Earlier this month, a group of developers released a massive mod for Fallout: New Vegas that added a new map and storylines that rival the size of the base game's features. After seven years of development, Fallout: The Frontier seemed like it would be an impressive piece of work. However, all that work seems to be crashing down, as the mod has been pulled from its platforms by its creators due to one developer's disturbing art and pushback from players on the game's content.
Content warning: This news article contains references to pedophilia.
Why is Fallout: The Frontier no longer available to download?
Fallout: The Frontier is no longer available to download because one of the developers has a history of creating pedophilic art, and that there had been some concern over parts of the content of the mod. Anyone trying to download the mod from NexusMods will discover that it's no longer available. NexusMods and the official website have a statement explaining why it's gone, and it's not a pretty reason:
Some deeply concerning news has emerged in the past few hours. We have been recently notified that one of our developers, ZuTheSkunk, had posted animated pedophillic content on their personal artist accounts. The items in question are deeply disturbing to the entire team, and we condemn them in the strongest sense. ZuTheSkunk has since been removed from the Development Team and banned off of our Community Discord. We will be conducting dialogue with members of the development team to hear their thoughts regarding the current situation and help make our decision more informed. We have stopped production and work on the mod to address the current events properly. More measures will be undertaken and a more detailed address will be posted soon.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed both in the mod, and outside of it, belong solely to the authors who write them, and not to the mod's organization, community, or other group or individual.
Looking for ZuTheSkunk online will find that they have a Deviantart account, which features My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan art that occasionally goes into NSFW territory. There's also an account on FurAffinity with the same name that has been "deactivated by the owner." In an email, they told us that Zu's primarily worked on icons as well as armor and weapon modeling. This means that despite his extremely inappropriate art, Zu had little to no input on the mod's writing, which has its own problems. Also worth noting is that Zu is not listed in the PDF file that lists those who worked on The Frontier.
Hi everyone.— Fallout: The Frontier (@FNVTheFrontier) January 28, 2021
We'd like to reiterate that we are distancing ourselves from ZuTheSkunk and his reprehensible behaviour. We will be making changes to the Frontier going forward to remove inappropriate lines and content. This will be our final build. Thanks for those who support us.
What content in Fallout: The Frontier isn't sitting well with players?
Those who picked up Fallout: The Frontier have been pointing out some pretty troubling aspects in the game's writing. In particular, players have pointed out a questline (written by Odinsword) where you can make a teenage girl into a slave, with the implication that she's willing to get sexual. It's true that the Fallout games let players do terrible things and also feature slavery, even fans of the mod's technical feats are uncomfortable with the writing. Despite Zu being the main name the team is throwing out there, Zu had no involvement with America (the teenage girl in question) or any other problematic NPCs.
With Zu not playing a part in the writing, that leaves the major question as to how the writing got approved. In the email, we were told that none of the game's controversial content was caught in iteration because "we're not a AAA studio." The content was considered fine by the development team, but "concern was only raised upon release once more eyes started going over the content in question." The dev who we spoke with said that America was never "written or setup as a sex slave, only that you could enslave her."
This heated controversy and scrutiny, plus a Discord raid by 4Chan users, have resulted in most of the mod's devs leaving the team. In a post on the mod's official Twitter account, it's been announced that the mod's "inappropriate lines and content" will be scrubbed from the mod in what will be its final build.
A majority of what's being removed for the final build of Fallout: The Frontier involves America's slavery content, as well as a random line from her about smelly boots, which some players consider a nod to foot fetishes. In addition, all of ZuTheSkunk's personal dev room characters are being removed, and another character's "inappropriate lines" are being cut. When announcing his departure from the project, Thomas "tgspy" said that this project had been an "infinite bed of stress" and was "sad to see so many years of my life devolved into this," but he'd be happy if even a single person enjoyed the mod.
Fallout: The Frontier is currently unavailable for download, but it'll likely go back onto NexusMods once the final build is released. There are also plans to get the final build onto Steam. We have asked Valve about their view on the situation, but they have not replied at the time of publication.