Bethesda plans next month to make available user content creation tools for its open-world RPG Fallout 3, with paid downloadable content for PC and Xbox 360 users coming in January.
The official editor is entitled G.E.C.K., or Garden of Eden Creation Kit. It will be offered free to PC players.
Even as recently as the month before Fallout 3’s release, the fate of its mod tools were in question, with marketing VP Pete Hines claiming that mods were “not on the schedule,” because “it takes a lot of time and effort.”
The new single-player DLC, on the other hand, has long been promised ahead of the game’s release, and is exclusive to the PC and Xbox 360 platforms; on PC, it will be distributed through Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live platform, which is integrated into the game.
The first DLC pack, “Operation: Anchorage,” will reproduce the liberation of Chinese-occupied Alaska, and will ship in January 2009. Another pack, the Pittsburgh-area “The Pit,” will ship in February, and a third, “Broken Steel,” will ship in March, continuing the main quest line by allowing players to join the armored Brotherhood of Steel.
Modding has been a significant part of Bethesda’s player community since 1996s The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, which players modified despite having no sanctioned tools with which to do so. For the third and fourth main entries in the series, Morrowind and Oblivion, Bethesda released official mod tools, each called The Elder Scrolls Construction Set.
No price points were given for the paid downloads.