Bethesda – A Catalogue in Waiting

I have a question to ask and it’s pretty simple; why does Bethesda Game Studios hate money?

Instead of pumping resources into remastering Skyrim for the upteenth time (which no, they’re literally doing), can we not just get a remaster of Fallout 3? To be fair, one could understand why something like Fallout: New Vegas is not getting a remaster, as it wasn’t made by Bethesda and they’re still jealous about it being the best Fallout game. So they don’t have much of a connection to it in the same way as they would for good old Fallout 3.

Fallout 3 is a beloved game by all accounts. It was my personal entry point into the series, inspired my first tattoo, as well as a lifelong obsession with the franchise for better or for worse.

But the wasted opportunity, guys. C’mon.

A Catalogue in Waiting

We don’t have a solid remaster of this game is beyond all reason. Fallout 3 is beloved by many and widely hailed as Bethesda Game Studio’s peak non-Skyrim accomplishment.

This is not even to mention the potential of a Fallout 1 and 2 remix. Imagine, rebuilding those games in the Creation engine, and letting people who hate twenty year old isometric gameplay experience those landmarks in HD.

So many haven’t ever played these games, yet Bethesda has the ability to remake them right there on their shelf. Wasteland’s comeback shows that people can still play those styles and not keel over and die, but they don’t play as well on console as they do on PC. And, as Microsoft own them now, console should be king for a while.

However, if we keep the engine you had for Fallout 76 – not really that bad, all things considered – then we have the potential to simply port over the story and location of Fallout and Fallout 2, possibly into a single game, and we’re in business.

It is unlikely that this will happen, since the Fallout franchise has steadily declined to a cash grab, barely releasing game content. Instead a steady stream of pop vinyls and overpriced shirts issues forth from the online store, with products getting Less and less relevant with each restock. It seems like Bethesda fundamentally does not understand the Fallout franchise at all. That’s because they don’t.

This might seem overly harsh, but realistically we have seen the studio that brought us the beloved Fallout 3, the very playable Fallout 4, and the terrible at launch but now actually quite good Fallout 76, and we don’t have to stretch much to see that something ain’t quite right. Microtransactions, reduced content in favour of repetitive busywork, and radio silence leaves us with atomic ennui.

Ain’t that a kick in the Head

An updated port of the Fallout and Fallout 2 stories and settings, built in the Fallout 4 or 76 engine, and what you’ve got there is a literal recipe for printing money. Get on that.

Even more confusing, however, is Morrowind. This time I can’t play the whole inherited IP card, so there are three possibilities,

First, Bethesda hates its own creation. This is unlikely, considering the success of the Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind expansion, and the well-received Solstheim additon to Skyrim. So it’s not that.

Second, Bethesda doesn’t think Morrowind holds up. This again seems unlikely for the same reasons as above; why would they keep putting out content for their poorer cousins based on the old goodies?

Third, and most likely, is that they’re really goddam busy on Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6, and don’t trust a smaller team to handle those or remasters. To that, I say look at Fallout New Vegas. While that launched with more bugs than a mattress at Moriarty’s Saloon, that game holds up so unbelievably well that it’s difficult to remember that it came out on the same console as Oblivion did.

And don’t even get me started on Oblivion.

Proverbial money in a literal proverbial bank

If we’ve learned anything from the Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, and Medievil remakes, it’s that recreating a game from scratch is a lot of effort, but well worth it. 

Bethesda, please, get on it. None of us need a new version of Skyrim released for the XBX, PS5, and/or toaster. Morrowind, Oblivion, and the first three Fallout games are right there, begging for all those volumetric god rays you seem to love so much even if no one can give me a straight answer as to what they are. I personally guarantee you make an unholy fortune from any of these ideas.

I’m not saying that the world will move on, like they did with Game of Thrones after it shit the bed and the possibly decent prequel took so long that no one cares. But also, more accurately, I’m saying exactly that. It’s been a decade since Skyrim. Let it go, and revive some classics before you’re just shadows on the wall of the zeitgeist.

But I’m a random writer in the arse end of nowhere, and you’re award-winning developers perched on the precipice of ruin. So, you know, ball’s in your court.

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