Fallout: New Vegas released a decade ago on October 19th, 2010. New Vegas was the first Fallout from Obsidian Entertainment following Bethesda’s groundbreaking Fallout 3. New Vegas was a bit of a departure from Fallout 3 and launched with some mixed reviews and a plethora of bugs.
A decade later, history looks fondly at Obsidian’s first crack at the series. While Fallout has had a lot of excellent games in the series, New Vegas is seen by many as the best one. Obsidian did an incredible job in an 18 month development period of making one of the best written RPGs of the last decade and put their stamp on a series they were contracted for.
It is no secret that fans and even Obsidian themselves would want another Fallout game by Obsidian. Whether that game is “Fallout New Vegas 2” or a game in a completely new setting. The possibility of this ever happening always felt like wishful thinking rather than an actual opportunity. For a myriad of reasons, Obsidian was never given the opportunity to make another Fallout.
Up until a month ago a new Fallout under Obsidian felt out of reach. That was until Microsoft purchased Zenimax Media, parent company of Bethesda, owners of the Fallout IP. Obsidian, who were acquired by Microsoft a few years ago, are now suddenly in a position where they are in the same family of studios as Bethesda.
What has seemed like a far away dream for so long is now a realistic possibility. There is a chance that Obsidian could get the opportunity to make another Fallout. Something that fans have been wanting for close to a decade has the potential to actually happen. The big question is, how likely is this to actually happen. And if it happens, when?
When and if this happens is a bit complicated. Obsidian probably wants to make another Fallout game at some point. They have discussed wanting the opportunity to make one but for a few reasons it just didn’t happen. For this to happen, Obsidian would likely have to get Bethesda’s blessing. Even though Xbox now owns Bethesda, it seems unlikely that Xbox would let other studios work on IP that Bethesda owns without their permission.
¯_(ツ)_/¯ https://t.co/MqyiuNsWS2— Obsidian (@Obsidian) September 21, 2020
It is unclear whether Bethesda would be okay with this. Perhaps it could be a situation like we saw for New Vegas. Bethesda was busy making Skyrim so they let Obsidian work on New Vegas so there wouldn’t be a large gap between Fallout games. Realistically, Bethesda will be busy with Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI for the next 5+ years. This doesn’t give Bethesda time to make another mainline Fallout entry for a long time.
This means Obsidian could potentially make a Fallout while Bethesda is working on other games. However this doesn’t seem likely anytime soon. Obsidian has numerous projects of their own. Between Grounded, Avowed and the sequel to The Outer Worlds, Obsidian has a lot they will be busy with over the next few years. It seems unlikely that they are able to even begin thinking about Fallout while their main team is working on what sounds like an incredibly ambitious game in Avowed. Their side teams will be working on The Outer Worlds 2 and Grounded, so there doesn’t seem like any room to even begin thinking about another game right now.
A game like Fallout will require all hands on deck and the primary focus of any studio. Obsidian would probably want another opportunity to make Fallout, but as of now there does not seem to be time for Obsidian to focus on what would need an incredible amount of attention. There is a chance that after Avowed is released their team can focus on Fallout. But again, that would require Bethesda giving the go ahead.
There are a lot of factors that have to be considered here. A new Fallout game from Obsidian is very possible, it will just require a lot of things to fall in place. If everything works out, fans may finally get the Obsidian Fallout that has long been clamored for. It might just take longer than we want. At this point, the fact that it realistically could happen is good enough.