Fallout 76 live-action trailer
Image via Bethesda Softworks

We Need More Fallout Games Not Made by Bethesda Before 5

The Fallout series is a huge mainstream hit despite Amazon’s surprising decision to drop the entire first season on Prime Video at once and call it a day. Surely, this is a golden opportunity for Xbox Game Studios to ramp up the output of Fallout games and make the franchise bigger than ever before, right?

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Well, it appears that Microsoft and Bethesda either had secret plans we don’t know about yet or didn’t consider the possibility that the series would turn out so awesome. The streets are asking for Fallout: New Vegas 2 or whatever, but right now it’s looking like there’s only more Fallout 76 and Fallout Shelter on the table (plus a timid current-gen Fallout 4 update that should’ve come out like a year ago).

Looking at other movie/TV studios and game publishers trying to plan ahead and use the potential success of their projects to boost brand awareness and sales via transmedia connections, it’s frustrating to see all the hype surrounding the show knowing that no new Fallout project is confirmed to be happening until Bethesda Game Studios (only a part of Bethesda Softworks) is done with The Elder Scrolls 6, something that for sure ain’t happening until 2027-28 at the earliest if I had to guess.

Lucy and Maximus meet in the Fallout TV series
Image via Prime Video

We’ve just received confirmation that Fallout is getting a second season. If both the quality and interest remain healthy in a couple of years, I can see this one surviving for quite a while. This gives Microsoft and Bethesda a decent enough window to cook something up before the Fallout series burns out. In fact, a new Fallout video game project releasing before 5 was a great idea before we knew the show had turned out great. Now, it feels like the clock is ticking as the IP enjoys its best moment in the spotlight. Hell, the sales numbers for Fallout 4 are currently unbelievable, and the aforementioned update hasn’t even come out yet.

With Bethesda Game Studios entirely out of the picture – besides the ongoing love that Fallout 76 continues to receive – as they focus on Starfield and the next Elder Scrolls, it now falls to Microsoft and Bethesda Softworks to move the IP around and get studios to work on something that isn’t a quick mobile cash-in. Maybe this won’t happen at all. Maybe the powers that be are simply content having 76 and Shelter print out MTX money, but right now, even a quick remaster of Fallout 3 and New Vegas (with a Nintendo Switch release) sold at a reasonable price would be a massive success.

Fallout 3 GOTY banner
Image via Bethesda Softworks

In fact, a Fallout 3 remaster or remake of sorts might be happening sooner or later if we believe that leaked Microsoft doc from a while back and plans haven’t changed. The big issue is that it was marked as coming later down the line, with an Oblivion remaster set to arrive way before that. The success of the TV show could potentially ramp up development on that, but it’s all just conjectures and hopeful wishes on my part.

It’s far more reasonable to assume that absolutely no new Fallout video game project was on the cards before the series’ arrival and that Microsoft and Bethesda were hoping to ride 76 and Shelter into the next decade, with the astonishing barrage of new players jumping into all the games released so far being way bigger than anyone had anticipated.

After putting my ‘uber-capitalist’ hat on, any scenario in which the most immediate answer to the conversation happening at the moment isn’t brand-new games going into pre-production feels like leaving a mountain of cash on the table. With how dire things have been as of late for big and medium-sized publishers, this opportunity is one that many would kill for.

Fallout New Vegas shooting at super mutants
Image via Bethesda Softworks

Getting the obvious what-if project out of the way first (Fallout: New Vegas 2 or a similar spinoff by one of Obsidian’s bigger teams), one advantage of Microsoft’s absolutely deranged ‘Monopoly strategy’ is that they’ve got a ton of people and a ton of valuable IPs they can tinker with, and having the Fallout property strictly linked to BGS robs the universe of potential expansions and new perspectives as satisfying for diehard fans and newcomers alike as the Amazon-backed TV series. We don’t need Fallout to always behave like a big Bethesda RPG; Shelter already unearthed some of that hidden potential.

I’d wager inXile would love to have a crack at Fallout and take it back to its turn-based roots after showing everyone what they can do with the Wasteland games. What about a pure FPS by id Software or MachineGames? I’d also enjoy a full-scale management sim or an RTS. The possibilities are virtually endless, and I refuse to believe the best plan they can come up with is “yeah, let’s just wait until Fallout 5 and keep 76 doing its own thing” while players are desperate for all-new experiences set in such a unique universe.


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Author
Fran Ruiz
Fran J. Ruiz is a freelance writer for The Escapist as well as other gaming, entertainment, and science websites, including VG247, Space, and LiveScience, with a strong focus on features, listicles, and opinion pieces. His wordsmith journey started with Star Wars News Net and its sister site, writing film, TV, and gaming news as a side gig. Once his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Studies (University of Malaga, Spain) were done, he started collaborating with more and more sites until he became a full-time freelancer on top of an occasional private tutor. There’s no film genre he’s afraid of, but sci-fi and fantasy can win him over easily. Star Wars and Jurassic Park are his favorite stories ever. He also loves the entirety of Lost (yes, even the final season). When it comes to games, Spyro the Dragon and Warcraft III are his all-timers, but he’s the opposite of tied to a few genres. Don’t try to save him from his gargantuan backlog.