In the span of 60 seconds several dozen propmakers were effectively put out of business last night.
The occasion was Bethesda's E3 presentation of their upcoming projects, with a heavy focus on the release of "Fallout 4". One of the most surprising revelations was that the latest Fallout will be out on November 10th of this year. Normally game developers start hyping their wares years ahead of time. Making the big reveal five months before release? It's unheard of.
More importantly, at least from the perspective of propmaking, they revealed the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition, and it's a doozy. The package features a full-sized, ultra-detailed wearable Pip Boy prop. Then they went one step further, revealing it will hold a smartphone with a fully interactive app recreating all the functions of the in-game device.
And, just like that, all those propmakers selling Pip Boys saw their market collapse. Browse Ebay or Etsy and you'll find Pip Boy props going for hundreds of dollars. Or at least you would have before last night. Now? Who's going to buy one from a garage creator for $250 or more when you can get an amazingly detailed and fully functional Pip Boy, along with the game itself and a very cool carrying case, for $120?
I have very mixed feelings about this. As a Fallout fan it's fantastic. Thanks to the efficiencies of industrial production I'll be able to get a Pip Boy for the price of a dinner out. On the other hand, it's hard not to have some sympathy for the propmakers who've invested hours of time creating props that are now obsolete.