Bethesda surprised Fallout fans at E3 with the news that the latest game in the series, Fallout 76, will be an online multiplayer game that lets you survive with your friends in a post-apocalyptic West Virginia. You'd better get used to it, though, because apparently the game is intended to last 'forever'.
In an interview with Metro, Bethesda chief Pete Hines discussed his vision for Fallout 76, which marks a big departure for the traditionally single-player series. Bethesda will support the game for a long time to come with new content, giving players new quests to beat and gear to obtain.
Most games stop putting out new content a year or two after release but according to Hines, 'our timeline is in perpetuity. Now what that content is gonna be, and what that's gonna look like, I'm not sure.'
This raises a few questions. What does 'forever' really mean? When the developers working on Fallout 76 quests eventually die, will their children take over, and their children's children after them? Is there an afterlife? But most importantly, it raises the question of where Bethesda will get the money to keep making content indefinitely.
The answer might set off alarm bells for some players: microtransactions. Hines was quick to stress that Bethesda would only be charging for cosmetic items like armour and outfits, though, rather than making gamers pay for new missions.
'Any DLC or new content we add is free to everybody... We're doing this in a way that makes sense. It's only cosmetic, there is no pay-to-win. You can earn it in-game if you don't want to buy it.'
That sounds like a good way for Bethesda to make the money it needs while letting gamers enjoy Fallout 76 without feeling like they're being ripped off. Players have been quick to reject games that are seen as getting greedy with their microtransactions, with games like Star Wars Battlefront II underperforming due to their negative image.
Hines seems to have been paying close attention to situations like this, however, and made it clear that there will be nothing for sale in Fallout 76 that can only be obtained by spending extra money: 'Anything we're selling for real money you can also buy with in-game currency that you get as a reward while you play.'
Will Bethesda get the balance right with microtransactions? We'll find out when Fallout 76 launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows on 14th November.
Featured Image Credit: Bethesda