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Bethesda: Lessons were learned over Fallout DLC problems

Pete Hines says publisher went "as fast as humanly possible" to correct corrupted content for The Pitt

Publisher Bethesda Softworks has said that lessons have been learned following the release of corrupted downloadable content for Fallout 3 on Xbox Live.

The Pitt, a brand new episode of the acclaimed action RPG, was released on March 24 but corrupted files left the game unplayable, with users complaining of glitches, bugs and game freezes.

Bethesda pulled the content from the service and within 24 hours claimed to have fixed the issues and uploaded the content back to Xbox Live. However, by April 1 users were still reporting problems with The Pitt, prompting more firefighting from the publisher.

"It's one of those things where we prefer with The Pitt never happened," admitted Pete Hines, VP of marketing, in an exclusive interview published today. "But in the context of all the DLC we ever put out – keep in mind all the times we put out DLC for Oblivion and never once had a corrupted file issue – it was just kind of a flukey, one-time version of this thing."

"But lesson learned. We're not going to say, "Oh, it's a fluke and we don't have to do anything different." We have looked to see if there are additional improvements that can be made. We put out enough [DLC] that we've gotten pretty good at the process," he said.

Hines said as soon as the publisher realised there were problems, it reacted quickly, pulling the corrupted content and starting the process again from scratch.

"It's one thing if you put out something that's really buggy and there are a lot of problems that we should have caught. It is another thing entirely when the thing that was put up for them to play is missing big chunks," said Hines. "That's not a bug, that's just somewhere along the way something got corrupted and pieces of data were missing.

"As soon as we figured out what was going on, we went through and started the process all over again of creating the files, uploading them, checking them on our end, sending them to Microsoft, having them run some checks, and putting them up [for consumers].

"It literally went about as fast as humanly possible to repopulate something like that. It's not a costly thing. Obviously we prefer that it be up and stay up...but I think it was within 24 hours or so that we were able to get that back up and live."

The full interview with Pete Hines, where he discusses the MMO market, Bethesda's work within Zenimax, and working with directors such as Robert Altman and Jerry Bruickhiemer, can be read here.

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Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.