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Fallout 4 mod downloads skyrocket following launch of TV series

In context: Amazon hit a home run with new TV series Fallout, which is based on Bethesda’s popular post-apocalyptic shooter franchise. The standalone show stayed faithful to the game’s lore while also adding to it, pleasing long-time fans and newcomers. The series was popular enough that producers have green-lit a second season less than a week after its debut.

Fallout’s instant success also renewed interest in the Bethesda games, mainly Fallout 4. In recent weeks, I have caught several of my gaming friends playing the nine-year-old shooter. Of course, renewed interest in the game also means a resurgence of mod downloads, especially for Bethesda games which all need “fix-it” mods. Traffic on a more popular game modding site, Nexus Mods, has become so high that congestion caused some problems over the weekend.

On April 19, the site began having issues serving content to users at 21:06 UTC. An investigation determined that a download spike of Fallout-related content caused the slowdown.

“We are experiencing much more traffic than usual due to the popularity of the Fallout TV series,” the status page reads. “We have deployed extra resources where possible , and we are monitoring the uptime and performance across the network. We have staff on call at all times to deal with any problems.”

Although it allocated extra resources, it reports that it was still experiencing heavy traffic as of Monday and is trying to resolve the “impacted performance.”

There are many new show-related mods, like avatar recreations of Cooper Howard/The Ghoul and Lucy MacLean (character editor settings). Several Lucy-specific add-ons including Vault 33 jumpsuits, a Lucy SPECIAL preset (stats), a Vault 33 backpack, and Fallout icon replacements featuring Lucy’s face.

We browsed the website for a few minutes and encountered no page-loading slowdowns. The website seems pretty responsive. However, Nexus might have reduced the congestion enough that the front end is operating smoothly while downloading or backend performance is still subpar. The company is actively monitoring the situation to determine a course of action.

Fallout 4 is not the first game to garner renewed attention thanks to a well-done TV series. Netflix secured its biggest debut ever with its adaptation of CG Projekt Red’s The Witcher. Shortly after its debut, Steam Chart analytics showed The Witcher 3 hit a concurrent-player peak of 50,354, the highest number it had reached since the Blood and Wine expansion launched in 2016.

Unfortunately, The Witcher TV show’s popularity steadily wanned after Season 1. Unlike Fallout, producers based The Witcher more on Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels than the games. However, the producers thought they needed to “dumb down” the story for a Western audience, which displeased fans. Showrunners recently announced that Season 5 would be the series finale.

As long as Amazon continues working closely with Executive Producer Jonathan Nolan, writers Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner, and Bethesda, it should be able to expand on its success with Season 2.

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