Sources: Fallout 76 Is An Online Survival RPG

Sources: Fallout 76 Is An Online Survival RPG

When Bethesda announced Fallout 76 with a teaser trailer this morning, promising more information at E3, it was easy to assume that the new game would be a traditional single-player role-playing game. But Fallout 76 is in fact an online survival RPG that’s heavily inspired by games such as DayZ and Rust, according to three people familiar with the project.

Screenshot: Fallout 76 teaser trailer

Those people, speaking anonymously so as not to damage their careers, confirmed that Fallout 76 is an experimental new entry in the long-running post-apocalyptic series.

When Bethesda first teased the game Wednesday morning, fans and pundits speculated that it might be a Fallout 3 remaster or a New Vegas-style spinoff in a new location, but as Kotaku reported that morning, it is in fact something completely new and completely different. The teaser might lead Fallout fans to believe that this is a traditional entry in the series, but according to our sources, that’s not the case.

Originally prototyped as a multiplayer version of Fallout 4 with the goal of envisioning what an online Fallout game might look like, Fallout 76 has evolved quite a bit over the past few years, those sources said.

It will have quests and a story, like any other game from Bethesda Game Studios, a developer known for meaty RPGs such as Skyrim. It will also feature base-building – just like 2015’s Fallout 4 – and other survival-based and multiplayer mechanics, according to those sources.

One source cautioned that the gameplay is rapidly changing, like it does in many online “service” games, but that’s the core outline.

The game is named after the series’ Vault 76, which has been mentioned in both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. According to Fallout lore, Vault 76 was meant to open just 20 years after the nuclear war, allowing for a far less civilised setting than previous games.

Fallouts 3 and 4, which are full of cities and settlements, both take place over 200 years after the war, after much of the population has had time to reconstruct human civilisation. Fallout 76 will feel very different.

As the narrator of the trailer says: “When the fighting is stopped, and the fallout has settled, you must rebuild.”

Fallout 76 is in development not just at Bethesda Game Studios’ main office, in Maryland, where the likes of Skyrim and Fallout 4 were made, but also at the company’s newest branch, in Austin, according to our sources. That Austin studio, formerly known as BattleCry Studios, had been working on an online hero combat game called BattleCry before that game was cancelled.

“We have concerns about the BattleCry game and whether it is meeting the objectives we have for it,” Bethesda told press in the spring of 2015. “We are evaluating what improvements the game needs to meet our quality standards. The studio remains busy during this process on multiple projects.”

In March, Bethesda announced that BattleCry Studios had become part of Bethesda Game Studios.

Bethesda did not respond to a request for comment. We’ll see more of Fallout 76 at the publisher’s E3 press conference on June 11.


    • That’s the exact thing I was planning to say…

      If it’s got mod support on PC, someone might eventually add a point to the game

      • Saw some rumours that due to the suppsoed online PVP component, there’ll be no Fallout/TES-style mod support – only Creation Club. To ‘avoid security/balance issues.’

        Looking forward to seeing that one disproven.

        • Hmmmmmm well that’ll be a massive point against it if so. It’s not like games with PvP haven’t succeeded with mod support before, Bohemia Interactive does a great job of it with Arma for example…

    • Well I mean, it hasn’t even been 3 years since Fallout 4. It was 7 years between 3 and 4 (and five years between NV and 4). It’s been 7 since Skyrim…

      Relatively speaking it’s probably a little too soon for any real sequel to Fallout, especially considering the way everyone bitches and moans about Bethesda sequels as if they’re putting them out every other year.

      • The release would be roughly three years after F4 – not an unreasonable time for a second-studio (looking at you, Oblivion) release.

        It wasn’t unknown that this one was coming, but I’d have preferred a New Vegas-style game rather than a Brotherhood of Steel-style game, especially as it’s been almost seven years since we’ve seen an Elder Scrolls game.

      • People bitch about Bethesda sequels only to bemoan the LACK of one in the Elder Scrolls universe. Multiple repackagings of Skyrim are not sequels.

      • Actually it’s more about them re-releasing the same game over and over. And over. And over. People would LOVE another sequel. But it ain’t coming any time soon.

  • “One source cautioned that the gameplay is rapidly changing, like it does in many online “service” games, but that’s the core outline.”

    Battle Royale mode incoming

  • Lost me at online survival. Don’t like these types of games and don’t do online games – I’m more your traditional single player style. I only hope it’s a transitional game in between 4 and 5.

  • Pretty slick video. Really hope the gameplay is better than ESO and there’s always the issue with how VATS would work in multiplayer etc. Anyway, fingers crossed.

    • Yeah this is my concern. I might be interested in playing an online Fallout, but ESO always left me cold. It just doesn’t play very well.

      • Especially if you wanted to play a stealth archer, like every REAL Elder Scrolls game.

        • What was overpowered actually varied pretty wildly from game to game in the TES series. Arena and Daggerfall, magic was the end of the line as far as OP builds were concerned. Morrowind, melee was king. Oblivion, you could create a spell that made all weapons redundant. Skyrim, the overlords were stealthing it with bow and dagger. Hard to tell what will be king in the next iteration of a TES game. Fallout, it’s easy. Stealth, snipe, win. And if for some reason they’re still alive, just gattling-laser their ass into Oblivion.

          • Morrowind Alchemy was king. With the Alchemy feedback loops you could make yourself unstoppable.

          • And in Skyrim looping Alchemy and Enchanting back on each is also the key to world domination, but not to the same extent.

          • They nerfed that. Put hard-caps on the max potion power to stop the loop. Can still make yourself ridiculously powerful, but you can’t create a tamrielic god any more

  • Not a surprise in the slightest. The trailer says build/rebuild several times, it’s a prequel so the wasteland is relatively untouched and it’s been made by the Battlecry devs whose focus is online stuff. Not to mention Fallout 4 already setting the scene with settlements. I just hope there’s at least some sort of single player story element on top of the online survival aspect.

  • When the fighting is stopped, and the fallout has settled, you must rebuild.

    If this was supposed to happen over 180 years before the other Fallout games, either it’s in a completely different part of the US no one has been able to get to from the other games or Vault 76 royally effed it up right?

    • So I looked it up. Going along with the song and evidence in Fallout 3 Vault 76 is in Virginia or West Virginia. I suppose just because the mission was to rebuild doesn’t mean that it all went smooth sailing.

      • More precisely, Washington DC, otherwise known as the Capital Wasteland from Fallout 3. Mention of Vault 76 pops up in FO3 (including Mothership Zeta) and 4.

        Doesn’t sound the most hospitable of places given its only 20 years since it earned that Wasteland name…

    • I think the bigger concern is the song. The Fallout-verse is a world where culture never made it past the 50s. John Denver wrote Country Roads in 1971. Up with this I will not put!

      • So John Denver must have been in vault 76!!! and wrote the song while in the soon after the vault reopened!!!

      • Though, the bombs drop October 23, 2077.

        Why all the music we’ve had so far is from the 50s and earlier isn’t fully explained, other than the world became what the people in the 50s imagined the future would be like.

        John Denver could still have written Country Roads. Maybe the people in Vault 76 liked weird, alternative music.

  • I hope not. If so, yet another watering down of my beloved IP.

  • If it really is an online version of Fallout then I’m going to be beyond thrilled with it as that’s what I’ve wanted for years now!

  • Fallout Gear: Survive 76
    I am cautiously optimistic, maybe they can do it.
    Online does not mean MMO, so maybe private servers…play with mates not trolls. More Ark? Eh. Watch and see I suppose ????

    • Gonna breed me some Rad Scorpions!

      Though 20 years after the Big One they may not be a thing.

  • I dunno how people could expect another single player game this soon, everyone is justoverly demanding.

    • Its usually around 4 years between their games in the past, Fallout 3 2007, Skyrim 2011, Fallout 4 2015.

      They could have announced Fallout 5 for 2019 and it would have made sense.

      • I thought the same. It felt like either a Starfield announcement, or a remaster of FO3 to co-incide with the 10th anniversary (was 2008, not 2007). My thinking was that a new FO game made more sense for next year, this surprised me.

        It did make me wonder what happened to the development of Fallout 5 to Fallout 75 though.

        • Probably nothing, this is likely a seperate team so they at least have something to push out soon. My guess is that the next single player experience will be an Elder Scrolls as one of the reasons they normally stagger the ip releases like they do is that it allows for a lot of preliminary concept work. I don’t believe we will see anything for another year or so as they attempt to shake the current identity crisis they seem to suffer from where they have neither indepth rpg elements in their title nor good fps gameplay within the last two mainline ES and FO titles.

          • Its a hard one to predict now, FO76 is a real surprise especially after Rage 2 a couple of weeks ago. That doesn’t leave much for anything else really, at least not this year. One of those will be October, one November, same as Rage 1 and Skyrim.

            These 2 games break so many assumptions and rumors that anything we think is now totally a guess. It was only 2 months ago they stated clearly that they had 2 games in development, neither of which are what most assumed. One of them is with a new engine.

          • Keep in mind that the developer Bethesda Game Studios and the publisher Bethesda Softworks are two different companies. The developer is the one that said they are working on two games. We now know one is FO76, and it sounds like the other is a new IP (i.e. Starfield). Rage 2 is made by a completely different studio.

          • If you don’t think Skyrim/Oblivion/Fallout4/Fallout3+/NV are the pinnacle of both systems engineering and entertainment software then you can just forever get hecked

            Also, what are indepth rpg elements?
            Also, what is good fps gameplay?

    • I mean we got New Vegas like 3 years after 3, and around a year before Skyrim

      I wasn’t expecting it to be a brand new engine with no re-used assets, but making a game based off of 4 would have made sense if it wasn’t the main team at Bethesda working on it.

      • My guess is the next ES/FO title will be a fresh start with a new or fairly updated engine and an emphasis on rpg mechanics, so I reckon its still a few years off.

  • Hopefully it has a radical shift to the UI, and the way objects in the world works. Fallout 4, while having big new features like building, felt just like Fallout 3 and Skyrim. It felt just like a skin.

    I would like a complete departure from that fundamental Bethesda open world feel.

  • So it will be a game like DayZ or 7DtD but with the building mechanics from Fallout 4 … I want it to be good but I feel like I will be disappointed.

    First Pokemon Let’s Go now this …

  • I was a bit surprised there was gonna be another Fallout game so soon (and still no Elderscrolls) but this kinda explains why I guess.

  • Fallout 76. Good name.

    No doubt it will be using code that has not been tested nor debugged since 1976.


  • Out of pure coincidence, I was watching a Fallout vid last night (they were popping up EVERYWHERE, cant imagine why…) about killing the Fallout salesman right at the start, and seeing what happened. Quite funny, the war doesn’t happen.

    Anyhow, on the radio or TV in the background, they’re talking about which vaults are still accepting people, and theres mention of Vault 76. A quick question to Prof Google, and it mentions it was a test vault, designed to open 20 years later, which would tie in with the storyline mentioned here.

    20 years after the war, which isn’t so long that any infrastructure would still be decent condition, but long enough that… stuff has happened. If that’s the basis of this new game, which it sounds like it is, I hope they’re close to vault 77. I want to know the story behind it and why it was populated by one man and a crate of puppets.

  • I’ll keep an eye on it as it develops, but it doesn’t immediately interest me. The settlement building and maintenance was the least interesting part of Fallout 4 for me and I only ever did the very bare minimum, so if 76 is riding that feature hard then I’m probably out.

  • Sounds amazing. A real developer making a game inspired by DayZ and Rust? Please dont suck.

  • I mean, they’re still putting out content for ESO and that’s turned out successful, so makes sense.

    I knew it wouldn’t be an “Obsidian has secretly made another Fallout spinoff!” situation, but for a second I had my hopes up!

  • Dang. I’m not against the online survival aspect, but I haaaaated the building in Fallout 4. It’d be a hard out for me if its the same sort of thing.

  • I’ll admit I’m intrigued, but if there aren’t local/oceanic servers I’ll pass. I persisted with ESO’s bullshit EU/NA “megaservers” for far too long. The lag from Australia is horrendous (and I’m on fibre), won’t be shelling out for ESO’s latest update.

    • I’m playing ESO and not experiencing any sort of lag, especially not the “horrendous” kind.

  • ohh so its like Rust. well at least now i know i don’t have to care anymore.

  • As someone who likes survival games I’m cautiously excited… I just hope the survival mechanics are actually a meaningful part of the game rather than a tacked-on annoyance that is only actually a problem for new players. Set that soon after the war I would at least expect managing exposure to radiation to be a big part of it.

  • Righto. Can we drop the Fallout name now and just call it “fun and hijinks in the wasteland”? Bethesda have finally stripped the last vestige of what made the original Fallout games great.

  • So I guess I’m the only one that heard ‘Fallout 76’ and was like ‘FUCK YES FALLOUT IS DOING A CROSSOVER WITH INTERSTATE ’76 THIS IS THE GREATEST DAY OF MY LIFE’… and then was sorely disappointed.

  • I wasn’t excited about this announcement initially because something felt a little off about it. Online focused Fallout? I couldn’t care less. A remastering of Fallout 3 and New Vegas would have been interesting, but this? It’s already dead to me.

  • Reading a lot of negativity, but I’m intrigued. It was never going to be Fallout 5 or ESO6, so I’m at least glad it’s something new and not just a remaster.

  • No, just no. Was rather hoping they’d go into space, maybe Fallout Mars, or at the least Fallout Europe, Asia or Australia. Sigh

  • “We have concerns about the BattleCry game and whether it is meeting the objectives we have for it,” {sic} “We are evaluating what improvements the game needs to meet our quality standards.”

    If that dosen’t scream ringing endorsement I don’t know what does…

  • “Meaty RPGs like Skyrim”

    Meaty RPGs…like Skyrim…


    Fallout 1 and 2 say hello…

  • They probably announced this early because they knew it was going to piss people off and not have it overshadow their E3 announcements.

    Ah well I still have the rest of the Fallout games to potter around in and rage 2 looks ok

  • The hilarious part preorders have already opened up for it and we don’t even know what type of game it is.

  • You guys don’t seem to understand. They’re not trying to snag the fallout RPG players, they’re trying to snag the survival game players, as well some fallout players second. It’s not made for you.

  • A combination of ARK and Fallout, SIGN ME UP!!! Iv’e been playing Fallout games since the first one and Ark has some great ideas. Executed with the guidance of a large studio and this sounds promising. I will wait for some reviews but will probably buy it.

  • DO I want a Fallout mod ontop of RUST type game. Nope.

    I can handle a narrated 1-4 player coop experience if the story is cool and all but this is starting to sound like a Vault 76 hub for 100 players and then PUBG/Rust experience, sorry Bethesda, plenty of games already do that just fine we don’t need a Fallout Modded verison…

    But they can go ahead and release it, just don’t expect to be the next Fortnite or Pubg…

  • “Originally prototyped as a multiplayer version of Fallout 4” FFS why didn’t they just release THAT.

  • the settlement building was the most unwelcome addition to the disappointing Fallout 4

    this will be a hard pass for me

  • Nothing in this the video or the news we have received have suggested this is a multiplayer/survival game..

  • So basically they’re going to milk the hell out of the online MMO nonsense like ESO instead of releasing a proper Fallout any time soon (if at all).

  • I guess there just wasn’t enough grinding in skyrim and FO4. Now we’ll have settlement building where we have to hand…craft…every…single…nail…

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