Fallout: London developers will “downgrade” Fallout 4 to save their massive mod

Fallout: London as in December, when the planned release was announced on April 23.

After years of work, the modders at Team Folon announced this past weekend that their long-awaited (and recently delayed) unofficial DLC-sized fan mod, Fallout: Londonis now in “QA testing” and awaits the “final green light” from release partner GOG. But that release will apparently have to make use of a “downgrader” to bypass a recent Bethesda “next-gen” update that turned the team’s modding efforts on their head.

In December, Team Folon announced that it was working on the Fallout: London mod was set to culminate in a planned release on April 23rd, coinciding with England’s much-celebrated St. George’s Day. Then, just weeks before the planned launch, Bethesda announced that its own planned “next-gen” update for the 2015 game would arrive on April 25, two days after Fallout: London‘s launch target.

“That, for lack of a better term, screwed us,” Dean Carter, project manager at Team Folon, said in an interview with the BBC shortly after Bethesda’s upgrade was announced. In a separate video, Carter said that the next-gen update “requires a lot of our internal systems to be updated,” as the content they’re putting into the Autumn 4 Script Extender would likely not work under the updated code. That turned out to be a valid concern, as the next-gen update ended up being much Autumn 4 post-release mods and saves.

“Now that the new update is coming out just 48 hours later [than our planned launch]”The last four years of our work are about to fail,” Carter said at the time. “We had the release candidate ready to go, but we had to put it down for the fixes that we know are needed.”

Going back to go forward

To implement those needed fixes, Team Folon said in an update on social media over the weekend that it would be using a “downgrader” to undo Bethesda’s mod-breaking updates. “At the last minute, we discovered that the next-gen, even after updates, is not stable enough,” Carter wrote on the Team Folon Discord. “Therefore, we are now going out on the old version, hence the need for a downgrader.”

Carter discusses the reason behind the initial Fallout: London delay.

Team Folon’s release plans were further complicated when Bethesda pushed out another game update on May 13 that disrupted their work. “The most annoying thing for us is that we have something. Then delay it to wait for next-gen 3rd party fixes. Then update again. And still not working,” Carter wrote on Discord. “It’s incredibly frustrating and every setback requires restarting the testing process. So we’ve decided to go the downgrader route and once ‘next-gen’ is sorted, update for it.”

Team Folon initially planned to Fallout: London on Nexus Mods, but the files were ultimately too large to host on the popular mod distribution site. Fortunately, GOG provided a “light at the end of the tunnel” for the mod’s release, Carter said, and the platform is currently helping to provide final quality assurance to ensure that “Fallout: London and its installer [and downgrader] works on all supported machines.”

“I think for us, and what sets GOG apart from Steam, is we’re just a bunch of really enthusiastic guys,” a GOG spokesperson told TheGamer in a recent interview about distributing Fallout: London. “There was just a project we wanted to support, and we thought, ‘Hey guys, this is awesome. Let’s do it, it’s going to be fun.’ We’re having a lot of fun preparing for it right now.”

While Team Folon has not yet announced a new release date for Fallout: London Not yet, it seems GOG’s quality assurance review is now the last thing standing in the way of the long-awaited launch. When someone asks about the release date on the Team Folon Discord, they get a standard message: “As soon as we fix whatever breaks the update, it’ll be out.”

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