Opinion

The Fallout Series Desperately Need a New Game

A prime opportunity.

Fallout: New Vegas
Bethesda

础尘补锄辞苍’蝉 Fallout TV series has been a smashing success so far, with reviews praising it as one of the best video game adaptions of all time and a Season 2 already looking like a sure-fire bet. Love for the show has even sent players surging into Fallout 76, with the game setting a new player count record on Steam. That success is great to see, but it’s made the lack of a new Fallout game feel all the more apparent. It’s high time that another developer, besides Bethesda, is brought on to help keep the Fallout series chugging along.

In June 2022, Todd Howard, Bethesda’s lead game developer, confirmed that Fallout 5 would be Bethesda’s next game after The Elder Scrolls VI. Of course, the huge caveat here is that Bethesda has already confirmed Elder Scrolls VI won’t be coming out until 2026, at the earliest. The studio is notorious for its extended development cycles. For example, Starfield was officially announced in 2018, but wasn’t released until five years later in September 2023. Bethesda traditionally only works on one game at a time, and if you generously apply this same timeline to Fallout 5, that means we won’t see it until 2031 at the earliest. That’s enough time for 础尘补锄辞苍’蝉 TV series to have five seasons if not more.

The TV series heavily references the events and locations of New Vegas, making it the perfect segway into a sequel.

Amazon

That’s an absurd amount of time to wait, especially considering the last game in the series, Fallout 76, came out in 2018. Even if you don’t count the problems and complaints Fallout 76 faced at launch, five years is a long time for a multiplayer game to last, most titles outside of heavy hitters like Fortnite don’t even last that long these days.

Even if Fallout 76 has years of life left, all this would mean we won’t see a new Fallout game in nearly 13 years. If you’re Microsoft right now, and looking at the success of the TV series, that fact seems absolutely unacceptable.

While Bethesda acts as the stewards of Fallout, another studio could be brought onboard to fill in the gaps and provide a more reasonable cadence of releases. It’s honestly amazing we haven’t seen that happen already, especially considering the fan-favorite title in the series, New Vegas, wasn’t even developed by Bethesda — that honor belongs to the role-playing aficionados over at Obsidian.

Microsoft is lucky, then, because they have the perfect infrastructure to allow for side projects, with over a dozen talented studios that could bring something new to the table. There’s the obvious choice with Obsidian, who could make New Vegas 2, or something along the same lines. But there are other studios that excel in first-person RPGs and immersive sims, like Arkane (Dishonored), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few), Rare (Sea of Thieves), Tango Gameworks (Ghostwire Tokyo), MachineGames (Wolfenstein), Id (Doom), and the list goes on. There, of course, needs to be interest from developers, but any one of these studios could bring a fresh perspective and something new to the weird post-apocalyptic world of Fallout.

The strategy game Fallout Shelter is proof enough that the series can expand to more than just 100-hour RPG epics.

Bethesda

Perhaps what’s most important, though, is that a Fallout spinoff doesn’t have to adopt the same gameplay formula the series has been using. Those big 100-hour RPGs have their strengths, but there’s room for so much more. The best solution might be for a new Fallout spinoff to keep the core tenets of the series, like the setting and shooting, but adapt it into something new. Maybe an immersive sim can be set in a single location, like a Vault. The series could use a new top-down isometric RPG, especially after the rampant success of Baldurs’ Gate 3.

If there should be any lesson learned from 础尘补锄辞苍’蝉 series, it’s that Fallout is malleable. The franchise is so rich with lore and characters that it could realistically be adapted into nearly any video game genre. The mobile strategy and base-building game, Fallout Shelter, has already shown how the series’ setting and themes can be adapted into an entirely different experience.

It’s baffling that almost nothing has happened with this series until the TV show, and hopefully, this serves as a wake-up call for Microsoft to open the Vault door once again, and strike while the iron is hot.

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