Pete Hines discusses the challenges of taking Fallout online.
Fallout and online aren’t things you traditionally associate with one another in your mind. Fallout was, originally, a series known for being the most well realized of classic cRPGs, with varied builds, contextualized quests, speech checks, and the like. But Fallout 76 is going for a shared world survival shooter approach—which, given the series’ history, and in spite of the trend towards a more action focus in recent games under Bethesda, is still a bold move that could be very risky.
That’s a sentiment that Bethesda agrees with. Speaking to GameSpot, Bethesda SVP of marketing Pete Hines noted that taking the series online with this game was something the team was nervous about – a statement that echoes one made by Todd Howard not too long ago – especially since it’s quite unlike anything other shooters or MMOs do, and because taking Fallout online is a scary thought to begin with.
“We knew going in, this is not just gonna be Fallout 4 with multiplayer,” Hines said. “It’s inherently going to have to look and feel different in order to be the type of experience that works with many different players together. We’re not doing an MMO, not just doing a last-man-standing game–it’s still an RPG. It has elements of those kinds of things, but yeah, there’s inherent things that are different–but there’s also a lot of things that look and feel very familiar.
“For instance, the tone, the vibe, look, and feel of the world can go a long way to give you a sense of familiarity to sort of wrap your head around things. It’s still a Fallout world, even though these things are different. But yeah, this is a really scary and different thing to be a part of. We are fully aware of that. We are making changes and making a different kind of game, but it’s one that we are excited to try and see what it can turn into.”
Hopefully this is an experiment that turns out well for Bethesda’s sake. That said, I also hope that no matter how well it does, this doesn’t mark the end of well thought out, well fleshed out single player Fallout RPGs like Fallout 3 and New Vegas. Fallout 76 is bound to be fun for what it is—but in the end, it’s not why people play Bethesda games, or Fallout.
Fallout 76 launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 14. If you’re interested in the game, make sure to check out the newest details we have about it, including how fast travel will work in the game.