It sounds like we've reached the end of the line for Fallout 3 DLC, as Executive Producer Todd Howard says five downloadable add-ons for the game is "enough."
"I think we've put enough content out there for this game," Howard told Kotaku at QuakeCon last week, and it's hard to argue the point. In less than a year since its launch, the game has had five pieces of DLC released - Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta - that changed the game's ending, raised the level cap and added new environments, weapons, enemies and other features. It's an impressive level of support, even for a game as successful as Fallout 3.
"We knew we wanted to do three initially and we'll see where that goes," Howard continued. "I kind of had in my mind that the upper limit was five. Part of that was what I think people are willing to continue to pay for a game. And a lot of that is our own internal bandwidth."
He described DLC creation as "the fun part" because designers don't have to contend with the technological aspect of game development and can instead focus entirely on the content. He said Point Lookout is one of his favorites because it does the best job of capturing the open-ended atmosphere of the original game. "It felt like the other DLCs didn't do what the game does best, which is give me a wide-open area to explore," he said, describing the approach to the design. "So let's do a DLC that gives you that in a new way."
He also noted that the final DLC, Mothership Zeta, was intentionally left to the last. "That one kept coming up: 'We should do alien abduction, we should do alien abduction.' I thought it was hilarious, and I said, 'We should wait. That isn't like the classic Fallout. You kind of want to keep the footprint of aliens in Fallout small'," Howard said.
"But once we got to the fifth one, it's like: 'It's really funny. It's a cool concept. We should do it'," he continued. "And the reason I like it is I do like the DLC to feel like something new. And that one, just on the surface, is instantly, 'This is different'."
Unfortunately, by all appearances it's also the end. Not that there's much to complain about: The combination of Fallout 3 and five DLC add-ons should be more than enough post-nuclear role-playing game action for anyone, at least until Fallout: New Vegas arrives.