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Is Fallout 5’s release date closer after the hit show? It could be

Fallout 5’s development has potentially taken top priority at Xbox Game Studios, but could its release date actually be moved up and how could that even happen?

The Fallout franchise has experienced a significant resurgence over the past few weeks. Amazon’s adaptation of the beloved post-apocalyptic series satisfied old-school fans and created many new ones. This is measurable in the sharp player count spike across all Fallout games and reflects the show’s stellar success.

Fallout 76 saw over 72,000 concurrent players on Steam at its peak in April 2024. Meanwhile, Fallout 4 comfortably sat in the top 10 most-played games on Steam in the week after the show’s arrival. The unexpected hype even caused the Nexus modding site to crash several times from the heavy traffic of new players. Microsoft certainly took notice of the series’ sudden resurgence. 

When is Fallout 5’s release date?

Microsoft and Bethesda have not confirmed Fallout 5’s release window, but there are reports that its timetable may have been moved up.

The Elder Scrolls 6 currently sits as Bethesda Game Studios’ main project right now and the developer is set to work on it for years to come. Given how long most Bethesda projects take, Fallout 5’s release is farther than most fans would like. Even so, Jez Corden of The Xbox Two podcast reported Microsoft expressed awareness of the Fallout label’s success. 

With the focus on The Elder Scrolls 6, the only other way for Fallout 5’s expedited release is to hand the responsibility to another developer. It wouldn’t be the first time the Fallout franchise has shifted developers, with New Vegas being the premiere example. Still, that’s assuming Bethesda would trust another developer with the franchise. 

Who will develop Fallout 5?

The developer of Fallout 5 is currently unknown and it’s uncertain whether development has begun on it. Now that the Fallout franchise is owned by Microsoft, which has the ability and capacity to hand it to another studio, its development could be hastened.

Historically, Bethesda Game Studios has kept its franchises internal and has publicly expressed hesitance to that changing. This is in harsh contrast to other publishers like Konami, who own multiple major IPs but license them out to other studios.

“I wouldn’t say never…now that our company is so big, it’s always better to keep stuff internal,” Todd Howard told The Guardian in a 2018 interview.

There are exceptions like Fallout: New Vegas, which was developed by Obsidian Entertainment. That interview was from nearly six years ago and in 2024, Obsidian and Bethesda sit under the same Microsoft umbrella.

New Vegas is regarded by many as the best modern Fallout game and Obsidian is historically receptive to doing more games in partnership with Bethesda. Obsidian’s Avowed will launch in 2024, and the only other project in its pipeline afterward is The Outer Worlds 2. The success of Avowed may raise Obsidian’s chances of developing Fallout 5. Regardless, Fallout 5 is something that won’t be coming out for years to come.  

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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