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Fallout Is Big Again – Now Where’s The Tie-In?

The Fallout TV series is very popular, and people are hungry to enjoy the games that inspired it. Four Fallout games were in the top ten on Steam in Europe following the show’s debut. So it’s fantastic news that the next game is probably still a decade out.

Yes, we have the Fallout 4 update next week, and that’ll scratch the itch. And obviously there’s Fallout London and other fan made stuff on the horizon. But the point of this article isn’t to pick on Fallout to any degree. This is an issue with gaming adaptations almost entirely across the board.

My mantra is fast becoming “making games is hard” and it’s because I feel the need to say it when it comes to every criticism I lobby at the industry. But time and time again we see a window of excitement for these products and the people in charge fail to capitalise in any meaningful way.

Fallout is the latest, but it’s not alone. The Last of Us had a remaster. Halo had nothing. Did Twisted Metal get the PS1 games added to Premium or is that a confusion of timelines on my part?

It works the other way too. When every girl was dressed as Harley Quinn, Warner Bros and Rocksteady made the decision to make a Suicide Squad game. It came out in 2024. Hogwarts Legacy was hugely successful, but it also just kind of launched into the world. There was no book, film or TV series to cross promote. How popular would it have been had it managed to launch alongside a fresh new wave of Harry Potter excitement?

The Fallout of A Major Release

Let me be clear, I’m not suggesting this is always needed or desired.  You can’t always tell which way the zeitgeist is going to go. Fallout could have easily died a death. Fallout: New Vegas 2 wouldn’t have changed that.

But it didn’t. It renewed interest in the series in a big way. And the best Bethesda has or is going to have for some time to come is a upgraded version of Fallout 4. By the time any new Fallout related content is available to buy, the current buzz will have long died down.

So what’s the answer? When games are costing hundreds of millions of dollars to make and the best part of a decade, should we expect decently timed releases too? After all, Fallout and The Last of Us exist on telly specifically because the developers can’t get games out quickly or cheaply enough. It’s diversification of the catalogue.

The solution, unfortunately, is the same as the solution for the other major issues plaguing the industry. Get down costs, get down the amount of time it takes to make games, find new audiences so growth can be achieved.

But that there is the problem. You have found a new audience by slapping Fallout on Amazon. I’m seeing almost universal praise for it, just like The Last of Us before it. And that new audience can only buy into a game that’s almost a decade old, almost two decades old, or an MMO. Aside from that? Please stand by.

There’s no easy solution. Audiences are fickle. Gaming bosses need to find a way to capitalise on them, especially as the trend for top quality TV continues to take off.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott