Bethesda on Thursday released a preview trailer for its postapocalyptic video game Fallout 4.
The game will be released worldwide next week for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One as well as the Sony PlayStation 4. Despite the title, it’s actually the fifth major installment in the series and follows 2010’s Fallout: Las Vegas.
Bethesda has pulled out all the stops, including cross promotions, to build excitement for the release.
A collector’s edition, complete with a life-size wearable “Pip-Boy” computer — a staple of the franchise since its initial release back in 1997 — was announced earlier this year.
The real-life version is really just a fancy prop — and an expensive one at nearly US$120 — that can house a smartphone that can be used for second-screen functionality with Fallout 4.
That special edition, which was available for presale orders, has long since been sold out, but with less than a week until the launch, fans can still download the newly released companion app for the game, which was released this week for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone devices.
The End Is Near
The end of the world may have never looked as good as it does in the upcoming Fallout 4, which utilizes the Creation Engine, the graphics engine that powered the critically acclaimed The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
The postapocalyptic role-playing game will offer a revamped and refined character editor system that allows for greater character customization and visualization. The games will be in full HD 1080p video at 30 frames per second on the PS4 and Xbox One, Bethesda said.
The Fallout 4 wasteland also will be seen in other games. Bethesda reportedly has allowed Forza Motorsport 6 developer Turn 10 to include a Vault-Tec modified 1956 F100 pickup truck as free downloadable content.
Building on the Buzz
“The anticipation for Fallout 4 is so high due to it being such a renowned franchise,” said Steve Bailey, senior analyst for games atIHS Technology.
“Along with The Elder Scroll series, Bethesda’s Fallout represents some of the richest and most engaging open-world structures that gaming has to offer,” he told TechNewsWorld.
This anticipation is compounded by the fact that a new Fallout game arrives only every few years, rather than every year.
The long periods between games, and the fact that many gamers literally have grown up alongside the 18-year-old franchise, have made the upcoming release an audience favorite right now, said Joost van Dreunen, principal analyst atSuperData Research.
“Following the perfectly executedPR blitz at E3 earlier this year, the anticipation is currently reaching a climax,” he told TechNewsWorld.
“What makes this franchise so popular is a combination of its depth in terms of history and narrative economy, allowing for a lot of backstory, with innovative gameplay,” van Dreunen added.
Cultivating the Loyal Fan Base
Bethesda doesn’t churn out new titles for its franchises on a yearly basis.
Instead, it’s “known for widely popular games like Skyrim and Dishonored, and has proven capable of cultivating a loyal fan base,” explained van Dreunen.
Nonetheless, the stakes for Bethesda are high.
“Production costs for the current platform generation are higher, and the growth of the overall market for interactive entertainment has made it much more expensive to reach consumers,” said van Dreunen.
However, “as we approach the zenith of the current console cycle, the overall outlook for the industry and publishers like Bethesda is very positive,” he noted.
With big risks could come big rewards, and the cross-promotion efforts could pay off for the company.
“This will be the biggest game on its 2015/2016 slate by some margin,” said IHS’s Bailey. “As well as selling several million copies, it will be expected to receive premium downloadable game expansions in 2016 and beyond.”