Fallout 5: Could Bethesda Be Planning for a 2018 Release?

Ever since the release of Fallout 4, there has been widespread speculation about the future of the series. The hugely successful post-apocalyptic RPG has become a mainstay of Bethesda’s gaming lineup. With E3 fast approaching, speculation is rampant as to whether a new Fallout title might be teased at the event. The last entry broke GTA V’s record by having 470,000 concurrent players on Steam on launch day. With sales that strong, it seems mad that Bethesda wouldn’t have already made plans for the future. (Of course, they haven’t released an Elder Scrolls title in almost seven years, so it’s impossible to know for sure.)

When it comes to Fallout 5, there are a lot of rumors, and one or two purported leaks. The difficulty is in cutting through the falsities to what is actually known.

Dispelling the Rumors – Obsidian Entertainment

Over the course of the last year, rumors about Fallout 5 have abounded online. While some are interesting, a lot is pure speculation, and some isn’t true at all. One such falsity is that Obsidian Entertainment, the studio behind Fallout: New Vegas, could be working on Fallout 5. While New Vegas is a fan favorite, this rumor is very likely not true. It all began after a fan tweeted Eric Fenstermaker, Obsidian’s Senior Designer, to ask whether the studio might work on Fallout again. Fenstermaker replied, “I’m always up for working on a Fallout. I think most of us generally are. Really fun property to work with.”

This innocuous response was widely shared and very quickly morphed into a supposed confirmation that Obsidian was working on Fallout again. When asked for more info by Kotaku, Obsidian’s Mikey Dowling clearly settled the matter:

“We’ve said plenty of times that we’d love to work on a Fallout again if Bethesda wanted us to, we just aren’t at this time … Whenever a new Fallout comes around though, whoever is doing it, we all look forward to playing it!”

Dispelling the Rumors – Fallout: New Orleans

The second major rumor which was proven false was that of Fallout: New Orleans. News first spread about this title back in late 2016, when a trademark was filed with the European Intellectual Property Office. Many speculators attempted to link this back to Obsidian, and the rumors that the studio was working on Fallout again. While it’s unknown for sure who filed the trademark, it has since been removed from the EUIPO database. Perhaps it was a legitimate trademark for a title that never made it past the earliest stages of development. Whatever the case, it doesn’t seem that it amounted to anything. It could even have been filed without Bethesda’s permission.

What We Know

What we know for certain is that Bethesda is invested in the future of Fallout. Fallout VR was one of their leading showcases at the end of last year to debut Bethesda’s foray into VR. Given that recent VR push, it would not be outlandish at all to see the next Fallout release with VR support.

Last year, Bethesda’s VP Pete Hines confirmed that the company would release two “major projects” before Elder Scrolls 6. Given that Fallout 4 released in November of 2015, an announcement for Fallout 5 at E3 this year is definitely within the realms of possibility. Fallout 3 released in 2008, with New Vegas following in 2o1o.

Fallout 4 took a 5-year gap. If consistent, a reasonable prediction for Fallout 5’s release date could be late 2018, through to 2020. Of course, that is pure speculation. However, given the success of Fallout 4 and the use of Fallout to push VR, fans would be wise to watch Bethesda’s E3 coverage this year with interest.