In a recent interview with The Guardian, Todd Howard addressed the question that some Fallout fans consider to be the elephant in the room: is Bethesda still willing to let another company develop a game in the Fallout franchise?
“I wouldn’t say never,” said Howard in regards to the possibility of outsourcing the Fallout franchise. “[But] now that our company is so big, it’s always better to keep stuff internal… it becomes less likely, but I could never say never. I thought the Obsidian guys did a fabulous job.”
By “the Obsidian guys,” Howard is, of course, referring to Fallout: New Vegas. Ater Bethesda successfully revitalized the Fallout franchise for the, mostly, modern age, they decided to let the RPG masters at Obsidian have a stab at the property. The logic of their decision at the time was that the Bethesda team was already hard at work on Skyrim and couldn’t fully capitalize on the success of Fallout 3 by releasing a proper sequel.
It was a great decision that led to an interesting repercussion. Obsidian did such a great job expanding upon the RPG elements of the original Fallout games while utilizing Bethesda’s modern gameplay improvements that they left many people unable to go back to any other style of Fallout experience. Indeed, there are more than a few people who will tell you that New Vegas hindered their ability to properly enjoy Fallout 4.
Sadly, we get the feeling that Howard’s reply is more of a publicity move than a declaration of intent. It’s hard to imagine that Bethesda will actually farm out the Fallout franchise given that they’re willing to make projects like Fallout 76 (which is the kind of game that may have been outsourced in the past). Still, a gamer can dream.
As for whether or not any of the old Fallout games – or older Bethesda games – will ever be remastered, Howard stated that “For something like Morrowind, my personal preference is not to remaster it. We [also] get asked a lot to remaster [1997’s] Fallout 1, and I usually say, if you have a PC you can play Fallout the way it was. I think that’s how it should be.”