Without a doubt, when Bethesda officially announced the release date for Fallout 76 during its E3 2018 press conference, fans of the post-apocalyptic franchise were elated to learn that they would be able to explore the West Virginia Wasteland with their friends later this year. Interestingly enough, though, some aspects of the title might have been playable as early as 2015, as it has now been revealed that the forthcoming title was essentially built upon the foundation of Fallout 4's scrapped multiplayer.
This much was divulged during Noclip's documentary on the making of Fallout 76, which can be found below. In it, Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard explains how the forthcoming online-only survival game came to be, by initially detailing that the studio collectively wondered during Fallout 4's development, "Hey, should we do multiplayer? 'Probably not.' What would it be? 'OK, it would be this.' Let's talk it through. 'OK, that's pretty awesome.'"
As evidenced by the product of Fallout 4, Bethesda decided to focus solely on approaching the post-apocalyptic RPG title as a single-player game, but that doesn't mean it discarded the aforementioned work done on multiplayer. According to Howard, after getting an understanding as to how multiplayer could work, "Then we put it away . . . Then every once in a while we'd keep talking about it. 'We should've done that, we should do it.' And as Fallout 4's going on, it becomes 'no, we should really do it as its own thing."
For those unaware, as explained in Noclip's documentary above, Bethesda had been experimenting with multiplayer in Fallout as early as 2013, but it didn't have many people experienced with development in that domain. However, the opening of a new studio in Austin, Texas—BattleCry Studios, which was then rebranded as Bethesda Game Studios Austin—brought in team members who worked on such multiplayer-heavy titles as Ultima Online, Star Wars: Galaxies, and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
With Fallout 76 being the first completely online experience for the post-apocalyptic RPG series, it will be interesting to see just how much fans who were looking forward to a traditional campaign narrative will take to the title. For now, though, we will simply have to wait and find out just what kind of gameplay it contains once its first beta period rolls around, which is supposedly set to be an Xbox One timed-exclusive.
Fallout 76 is set to launch on November 14, 2018, for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Source: Noclip – YouTube