Fallout 76 might be out very soon, but Bethesda doesn’t want it to be a flash in the pan. Instead, the developer intends it to last us until the bombs drop, and beyond. In a recent interview, the company’s vice president of marketing, Pete Hines, says Bethesda plans to keep the latest trip to the Wasteland going for a long time.
When asked how long he thinks Fallout 76 can last, Hines was very quick to answer – “forever. I’m not being ironic. Like, forever.” That’s quite the suggestion, but Hines had evidence to back up his seemingly hyperbolic claims, which stems from the popularity of some of the studio’s other recent (and not so recent) open world games.
Speaking to Metro, Hines said “other people have said ‘Is your timeline two years or five years?’” To that, he’s cast his mind all the way back to 2002, pointing out that “well, they’re still playing Morrowind,” referring to the now 16 year-old Elder Scrolls III. “Then you go online and look at how many people are playing Fallout 4 and Skyrim.”
“Those games have been out for four and seven years, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of people playing those games every single day, every single month.” It’s difficult for us to verify those claims exactly, but Steam Charts reckons Fallout 4 peaked at 47,573 players this year, with similar numbers for Skyrim, if you combine the numbers on its two most-popular editions. That’s just for PC, of course, so assuming the same kind of figures on console, and Hines is probably right.
With that in mind, Hines reckons that a service game like Fallout 76 can offer long-term fans of Bethesda’s two flagship series plenty of ongoing content, and says that for Fallout 76, “our timeline is in perpetuity.”
Exactly how that will work isn’t clear at this point, but Hines says the developer has taken hints from Fallout 3’s DLC. He says that at the end of that game, the studio realised, based on fan feedback, that “‘we need a DLC that removes the ending of the game and allows you to continue on.’ So 76 is going to be like that.”
The Fallout 76 release date is pretty close – November 14. Clearly, we won’t be getting a look at the game’s long tail for a while, but with an enormous map and a literally explosive endgame, there should be plenty for you to get stuck into, with or without an eternity of ongoing content.