Bethesda’s biggest franchises, The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, have received praise over the years from critics and fans alike for the solid single-player, open-world game adventures they provide. While the single-player experiences are responsible for making household names of these two series, Bethesda has shown that they’re not afraid to convert their single-player games into a multiplayer experience either, introducing The Elder Scrolls Online in 2014.
While Bethesda hasn’t announced a similar MMO for the Fallout series, it turns out that they aren’t completely against the idea of a Fallout multiplayer game. In fact, early on in development. the team behind Fallout 4 considered the possibility of including a multiplayer mode in the game.
According to an interview between Mashable and Bethesda Executive Producer Todd Howard, the development team working on Fallout 4 created initial design plans for a multiplayer mode early on in development. Surprisingly, Fallout 4 isn’t the first game that they’ve considered creating a multiplayer mode for:
“Believe it or not, every time we do a game we design a multiplayer mode just to see what we would do.”
However, Fallout 4 (and evidently Fallout 3, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim) didn’t get past the pre-production stages with their multiplayer modes intact. Todd states that pre-production is the best time to discuss these possibilities, and while they thought that a multiplayer function was an “awesome idea,” including one would take the focus away from making Fallout 4 the best single-player game it could be.
While some gamers might be bummed to know that any plans for a Fallout 4 multiplayer mode were scrapped, it’s easy to understand why Bethesda made this decision. In addition to being able to put all of their focus on just one style of play, certain mainstays of the Fallout series wouldn’t necessarily translate well to multiplayer games. V.A.T.S., for example, works great with a single player, but having more than one player would make the slow-motion aiming effect of V.A.T.S. quite awkward, or require overhauling the system entirely.
The idea of a Fallout multiplayer game sounds like it could potentially be a lot of fun, but Bethesda has probably made the right choice in not changing Fallout 4 into a multiplayer experience. Fans have already had mixed reactions to changes from Fallout 3, like the player character having a voice. Most players will probably be perfectly happy just having a new solo adventure through the Boston wasteland, as that’s what most fans enjoyed about the Fallout series to begin with.
Fallout 4 will be released on November 10, 2015 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.