Fans’ Intense Love For Fallout: New Vegas Must Be Weird For People At Bethesda


Picture this. You spend years putting together a massive, ambitious RPG. After countless hours of hard work, you release your baby out into the public. Curious to see what people think, you start looking around the internet… only to see a small but vocal chunk of your fanbase wishing someone else had made your game.

That’s been the story with Fallout 4 since its release back in November. Bethesda made the game, but plenty of people are wishing Obsidian Entertainment had made it in their place.

As you probably already know, Bethesda bought the Fallout licence in the middle of developing Fallout 3, and the “sequel” to that game, Fallout: New Vegas, was developed by Obsidian using the same tech that powered Fallout 3. Given that Obsidian was composed of former Interplay developers — the people who made the original isometric Fallout games — Fallout: New Vegas was seen by some as a return to form for the Fallout franchise, after Fallout 3 changed too much. New Vegas is often considered a beloved classic among RPG fans. It’s well-deserved acclaim… but, at times, it manages to overshadow Bethesda’s initial accomplishment in reviving the dead franchise in the first place.

It’s been fascinating to watch Obsidian juggle this fervent, newfound attention from thirsty Fallout fans after the release of Fallout 4. For instance, back in December, Joshua Sawyer, lead designer of Fallout: New Vegas, posted this picture on Instagram:

Some players recalled that Obsidian Entertainment once said they’d love to take Fallout to New Orleans — so of course people interpreted the picture as a hint that Obsidian might be developing a new Fallout game after all. The frenzy around an Obsidian Fallout game reignited that night…but, of course, that wasn’t actually what the picture teased at all.

People are constantly pestering Obsidian about developing the next Fallout game, regardless:

Sometimes, Obsidian even responds. As it turns out, they’re pretty game for the idea.

Tweets like that one become headlines:

As well as a top-voted threads on Reddit:

It sometimes seems as though you can’t talk about Fallout 4 without having someone start talking about how good New Vegas is, how much they wish Obsidian, rather than Bethesda, handled modern Fallout games. It’s in every comments section for the Fallout 4 articles we post, I see it on Reddit a whole lot, and I’ve been emailed petitions about Obsidian and future Fallout games many, many times.

Why does this happen? Clearly, people are hungry for the sort of game New Vegas delivered — that is, an experience focusing around RPG elements, and a rich, choice-driven post-apocalyptic story. That’s not what Fallout 4 is…which is not to say Fallout 4 is “worse” than New Vegas. The game just focuses on different things. Fallout 4 is more about combat and exploration, and I’d argue it’s pretty damn good at those things, too.

I don’t fault people for getting excited about where Fallout could go next. We do the same thing for series like Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed, and The Elder Scrolls. People like hype. They like speculating about dream game locations.

Personally, I don’t want to get too swept up in the idea of a game that may never exist. Something about that feels cruel to Bethesda, and makes it easy to lose sight of the many things Bethesda’s Fallout games have excelled at, like competent shooter mechanics, a lush, lively world that’s fun to explore, and a intensely addictive settlement system that lets us customise things to our own liking.

After some of the more negative reactions to Fallout 4, and the accompanying clamouring for a new Obsidian Fallout, it feels like Bethesda has something to prove with Fallout 4’s DLC. That sort of pressure is good. Hopefully, it will mean that Bethesda won’t just rest on its laurels, won’t just ride the wave of Fallout 3‘s commercial success. Fallout 4 is already out. It sold well, and lots of people own it. And as cool as it’d be to play another Obsidian Fallout, the current question is: where will Bethesda take Fallout 4 next? I’m looking forward to finding out.


  • for me part of the problem with fallout 4 is thats just an updated fallout 3 with far too much lovecraftian bullshit. Im saying it now, Lovecraft Sucks plain and simple. It also doesnt help that other developers now are outright destroying bethesda at their own game when it comes to Open World RPGs. The only thing that bethesda have done thats really keeping them afloat is that they support modding. If it wasnt for the Modding community bethesda would not be as big as they are

    • I haven’t actually played fallout 4, so what do you mean when you say Lovecraftian? I would consider Bloodborne Lovecraftian, but then again I don’t know nearly enough of what can be considered Lovecraftian save for the actual stories.

    • Lovecraft can be done well, it just often isn’t because many creators treat it too much like standard western horror.
      I’d also argue that many of Bethesda’s competitors dont craft open worlds as well. Not ones with as many moving parts working as well as they do. That said, I vastly prefer if they stuck to making the world and tools and let some other developer craft the game itself, because Bethesda is too mired in their own formulas to do their own worlds justice.

  • I just want GTAIII done as a new game, I don’t enjoy the LA/Rap Culture, and loved the more stylish, New York Mafia type feel that GTA3 had.

  • Fallout 4 tried too hard to be both an RPG and a shooter, and it did neither particularly well. I got caught up in the hype and dropped the cash, but ended up trading in less than two weeks later. Might pick up NV in time and hopefully that won’t disappoint.

  • I did notice it said they’re not ‘currently planning’… because if it had been all put in order and they had started… it’d no longer be planning. Just saying.

    But it’s more than likely just wishful thinking.

  • the many things Bethesda’s Fallout games have excelled at, like competent shooter mechanics,

    Talk about damned by faint praise. Not good or innovative shooter mechanics, merely competent. The sentence makes it sound like competent shooting is something that is a selling point for the game. “It’s okay” could be a tagline for all of Fallout 4 in my opinion.

  • The ideal Fallout for me would be the combination of both. The combat in particular was massively improved in FO4. However, NV certainly had the better RPG elements though: more choices, more grey areas, more factions etc.

    One thing I’ll never understand though is the criticism of the lack of a truly “evil” option in FO4 though. I’m all for choice, but “oh boo hoo, I can’t play literal post-apocalyptic Hitler, WHERE ARE MUH CHOICES BETHESDA?”. It just seems like the immature option to me.

    • Well you cant even play a sort of Neutral character, you can literally only play the character bethesda has put in front of you.

      • I wasn’t defending Bethesda’s protagonist approach in FO4, hence me saying one of the pluses of NV was “more choice” in my second sentence (though I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with an RPG having a set protagonist, e.g. The Witcher, just perhaps not in a FO game).

        My criticism was of the argument very common on the FO subreddit of FO4 being crap because you can’t play as literally the most evil person to ever live. Look, if the choice is there (as in NV) and that’s what floats your boat, then fair enough. I just don’t understand the attraction, as I don’t understand it with playing as the most holy of saints either. *shrugs*

        • Fair enough, I have never really been a fan of good or evil routes in game because it usually ends in only having 2 real paths. I preferred being able to make choices that seemed good based on what I was doing at the time.

          Hopefully they don’t address this in Fallout 5 by making a dialogue option that is always evil the way they have a dialogue option that is always sarcastic.

          • We can certainly agree there. Having a more nuanced approach is definitely the way to go. That’s the problem with good and evil karma systems like in FO3 and NV. You can murder hundreds of people and blow up Megaton, but hey so long as you donate some caps to a church it’s all G.

            I’d like to see them take some inspiration for FO5 from The Witcher 3 the Metro series, or even Until Dawn, where the “good” and “bad” options aren’t always immediately apparent.

  • I don’t understand people’s love affair with new Vegas it had twisted logic. How do I loose karma for slaying my enemies in what world does that make sense. If they are my sworn enemie why should I get punished for stealing and murdering them

    • Yeah, because of one mechanic that carried over from Fallout 3 I have no idea how anyone can really love the game.

      I mean what is the point of having deep and interesting quests when I lose Karma for pickpocketing?

  • Played Fallout 3 as my first foray into the franchise and loved it. Bought New Vegas during a Steam sale and have yet to touch it. After being a tad disappointed by Fallout 4 and all my friends proclaiming that New Vegas was better, I’m starting to think I should give it a go finally.
    Might mod it first so the graphics don’t look as dated. Any graphical mod recommendations?

  • problem I had with fallout 4 was the bad guys motivations weren’t clear and still remained unanswered. Why synths?

    • This.


      I’ve still got no. Idea what the Institute were actually trying to achieve other than “science”.
      I sided with them and some people got mad at me, but I never felt bad because it was never explained why they did the things they did. The synths and their justification were never explained, the kidnappings weren’t justified.

      Its just terrible storytelling.

  • Alright, I’ll be the odd one out here. I loved Fallout 4. I thought the gameplay was on an entirely different plane from the previous Fallout games. While I loved New Vegas, I think Fallout 4 sets a very solid foundation for further development and modding. I’m very excited for the future of both Fallout 4 and the Fallout series in general.

    • I loved Fallout 4 as well, I just like complaining about the many things that could have been done much much better in it :p

      Like removing Preston Garvey.

    • I agree. Fallout 4 has been fantastic. Any game that can keep me hooked for 400+ hours is AAA+ in my opinion. Yes there are some parts I wish were better. But ffs, the game is great.

      Noticeably differences:
      * FONV had an incredible immersive story line that made you really think about the characters and factions.
      *FO4 has an immersive storyline as well, however, the factions are highly scripted “there’s another settlement..blah blah blah”

      *FONV had no way to create your own settlements nor ability to truly customize the world outside modding.
      *FO4 lets you build your own towns if you so please.

      There are bugs in both, but I can tell you what, FO4 ran like butter straight out of the box in vanilla state for my PC, definitely cannot say the same for FONV, even today. (experiences may differ, but this has been one stable game for a gamebryo engine)

      FONV allowed for highly customisable gear, FO4 kind of pigeonholes you into “outfits.”

      But more than anything, both games allow for Modding, which means that any of the above can be, and likely will be/is fixed by the modding community.

      This has always been the major selling point for any Bethesda game, for me. I cannot even play FONV anymore without a ton of mods. So saying the game is “better” is a bit of misnomer. It’s just had longer to stew.

      Would I put my nose up at an Obsidian Fallout 4.5…hell no. Does that make me like Fallout 4 any less…nope.

      • You’ve hit the nail right on the head there. I would also love to see an Obsidian Fallout 4.5 but anything Obsidian does can only grow off of what Bethesda’s already made and Fallout 4 was a fantastic effort from Bethesda. I’m eager to see where things go from here. Can’t wait until Bethesda’s promised modding support comes out as well.

  • Fallout 4 is already out. It sold well, and lots of people own it

    Yes, I bought it, played about 60 hours and will not pick it up again.
    Hype sold F4 and I’m sure many gamers have done exactly as I have. Some will enjoy it – but the jeers far outweigh the cheers for this title.
    I felt totally disappointed by the game as my own expectations got the better of me even though I said to myself countless times this wasn’t an Obsidian game. But I fell for it because I love the franchise.
    The problem for me was simple; I felt immersed in NV’s world, in the Commonwealth, even though i can choose what to do next, it somehow feels linear and repetitive…like an open world COD.
    That’s harsh now that I’ve typed it, but damn it, I’m shattered this game turned out like it did. Settlement building? Really?
    And don’t even get me started on the ease at which main protagonist just up and forgets the urgency of finding his son
    Voice acting is cool – but not when my character is a black ex-con that’s misunderstood by society and only settles situations with his pugilistic skills after he’s backed into a corner and he sounds like a white guy. Immersion broken.

    Please make another Fallout game Obs. Please.

    Apologies for the rant 🙁

    • Yes, I bought it, played about 60 hours and will not pick it up again. got 60 hours out of a game…I think you got your money’s worth. Granted, you could still be playing if you so chose. but…60 hours. That’s quite a lot of game play.

      I felt totally disappointed by the game as my own expectations got the better of me even though I said to myself countless times this wasn’t an Obsidian game. But I fell for it because I love the franchise.
      The Hype Train always crashes. Everyone knew this would be a Bethesda game, so all you had to do was look at Fallout 3. Which by your above comments you probably “only” played 60 hours of, as well.

      The problem for me was simple; I felt immersed in NV’s world, in the Commonwealth, even though i can choose what to do next, it somehow feels linear and repetitive…like an open world COD.
      There’s nothing COD like about this game. Heck even the “FPS” part isn’t really FPS. The linear part of the story is your own perception of the illusion of choice. I do admit to being a bit annoyed by the illusion failing (they really could have done better). But they stuffed so much else into this game that I am able to over look your next point:

      Settlement building? Really?
      OMG THIS IS SO GOOD! I absolutely love the Settlement building part of this game. Its a complete game changer for me, and now I am going to be dissapointed if I get another game and it doesn’t have such customization “housing.” They really need to make your settlements a bigger impact on the story. But the idea is fantastic.

      I get how you might not like Settlements, but they are literally like 50% of the game play in FO4.
      *Find settlement
      *Build it up
      *Recruit settlers

      One of my Favorite moments in the game was when:
      One of my settlements were attacked by Synth Brahmin! Holy cow that was hilarious!

      And don’t even get me started on the ease at which main protagonist just up and forgets the urgency of
      Wellllllll, this is pretty much any RPG…heck you could say the same thing about FONV…”Oh I got shot in the head, lets seek revenge….ooooo whats over there in those hills…” 200+ hours of game play later “wait…what was my main motivation….oh yeah…something about being shot….hmmm I should look into…OMG IS THAT A BOS SOLDIER!”
      So yeah, FO4 isn’t the only game to do that.

      Voice acting is cool – but not when my character is a black ex-con that’s misunderstood by society and only settles situations with his pugilistic skills after he’s backed into a corner and he sounds like a white guy. Immersion broken.

      ookay, I can’t really argue with that…they really should have made options to change the way the voice actor sounded. Both the male and female voice overs are “white” voices. The least they could have done is allowed players to modify the pitch and tone of the voice…HEY MODDERS DO THIS!

      There that should fix it, go request it on Nexus Forums too, someone should get around to it. But yeah, Bethesda should have thought about that from the word go.

  • I’m not sure that Bethesda is “resting on their laurels”, nor refusing to, for that matter. They /know/ that Fallout 4 is not NV nor is it trying to be or resenting that it is not. Bethesda purposefully made Fallout 4 the game it is to open the market and bring new players to the franchise. Enfranchised loyalists were given lip service but ultimately, they are an expendable, comparatively small group of customers.

    Numbers don’t lie. Regardless vocal criticism, scores and community’s feelings, Fallout 4 sold like hotcakes. Fallout 5 has no reason not to follow on its footsteps.

    • Fallout 4 may have sold like hotcakes – but unless Bethesda changes the formula for the next Fallout, those numbers will not come close to repeating.

      • I’m almost positive that they will try first and see if numbers really will go down, and /then/, maybe Fallout 6 will be different. However, I’m pretty sure that they will manage to spin some new feature or slight improvement on the very same layout of Fallout 4 well enough to reignite the hype machine and get Fallout 4-like numbers. Maybe Fallout 7…

        • Your right @pylgrim,
          I’m only kidding myself – of course I’ll buy another Fallout title, regardless of studio.

  • Considering the terms of new Vegas’s contract nearly bankrupt obsidian there’d probably be some hard bargaining in talks for a new fallout by them which could complicate things.

    • yep it was all part of bethesdas plan to outright buy the studio just like they tried to do with the Prey 2 developers. Need to remember that Bethesda was incharge of Q&A and there was stuff all done for NV and because it wasnt made by bethesda was torn apart from Critics for bugs and glitches, causing Obsidian to loose there bonus

  • Everytime I fire up Fallout 4, I always have two people on my Steam friends list start New Vegas shortly afterwards…I swear they are trolling me.

  • Bethesda > Obsidian
    Fallout 3 > New Vegas
    And no matter the obsidian fanboys who will blame Bethesda for everything (See Thyco above who likes to believe Bethesda is Responsible for QA) Fallout exists because of Bethesda and Fallout 3 and is the reason the franchise is one of the healthiest in gaming, its not because of New Vegas.

  • I love both games.
    I love both games.
    I also love my life more after playing new Vegas, as I’m more familiar with the map than my real-life dwelling area.

  • “Im saying it now, Lovecraft Sucks plain and simple”
    May you forever be tormented in the mouth of Cthulhu, you ungodly heathen.

  • Maybe im easily amused but ive played em all from 1 to 4 n all in between (even FO Tactics, but that only barely gets a pass) and i love em all. All have different strengths n weaknesses, all play differently. Its the world they are set in, the stories and humour that i dig. Not this mechanic or that. Ive played em all multiple times (except 4, which i have over 15 days clocked up on my 1st playthrough. Damn settlements!) and they never fail to satisfy. Considering bethesda is actually fkn tiny in regards to staff numbers (about 30 or so programmers), i let their quirks slide. Shit, i couldnt do what they do. And yes, id also like to see what Obsidian can do now.

    TLDR- Fallout. All good no matter who has been making it.

  • Bethesda are great. They make amazing, immersive worlds that are huge and fun to explore.

    But they keep taking shit out of our games. Oblivion was a slightly dumbed down Morrowind, Skyrim a further dumbed down Oblivion – they’re doing the same thing with Fallout!

  • When making any game, you must eventually ask yourself, “what does my game offer that other games do not?”

    Fallout, as a series, offers a comprehensive role-playing experience that, aside from being a comprehensive world, strives to answer the question of how culture changes in the landscape of post-apocalyptic America. What parts of America do we keep? Which ones are left behind? Why? It explores territories that other games don’t, and attempts to answer big questions. It does this through clever writing, and an intricate understanding of how culture and society works.

    The reason people want another Obsidian Fallout is because New Vegas was a cohesive world, in which the characters seemed alive because they reacted to your decisions, much like the world of the old Fallouts. While it didn’t have the same exploratory storytelling that Fallout 3 or 4 offered, the writing and characters were always what were most important. Bethesda make good games, but they fall short when it comes to making characters and quests that grab you in the same way and offer you the same diversity of choice. Too many times, you find that your character can only react a certain way because of their pre-written back story, or that side quests just weren’t interesting because there was only one way to solve the problem. New Vegas offered a multitude of ways to solve problems, and accommodated player choice. There were basically no essential characters– if you killed a character, they would die, but you would deal with the consequences. Dialogue options fit your player’s role in the world.

    Another one of the things that Obsidian did with New Vegas was make factions truly matter. Each had its own reason for existing, intricate ideology, and detailed backstory that all made sense within the context of the story. There was more to them than their armor or leaders– you got a sense of what your average NCR citizen thought of the war, or how the Legion typically approached problems. More than that, your own actions were defined by your faction allegiance. No factions were unambiguously good or bad– every single one had skeletons in the closet, or less than wholesome activities. And most NPCs in the game had their own opinions on the factions. The interactions between these factions were intricate, full of political maneuvering and intrigue. Fallout New Vegas’s factions seem plausible because they have real-life precursors, and they’re written with a nuanced understanding of how cultures work. They also have little hints of commentary on America. The Boomers, for example, are horrified at the suggestion of taking your weapons, even though they’re taking you prisoner, because they believe that a person’s most important right is the right to be armed– remind you of anything?

    So, to return to my previous question, the Fallout series has traditionally offered people things that other games do not. New Vegas did a great job of being distinctive in that respect. As for Fallout 4… well, there really isn’t anything revolutionary about it. As far as I’m concerned, exploration and action are great, but alone, they don’t make a game like Fallout stand out among the huge number of sandbox games that are saturating the market. It was always the world, the factions, the roleplaying, and the characters that made Fallout so distinctive. And in that respect, Bethesda just can’t offer what Obsidian can.

    (Sorry for typing a bajillion words)

    • I just don’t get this…I’ve played both games (like hundreds of hours in both FO4 and FONV), and feel immersed in both. I’m not saying there couldn’t be changes in FO4, but there could also be huge sweeping changes in FONV. The story line that everyone is complaining about in FO4 I think is taken away from a little bit by the main protagonist having their own voice…this really shouldn’t have been done. Or if it was done, make sure the voice could be modulated and that the choices they made were actually choices Yes/yes-no/Maybe/Sarcasm do tend to take away from the facility of the player. But you are talking about the intricacies of cross faction politics..there’s plenty of that in FO4. Moreover, your interactions with the factions have sweeping affects on the world!

      You made mention of an assortment of “Essential” NPCs that you couldn’t kill in FO4 and how FONV didn’t have these…I think you forget all your companions, Yes Man, and Victor. Now, there were a lot fewer essential NPCs, but there were more than none. That being said, I do agree that the ability to fail a quest or have an alternative ending is lacking in FO4.

      Also, the Fallout series has not traditionally been so unique, there are plenty of games that were on the market at any given time that offered a lot of what the games offered. What the Fallout series did, was combine those offerings into a complete cohesive game. This is what FO4 has done.

      Now, I LOOOOVE FONV, seriously! I’ve played the hell out of it, but it had its flaws, just like FO3, and 2, and 1….and so many other games. Am I sad that I purchased FO4…hell no. Am I dissapointed it isn’t FONV…nope. Well why the hell not you loser Vangrat, FONV was awesome and FO4 isn’t FONV2!!!!RAAAaaAAGeee.

      Well, that’s because I like FO4 for FO4. It offers interesting game play, new mechanics, factions just like FONV (YES IT DOES), new graphics, and like most Bethesda games today, has a exceptionally active modding community that make the game that much more diverse and interesting. So would I want Bethesda to stop making these games, NO!

      Remember, without FO3, there wouldn’t have been a FONV. Can we hope that because of FO4 there will be a new Obsidian FO, I hope so. Will that stop me from liking FO4. Nope.

  • It’s over a year on now and I’ve switched on my PS4 to play a little FO4.
    5 seconds later, I’ve switched it off after that janky framerate even inside my Diamond City house, fired up the PC and started a new character in New Vegas.
    Nuff said.

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