Why it matters: When Microsoft acquired the Fallout property via the Zenimax (Bethesda) merger, many almost immediately started fantasizing about giving previous acquisition Obsidian another shot at the franchise. Recent comments on a podcast indicate that dream is becoming possible.
During this week’s episode of GiantBomb’s GrubbSnax podcast, VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb said that, according to his sources, people at Microsoft have entered very early talks mentioning developer Obsidian and a sequel to the 2010 RPG Fallout New Vegas. Anything that comes out of these talks would be years away, as Obsidian already has other projects on its plate, but it could put the Fallout franchise back into the hands of some of its original creators.
The Fallout franchise is mainly known for the Bethesda-produced games: Fallout 3, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76. Some of the developers who worked on the original Fallout and Fallout 2 at Black Isle Studios later helped form Obsidian Entertainment, which released Fallout New Vegas—still a well-liked entry in the series. Obsidian and Bethesda are now under the Microsoft umbrella, making a follow-up more possible than ever.
Another RPG studio Microsoft acquired—inXile Entertainment—has spent the last several years working on follow-ups to Wasteland, to which the original Fallout was a spiritual successor. The current head of inXile has worked on both franchises over the years.
The prospect of a Fallout 5 or New Vegas 2 is undoubtedly a very long way from realization. Bethesda is busy with both Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI. Obsidian has The Outer Worlds 2 and Avowed under development, so its plate is full. That leaves inXile, but it has an unannounced project it is building on Unreal Engine 5.
That said, if Grubb’s sources are correct, Redmond is at least considering handing the Fallout reins to studios outside of Bethesda. And surely Obsidian would live another shot at New Vegas since The Outer Worlds was something of an homage to that stellar work.