Bethesda plans to support multiplayer online game “Fallout 76” for “years and years,” Pete Hines, senior vice president of global marketing and communication at Bethesda Softworks, told Variety. The company just isn’t entirely sure what form that long-lived support will take just yet.
“We have plans of our own,” he said. “But some ideas have to come from players playing the game and seeing what they want.”
“Fallout 76,” an online-only game that drops groups of 24 players into an ever-evolving, player-shaped take on Bethesda’s beloved “Fallout” series,” doesn’t hit PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One until Nov. 14. But a beta for the game goes live later this month and if all goes well, experience and items earned during it will still around for the full launch.
In the short term, Bethesda is entirely focused they’re prepared for the onslaught of players hitting the game’s servers on Oct. 23.
Once the game is live, the team already has a number of big projects to tackle for the game including adding support for private servers and mods, something Hines calls a “game changer” for “Fallout 76.”
“That’s a pretty big thing,” he said. “We need to put together some services that involve all of that.”
The team also plans to send out weekly to monthly updates.
“It needs to be a mix of things in size and scope,” he said. “From little, small stuff to adding events, to adding bigger things, all the way up to maybe adding a new mode that players might want.”
One example, Hines gave, was the reaction some have had to “Fallout 76’s” murder system, which essentially protects players who don’t want to participate in player-versus-player all of the time from harassment by those who do.
“Any number of people were OK with that,” Hines said of the reaction. “But some said, ‘That’s not fair. I just want PVP. PVP all of the time.’ If there’s enough of those people, maybe that will be a thing we look into.
Hines pointed to “Fallout 3” as an example of Bethesda listening more closely to how fans and players react to a game. There was a vocal group of players who weren’t happy the game ended, so Bethesda released an update that essentially removed the ending and let players keep moving forward without breaking the game’s narrative.
“We needed to react to what players wanted,” he said. “I imagine those sort of things will emerge when it comes to ‘Fallout 76’ too.”
One thing the team won’t be looking into any time soon is the addition of cross-platform play and progression to “Fallout 76,” between the computer, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. News of PlayStation’s sudden about-face on the topic came too late for Bethesda’s developers to incorporate the new support into the game. They haven’t even had a team to dig into what it means or how it works. Hines added.
“Once we get through the beta and get through the launch and someone has the time to look at it we can figure out what it might take,” he said. “I don’t know what it will take, but it will not be easy or straight-forward. If it’s something we end up doing, I guarantee it will take a while to do.”