LOS ANGELES — They knew a good deal when they saw one in 2004, when they bought “Fallout” from its failing creator, Interplay
After years of development, Bethesda Softworks, makers of the hugely successful "Elder Scrolls" series, is at the E3 Media and Business Summit at the Los Angeles Convention Center this week to show off "Fallout 3," the latest chapter in the post-Nuclear apocalypse role playing franchise, due on shelves in the fall.
Interplay’s release of "Fallout" in 1997 was a breath of fresh air to an otherwise depleted RPG game gene pool during a lackluster several years for RPG’s. Then, in came this real world, guns and rockets departure from dungeons, dragons, wizards, and elves.
That kind of history will give "Fallout 3" momentum, but Bethesda has sometimes been looked at as a step-parent to Fallout since buying it for $5,750,000. They completely remade the game, throwing out the work Interplay had done on its own version of "Fallout 3" before selling it off.
The company’s other titles have been mixed. It’s "Elder Scrolls" games and expansion packs for those games have sold millions of copies, won countless awards, and enjoyed nearly unanimous critical approval. That success has carried them despite less successful titles like the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie games; semi-failures like their half dozen or so Star Trek titles; and miserable failures like the 2006 "IHRA Drag Racing" simulation game.
Still, Bethesda likes to gamble, and it usually pays off.
"We took a lot of risks with â€˜[Elder Scrolls:] Oblivion’ and learned a lot doing such a massive game," said Todd Howard, executive producer for Bethesda, during Microsoft’s E3 briefing Monday. "We’ve learned a lot."
Bethesda hopes to market the game to hardcore and casual gamers — a very fashionable trend in the video game world today.
"Lots of people want an experience that is fun and well-executed. So that group is everyone from the most hardcore to casual gamers who buy 1 or 2 games a year," said Pete Hines, vice president of public relations and marketing for Bethesda, in an interview Monday. "Our marketing strategy is to hit those consumers in a lot of different ways, at different times."
Fallout 3 will be available for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 this fall.