Massive Fallout New Vegas mod, The Frontier, crashes and burns

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nateandrews

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#1  Edited By nateandrews

CW: sexual abuse & language

No Caption Provided

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.

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Efesell

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Sounds like some of that good ol' edgy "we do what triple A wouldn't let you do" shit that got too many eyes on it.

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Humanity

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Reading all this I can't even tell if it's real or an Onion article or something. Surely.. it can't.. but it is?

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nateandrews

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@efesell: Much of it feels like the sort of trash you might find if you sorted mods on Nexus by New, except here it's all collected into one big package for a game that has gotten some serious retrospective praise in recent years.

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FRANZlSKA

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#5  Edited By FRANZlSKA

I remember someone in a Discord I'm in being fairly excited for this thing right until it came out, and then once it actually released the topic mysteriously never came up again.

There's some pretty heinous stuff on nexusmods and the like, but you don't often see such a big project be so riddled with it (one that, at least at one point was supposedly releasing on Steam? although the page redirects to the front page currently).

Feels worth mentioning that (at least, from what I've heard) the rundown OP gave is barely even the half of it, with the writing specifically stressing just how Asian and barely-18 the NPC named America is, or how (according to one of the commenters in that Reddit thread, some of the underage hentai the one developer made was also put into the game as an "easter egg", and more.

This whole thing feels like someone played through New Vegas stitching out any dialogue not referencing slavery or sexual humor.

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nateandrews

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@franzlska: Yeah, it was gonna get a Steam release. I can’t find the page anymore either.

There’s plenty more detail to be found in Reddit threads and on YouTube. I wasn’t sure how in-the-weeds I wanted to get searching through comment chains since so much of this is so outlandish as to be hard to believe. (I had originally read that America was a teenager, suggesting that you could quite literally roleplay a pedophile).

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bigsocrates

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In before comments about this guy having a bright future at Ubisoft.

This story feels like something out of the late 90s when the game scene was much more openly misogynist and more of a wild west. It's insane that the people making this mod thought that this would fly in 2021, and spending 7 years of your life to create something toxic that's just going to make people angry is truly wild to me. If you want to make a weird porn game then you should go ahead and do that, but to try and pass it off as something mainstream and get coverage for it...

Do these people not pay attention to game discourse at all? Do they totally lack self awareness? Did they all step out of a time warp from 1998 but with 2021 technical skills?

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bigsocrates

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@nateandrews: 18 is a teenager. And age of consent (not that the concept makes sense with a slave...ugh...) varies from place to place so it's not like 18 is some magic cut off.

I'm not saying that it's okay because she's 18, of course, I'm saying that her being 18 doesn't make it magically better or much less gross than if she was 17 or 16 or whatever.

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Efesell

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#9  Edited By Efesell

I mean.. the audience for this is out there. Spend any amount of time on other gaming forums or what have you and see that. I can only assume they were making this for their crowd and somehow did not consider that it was likely to escape that threshold because New Vegas is deeply beloved.

Like if it's not build on New Vegas then there are a dozen weird porn games on steam right now with content as bad or worse.

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bigsocrates

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@efesell: If this had been promoted as a porn mod to New Vegas or put on some patreon or something I don't think anybody would have noticed.

The issue is that this was pitched as a big mainstream expansion mod for wide dissemination, and people weren't warned ahead of time that it had a bunch of objectionable content.

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nateandrews

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@bigsocrates: My point was more that I had seen this character described pretty differently in different places, which made me question the validity of the other details I had read since it was all so out-of-left-field.

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BladeOfCreation

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@skinsor030: Yeah, "loli" stuff is common in those games, and it's fucking gross there, too.

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Efesell

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I don't have a lot of sympathy for anyone who spent all that time working on it. There's no reason for me to believe they couldn't take a moment to consider what they were making and how it would be received.

Like if the mod was fine and it came out that someone working on it was not then it would be a different matter for the rest of the team. This however seems mostly rotten through and through so eh fuck em.

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LapsarianGiraff

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@skinsor030: Someone is too deep into the anime scene. Reminds me of that drama on the Genshin Impact subreddit where one guy says, "hey I'm not comfortable with sexualizing underage cartoon girls" and the entire thread goes up in arms saying "IT'S NOT CHILD PORN IT'S 'LOLI".

Saaaaaaaame frickin' thing, my dude.

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Relkin

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I became aware of this mod a few days before this whole debacle came to light; it seemed ambitious, and pretty cool from a distance. The closer you get to it, though...

Ugh.

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bigsocrates

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@lapsariangiraff: I mean Lolichan stuff isn't child porn per se because it's not generally pornographic (more suggestive) and, thankfully, it doesn't involve actual real life children.

That doesn't mean it's not disgusting and shouldn't be heavily discouraged though. It's nasty stuff that can lead to even nastier stuff.

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LapsarianGiraff

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@bigsocrates: I'm aware of the distinction.

That being said, because they're both disgusting it's not really worth making that distinction, ha. Taking too long discussing the finer points of Lollicon gives me major:

"My 'I don't watch child porn' shirt has people asking a lot of questions answered by my shirt" vibes.

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Panfoot

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It's okay, she's 3,000 years old! /s

But yeah, I heard/saw stuff about the slave girl/other dialogue first, then heard about the artist and the mods removal next and assumed it was about stuff like that, so only to see it was about other stuff...Yeah i'm thinking there probably is no saving this mod at at this point, it's not like it's just some easter egg tucked away in a corner, it's just everywhere.

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MisterDarcy

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Man, I was really excited to have a game set in Portland. Anyone from here get to play this and know how far the metro boundaries went?

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Onemanarmyy

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#25  Edited By Onemanarmyy

wow 7 years of work with the intention of making a very serious addition to the game and then you get a lame Solid Snake joke and quests for 'sloots and tittehs'. This is like if the RE4 HD project was like ohh yeaa, we did travel to specific places to capture the exact feel of the source material, but we also decided to put a Homer Simpson in the game because Jake really likes the Simpsons. But instead of the Simpsons it's questionable porn fantasies in this case i guess.

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Mechanized

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The Solid Snake quest is like... The most lazy reference ever. You just put Solid Snake in the game so morons go; HEY I KNO DAT GUY LMAO

It's like the Family Guy of side quests.

And while that sucks and is immersion destroying all the fucked up fetish shit in the game is a lot worse. It's like, did anyone proof-read this? I get that the wasteland is rough, but Fallout has already tackled that way more subtly and tastefully in their own games. The cage fighter companion you can get in FO4 deals with issues like abuse, rape, etc... a million times more effectively without calling it out or, ugh, fetishizing it.

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development

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Genuinely surprised to see that subreddit is mostly against the devs on this. Good to see.

This is seems like the kind of stuff you'd get if you created an AI from the pictures and posts on Deviant Art.

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development

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#28  Edited By development
@lapsariangiraff said:

@skinsor030: Someone is too deep into the anime scene. Reminds me of that drama on the Genshin Impact subreddit where one guy says, "hey I'm not comfortable with sexualizing underage cartoon girls" and the entire thread goes up in arms saying "IT'S NOT CHILD PORN IT'S 'LOLI".

Saaaaaaaame frickin' thing, my dude.

Yeah it's the same thing. It's not "cultural" like I've seen people say. It's fucked up and shouldn't exist.

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Undeadpool

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"New Vegas really got the satire and ironic, absurdist humor of the early games that Fallout 3 moved away from. How can we COMPLETELY miss the point on that?"

Seems like these devs were just prematurely missing NewGrounds content before Flash went down.

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VisariLoyalist

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I don't think taking down a mod because one of the team is guilty of something is appropriate. The content should stand on its own merits dubious as they may be if the mod doesn't break any rules. Still, I respect the developer's decision and I suspect the mod will have plenty of mirrors to download it.

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CurseOfTheWise

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#31  Edited By CurseOfTheWise

@skinsor030: Trying to casually pretend your prediliction for drawn underage girls is some kind of artistic stance is certainly a hill to die on. And no one in this thread thinks it's "weird," by the way. Try not to cut yourself on all that eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedge.

@development said:
@lapsariangiraff said:

@skinsor030: Someone is too deep into the anime scene. Reminds me of that drama on the Genshin Impact subreddit where one guy says, "hey I'm not comfortable with sexualizing underage cartoon girls" and the entire thread goes up in arms saying "IT'S NOT CHILD PORN IT'S 'LOLI".

Saaaaaaaame frickin' thing, my dude.

Yeah it's the same thing. It's not "cultural" like I've seen people say. It's fucked up and shouldn't exist.

It's wild to play a game like Persona 5 (a game I absolutely adore) where a child can date an adult and the adult's only concern is, "This could make things awkward for my job" as opposed to, "I could be fired and ostracized from polite society for this" or "I could go to jail for this." (Problems that wouldn't arise if they'd just set the game in college, which it ALREADY FEELS LIKE based on the characters' written emotional maturity and character designs). THAT is a "cultural difference," especially as it's adult women. If it were reversed, of course, the adult man could aspire to nothing greater than the Alabama senate in America.

Edit: For clarity's sake: THAT is a cultural difference worth discussing in a videogame forum I'd say, as opposed to...ya know, "JAPAN LOVES UNDERAGE PORN!" as the guy definitely NOT from America despite using American slang like "triggered" is insisting.

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development

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Efesell

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@skinsor030: I do not think it is Just Japanese Things or whatever it is like... some people are too fucking online in Certain Anime Scenes and are not to be trusted saying things about what's normal in Japan.

More importantly though the distinction is not particularly relevant to me, on the whole. Like obviously there are degrees of severity attached to something that involves actual children and artistic depictions of them but if you try to make that to me I'm gonna respond with 'Yeah okay sure but I have to get the fuck away from you immediately, actually".

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LilNatureBoyX

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I don't have any Japanese friends, heck, I don't have any friends, but I think it's wrong to talk about the Japanese like they're some uncontacted African tribe that practices cannibalism or sacrifices virgins. I think Japanese weirdos are just as rare and unwelcome as white creeps are. I don't think molestin' kids is some quirky cultural-difference thing like buying a beer at McDonalds.

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LapsarianGiraff

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#36  Edited By LapsarianGiraff

@lilnatureboyx: Right? I'd like to see half the people who say online "it's just Westerners who think naked anime children are weird" take a flight to Japan and walk around in public telling strangers "ya like Loli?" One of my friends (who is from Japan) often says that polite society finds it just as off-putting there as we do.

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FRANZlSKA

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#37  Edited By FRANZlSKA

According to PCGamer, the mod has returned to NexusMods, with some things patched out (sounds like once news hit a number of voices and other contributors pulled out of the project). Also sounds like the Steam release is still planned, semi-surprisingly.

Having seen some of the dialogue and writing from the mod though, part of me can't help but feel like it's a bit of a lost cause. I'm sure what I saw was fairly cherry picked, but even then most of the dialogue looked to be either thinly veiled fetish-fuel or references to the most dated memes imaginable.

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Dan_CiTi

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Wow...that Solid Snake cameo is beyond embarrassing. I'd almost want to play it because it is so bad, but I'd probably cringe myself out of it pretty.

That being said I'd be far more interested in a version of New Vegas (and even FO3) that was on a more modern engine that looked and played way better. The Outer Worlds was generally underwhelming, but it was a good step above that era of Bethesda games in terms of playability.

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Efesell

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@skinsor030: 3 of your 4 posts on this website are some manner of defense in favor of lolicon so like Yeah maybe you should.

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BladeOfCreation

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#41  Edited By BladeOfCreation

@skinsor030:

Edit: Giant Bomb is anything but "prudish." When you made an account her just to defend "lolicon" on some forum post, it makes people question your motives and intentions.

Feel free to leave.

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BaneFireLord

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I remember seeing one of the initial trailers for this what must have been at least 5 years ago and getting an ill-defined Bad Vibe off it. Guess my gut was right.

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dancinginfernal

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#44  Edited By dancinginfernal

Saw this shitshow go down the other day, and it seemed more like /v/ was bullying the other devs too harshly. The more I see and learn however, the clearer it is that everyone just turned a blind eye considering how fucking depraved and edgy the rest of the content is turning out to be. Maybe it would have helped if they had actually stopped to wonder why Obsidian didn't include explicit sex slavery or anything else beyond the pale they've stuffed into this nightmare package.

What a waste of energy.

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SethMode

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This mod sounds like a shitshow and terrible, but more than that I'm just thankful that so far we only have one questionable individual defending lolicon shit.

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Birtrum_Yonce

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#46  Edited By Birtrum_Yonce

Is there anything good in this?

Is this a prank that took 7 years to put together ?

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LyndBako

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@lapsariangiraff: I mean Lolichan stuff isn't child porn per se because it's not generally pornographic (more suggestive) and, thankfully, it doesn't involve actual real life children.

That doesn't mean it's not disgusting and shouldn't be heavily discouraged though. It's nasty stuff that can lead to even nastier stuff.

Are you implying that it leads to actual rape and molestation? That's about as likely as video games leading to school shootings, which is to say, not likely at all

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development

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#48  Edited By development

God, people are the worst. Imagine years from now your kids find a post where you’re basically defending pedophilia. This isn’t some noble crusade. Give it up creeps.

(Also holy shit I hope none of you have kids.)

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bigsocrates

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@lyndbako: Actually I was saying that it leads to full on child porn as opposed to "just" the highly suggestive stuff that most lolichan materials are (the West has its own issues with this kind of suggestive content around children too.)

Of course sexualization of children DOES inevitably lead to some people acting out, and it's not at all like violent video games leading to school shootings because there's much less of a distinction between fantasy and reality, and people act out on their impulses to molest children with a far higher frequency than shooting up a school.

When you sexualize kids some small, sick, group of people will take that outside the boundaries of fantasy. But even if they don't, the market for actual child pornography causes enough actual misery and horrible stuff that anything that's a gateway to child porn is extremely dangerous.

I'm going to go ahead and take the extremely controversial position that sexualizing kids is bad and doing so for prurient reasons within a video game mod is actually also bad.

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LyndBako

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I will defend people's right to have fucked up and rotten interests as long as no one is getting hurt, or will get hurt. CP is obviously abhorrent, but I don't think lolicon is some sort of "gateway drug" that invariably leads to real children being harmed.

Also none of this was in the actual mod, or on official social media. It was from one of the modders' personal accounts, which seems like poor justification for nuking everything