On Tuesday, out of the blue, Bethesda Game Studios tweeted the iconic Indian-head test pattern associated with the Fallout series and the official Bethesda’s Twitch channel abruptly went live, both broadcasting the instruction “Please Stand By.” This can only mean one thing: Bethesda is announcing something related to Fallout. What new Fallout content could be coming, exactly? Here are a few theories, because the truth is trapped in a vault, for now.
Could it be Fallout 5?
It’s possible but unlikely. Ever since Bethesda acquired the Fallout license from Interplay, the studio has alternated its releases between a Fallout title and an Elder Scrolls title. Fallout 3 came after The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 4 came after The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
However, the studio gave mixed responses when asked if it was working on Elder Scrolls VI, and has yet to tease anything about a new Elder Scrolls game, so Fallout 5 is not completely out of the question.
Could it be a remaster of Fallout 3 or Fallout 4?
Yes for Fallout 3. No for Fallout 4.
A remaster of Fallout 4 seems awfully soon, considering it’s only three years old and the VR version of the game was released just last year, but another visit to the Capitol Wasteland is a safe assumption.
October 15 will mark Fallout 3’s 10 year anniversary. Announcing the game at E3 would lead nicely into the fall, arguably the most profitable season for high profile game releases, and a 10th anniversary edition of Fallout 3 would definitely be high profile.
Could it be a new Fallout game, licensed out to a different developer like Fallout: New Vegas?
I really, really hope so, but probably not.
The tweet was sent out by Bethesda Studios (the developer behind Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, but not Fallout: New Vegas), not to be confused with Bethesda Softworks (the publisher behind many titles, including Fallout: New Vegas). Fallout: New Vegas was made by Obsidian Entertainment, an independent studio that has released titles for a number of different publishers including Bethesda Softworks.
Because of that, it’s far more likely that Bethesda Studios would be tweeting about a product made in-house rather than something its publisher outsourced.
However, Josh Sawyer, who was lead designer of Fallout: New Vegas, set off the rumor mill in 2015 when he posted a collection of memo books onto his Instagram account. Each of them was decorated with a silhouette of Louisiana. Could this have been research for a Fallout game set in New Orleans?
Sawyer later clarified that the picture had nothing to do with Fallout, but that didn’t stop the rumor from spreading.
Could it be a Switch port?
This is the most likely scenario. Bethesda Softworks has been making a big effort to publish more titles on the Nintendo Switch. Skyrim came to the console last year with much fanfare, and the Switch ports of DOOM and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus were met with critical acclaim.
If a Fallout is coming to the Switch, it’s probably going to be Fallout 4 or a remaster of Fallout 3.
Could it be a Fallout MMO?
This may sound crazy, but yes. Admittedly, there’s not much to substantiate the theory, but the little that’s there adds up.
It starts with a project called Starfield, supposedly an open world action RPG that Bethesda has been secretly working on for years. Fans first became aware of Starfield when Bethesda filed a trademark for the name in 2013.
Since then, Starfield has been the subject of some truly wild rumors, the wildest of which claim that it’s a Fallout MMORPG set in space.
There is some precedent for this. In Fallout 3, as well as the canceled Project Van Buren, we learned that there was a U.S. space travel program spearheaded by the United States Space Administration, the Fallout world’s version of NASA. Extraterrestrial technology has also been featured in all the canonical Fallout games including Fallout and Fallout 2, not to mention the the alien spacecraft Mothership Zeta which was the subject of a DLC campaign.
Moreover, Elder Scrolls Online was in development for seven years, most of it in secret. It wasn’t until 2012 when information about the game was leaked to the press and Bethesda officially confirmed its existence.
Whatever this Fallout announcement is going to be, it’s got people riled up. Check in with Bethesda’s Twitch channel to see the chaos.