn't cost more? Communication. When Bethesda knows enough about the final game to publish system requirements, maybe they could let us know that only part of the game is on disc. Just be up front about it so we can make informed buying decisions, instead of finding this out on release day.

What am I going to do now? I'm going to start the install/download tonight and probably start playing sometime this weekend.

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charlie_victor_bravo

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That is pretty shitty - does the box say that you need to download the rest? (Also is there proper manual, previous Fallout Games had good ones)?. Thanks for the warning.

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madman356647

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They did the same with Skyrim, but most retail PC games do this now.

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ZolRoyce

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I feel your pain Duder, I have slow internet as well and lost track of the amount of times I've bough the physical PC version of a game to have it stop installing part way through and pick up as a download. The Evil within had to do about 20 to 30 gb, it's insanity and never made clear.
What's the point of a PC version if it wont install the full thing anyways? Have developers lost their mind?

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Turtlebird95

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#5  Edited By Turtlebird95

Yeah, I heard about this and cancelled my pre-order from Amazon and just did it through Steam and preloaded at a friends house. Seriously fucked they only include 5 out of the 24 GB... That is unacceptable. They must know that the only reason anyone would buy a physical PC game in 2015 is because they can't be bothered to download it on their internet. Totally not buying Hines' BS about it being due to piracy either.

I hate how companies are at the point of completely ignoring us shitty internet folk :/

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onarum

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yeah this is shitty, games have gotten so huge and bluray never caught on for PC because digital distribution made it useless, I mean seriously who the hell has a bluray driver on their PCs? it has to be a pretty low percentage... plus companies are all about cutting costs so this crap happens and the end user ends up getting shafted as usual...

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caska

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In about 5 hours I'll have finished my last exam and I was planning on an impulse purchase of Fallout 4 on my way home but I guess there's no point in doing that any more... I guess I'll be playing this next week sometime now. Thanks for letting me know, I think I'd be just as pissed as you had I found out the hard way. Doesn't really mean much coming from me but sorry you had to go through all that crap!

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Wraithtek

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@caska said:

Thanks for letting me know, I think I'd be just as pissed as you had I found out the hard way. Doesn't really mean much coming from me but sorry you had to go through all that crap!

I hope I didn't come across as overly angry. I'm just disappointed that we're in this situation (with Fallout 4 specifically and PC games in general), when it could have been avoided either through communication or just throwing in a few more DVDs. And annoyed that some people say this is a total non-issue because it doesn't affect them.

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caska

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@wraithtek: It's understandable though, and it seems like it would have been a really easy thing to make it more obvious that a big download will be required.

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rorie

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That's rude-icrous. I just made that word up and it's mine.

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ClairvoyantVibrations

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I was going to go out tomorrow and buy this on disk so I could save some bandwidth. Now I know I should just get it on Steam... and wait another day before I can play it. This is some hot garbage.

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Fallen189

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#12  Edited By Fallen189

When I bought Destiny and The Witcher 3 last week, both had 24gb patches to download on first run. I'm not saying it's right, but it's just how it is these days

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Malvernrob

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As someone with an internet cap and who can't really afford to go up to a higher service tier this is disappointing. I realise its a bit silly to expect a game of this scale to be self contained on one dvd, but it just seems the responsibility/work/onus whatever is being pushed onto the consumer to deal with it. This game was retailing for $80 cdn for a ps4 copy as it is.

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ninnanuam

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That's blows.... I have slow ass net and I'm still waiting on my PC edition this means ill be downloading that bastard for days when it arrives. It was obviouslt dumb of me to think that tBethesda would so the same thing as 2K did with GTA and put out a multi disc physical copy.

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pekoe212

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I haven't bought a physical version of a PC game in a long time, I didn't realize only providing one DVD and making you download the rest was standard practice now. That really sucks. The entire point of purchasing a physical version is to avoid huge downloads. :(

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audioBusting

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Oops I left it installing from the disc and did not know it was downloading. There goes 20GB of my download quota =/

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armaan8014

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Dang. My slow internet friends will be frustrated to find this out. Their copy is on the way. Luckily for one of them, I have decent internet speed and already finished downloading my digital copy, and can give him the files (I think that should work)

The other friend... might be a month before his download is complete :[

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Shindig

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It's a rough situation but what else can they do? PC manufacturers aren't going to go en masse to Blu Ray which is the only available medium to them which has the capacity to deal with modern big-budget games.

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ripelivejam

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#19  Edited By ripelivejam

Kinda scary to think skyrim did the same and that was four years ago. Can time slow down a bit please?

Last physical pc game i got (besides a boxed copy of WOW as a gift) was diablo 3 when it came out. How times changed; i used to balk at spending $60 (or close to) and having nothing physical to show for it.

I feel your pain OP, but sadly i guess we're at the tipping point where it isn't worth it to bethesda and others to support those with crappy internet. Seems like there's still enough that it should matter, though.

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GunstarRed

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Wolfenstein had the same problem, The discs only installed about 75% of the game. It seems to be a Bethesda thing. I haven't had this problem with any of the other PC games I've bought on disc in the last couple of years.

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ninnanuam

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@shindig said:

It's a rough situation but what else can they do? PC manufacturers aren't going to go en masse to Blu Ray which is the only available medium to them which has the capacity to deal with modern big-budget games.

GTA V came on multi DVD

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Corvak

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@shindig: Ship it on more discs.

The only reason to even buy physical (unless you just like boxes) is to save having to do most of the downloading (Day 1 patches are gonna be there). With some ISPs giving monthly limits of a measly 200-300GB, a 30+GB game represents 10% or more of your monthly allocation. 300GB used to be a lot, but that came in back when games were 5GB and Netflix wasn't HD.

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Wraithtek

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Update: Talked to my ISP, got a new modem, a little bump in internet speed. Was able to download the rest of the game in less than 24 hours. (Started Wednesday evening, was finished Thursday just before I got home from work.) So now I've got the whole game and have started playing, but still not a great release day experience.

That is pretty shitty - does the box say that you need to download the rest? (Also is there proper manual, previous Fallout Games had good ones)?. Thanks for the warning.

I read this comment the other day, but still forgot to check the back of the box for requirements. I'm guessing it just says "Internet Connection Required," matching the posted system requirements.

As for a manual - there's just a single-fold sheet showing basic controls (and product key on the back). Definitely not a manual. There's the Perks poster, but I think that's a preorder item. While the poster is a nice little bonus, I probably won't use it, and wouldn't have ordered a retail PC copy just for that.

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#24  Edited By ZeMadHatter

@OP : I would think the boxed edition has a mention on the box that a digital download is also required. Otherwise you have grounds to seek a refund in most Western countries and probably many others.

Also any retailer online that sells boxed copies should mention the fact it requires a further digital download.

If they do and you still buy the boxed version you have only yourself to blame.

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Wraithtek

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#25  Edited By Wraithtek

@zemadhatter said:

@OP : I would think the boxed edition has a mention on the box that a digital download is also required. Otherwise you have grounds to seek a refund in most Western countries and probably many others.

Also any retailer online that sells boxed copies should mention the fact it requires a further digital download.

If they do and you still buy the boxed version you have only yourself to blame.

As for retailers, this is where I bought it.

The closest the product page gets to mentioning this is under PC Additional Requirements:

Windows 10 (64-bit), 8 (64-bit) or 7 (64-bit), 2.8GHz Intel® Core™ i5-2300 or 3GHz AMD Phenom II X4 945 processor, 30GB hard drive, 8GB RAM, 2GB NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti or 2GB AMD Radeon HD 7870 video card, Internet connection, Steam account

There's no mention of a download required for install (much less the size of the download), or even how many discs are in the box. "Internet Connection" isn't specific. (Ex. You need a connection to activate the game on Steam.) If you dig into the (post-release) ratings & reviews, you'll see people who ran into the same problem.

As I mentioned in the first post, I tried to find this stuff out well ahead of release, when I would have had plenty of time to cancel or change my preorder. No one publishes this stuff. I don't know why. I don't think this was Bethesda trying to pull one over on us. They just don't recognize this as an issue that affects their customers.

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AlexW00d

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People are saying Skrim did this, did it? Skyrim was like a 5gb download before they release the hd texture pack, that's 1 DVD.

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Turtlebird95

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#27  Edited By Turtlebird95

@alexw00d said:

People are saying Skrim did this, did it? Skyrim was like a 5gb download before they release the hd texture pack, that's 1 DVD.

It's not that it's one dvd, according to Pete Hines all Bethesda physical PC versions have content missing that has to be downloaded to avoid "piracy." Even if Fallout 4 had like four discs they still would leave out a few gigs of data.

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Jayzilla

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I am in the same boat as you OP. Because of my slow download speeds and data caps, I had to choose between FO4 or Battlefront for this month. The piracy download stuff is hot garbage too. They could literally make it a 5MB download in order to run the game. As a side note, digital pre-orders are garbage. There is zero reason to reserve something that doesn't have a supply limit. It'd sure be nice to have the option of going back to having games be on physical media especially since downloads are so large these days. They could do a minimal download to protect against piracy as well.