What would happen if, at this moment when a big chunk of the Fallout fanbase is throwing shade on Bethesda, another acclaimed studio were to announce a similar game? And what if that studio just happened to be the makers of Fallout: New Vegas, considered one of the best games in the series? Well wonder no more, because that's exactly what happened at The Game Awards.
Obsidian Entertainment announced a new game, The Outer Worlds, and its trailer makes it out to be a spunky sarcastic take on a corporate-owned future. In a frontier space colony full of advertisements but little oversight, the player character is expected to deal with opposing factions and harsh alien wildlife. There's dialogue trees and a mixture of first-person gun and melee combat. In short, it looks a lot like Fallout in space.
Obsidian made it a point to draw that very comparison in the trailer. The text "From the original creators of Fallout" flashes in reference to the fact that Fallout co-creators Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky are directing The Outer Worlds. Obsidian also takes a moment to remind viewers of its own pedigree with "And the developers of Fallout: New Vegas."
It's easy to assume that both of those statements were included as dig at Bethesda. With Fallout 76 found lacking by many longtime fans, there's been no shortage of comments reminiscing about the glory days of Fallout: New Vegas. Or accusing Bethesda of ruining the franchise.
Such a climate is ideal for a Fallout competitor to rise. Especially one led by the original creators, and developed by the people who made the so-called best game in the series. Even if the game is more sci-fi than post-apocalypse, just having these people on board lends it a sense of legitimacy in disgruntled fans' eyes.
Of course, this could all just be a coincidence. Using a developer's history to advertise a new game with similar gameplay is nothing new. It really could just be that Obsidian always meant to use New Vegas to bolster confidence in The Outer Worlds and just got very lucky with the timing.
As of this writing, Bethesda hasn't made a comment. It's probably too busy replacing all those crappy Fallout 76 bags.