Both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas received absolutely massive content updates last month, and nobody knows what they could be.
We’re no stranger to massive patches hitting games, but patches of the size that hit Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas in May are a little out of the ordinary, especially considering how old both games are. Fallout 3 originally released way back in 2008, while New Vegas came two years after. Neither of them has received much in the way of updates outside of mods for years, so these recent patches are a bit of a mystery.
You can check out what we know about the updates from their SteamID pages: this one for Fallout 3 and this one for New Vegas. Near the bottom of the page you can see all the named DLC for each game, such as The Pitt for Fallout 3 or Old World Blues in New Vegas. Those are official DLC straight from Bethesda.
But right above them is a new DLC called "SteamDB Unknown App 461150" and "461160". If you click on the hyperlink for the appID you arrive at a page that just says the app type is “unknown” and "this app has been deleted or is hidden to the public.” Given its size--around 6GB-- it seems doubtful that Bethesda would simply delete it, so we can only assume there’s some big content updates here.
So what could this all mean? The r/games subreddit has a number of theories, but the leading one is a possible remaster for both Fallout 3 and New Vegas. This would be a huge departure for Bethesda, which has so far only remastered and ported Skyrim to literally every known device that could possibly play a game in the known universe.
Any remaster for such old games is likely to be mostly software updates that allow these games to run optimally on current hardware. We’re likely to see a few new graphical additions like new textures, lighting, and environmental effects. If we’re very lucky we might even get some new features that were previously only available in mods, like an updated inventory screen.
Of course it might not be a remaster at all. The runner-up theory is that Bethesda is rolling out their Creation Club paid-mods system to their older games. It doesn’t seem likely, however, as these old games have very few players on them and those players already have access to plenty of free mods to improve their experience.
Or who knows? Maybe Bethesda is installing a tiny version of Skyrim into the Fallout universe so you can play it on those old dot-matrix computers. Wouldn’t put it past them.