If you want to return to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in 2018, that isn’t a problem, as the 16-year-old game is completely offline. The same effectively goes for newer Bethesda titles like Fallout 4, but Fallout 76‘s online-only structure makes it more of a question mark. According to Bethesda, however, the game is never going to go offline.
Speaking to GameSpot, Bethesda SVP of global marketing and communications Pete Hines pointed to World of Warcraft as an example of the longevity the company is shooting for with Fallout 76.
“How long is [the game] going to be up? Forever,” he said. “I don’t know how to give an answer other than that. It’s not like anybody makes a game and goes, ‘Well this is going to make it for 10 years if we’re lucky.’ Nobody thinks that way. How long has [World of Warcraft] been up now? Is that gaming planning to sunset in a year? I seriously doubt it.”
Hines did concede that if it got to the point where private servers were being used several years down the road, he didn’t know if the game would continue, but this wasn’t really being considered yet.
Much of the long-term success of Fallout 76 will come down to players’ support, however, as the game was designed from the ground-up to be based on multiplayer interactivity. All human characters in the game are controlled by other players, with other species handled by A.I. It is still possible to play through much of the game by yourself, but those looking for that sort of isolated experience will be more at home in Fallout 4 or Skyrim. With the latter game available on basically every console, you never have to be without it, either.
Bethesda isn’t dropping support for traditional role-playing games. The developer is currently working on the science-fiction title Starfield, though details on it are scarce at the moment. After that, it will develop The Elder Scrolls VI, which was teased with a title and short video clip at E3 2018. Both games are expected to come to next-generation consoles, and we wouldn’t expect to see a fifth traditional Fallout game anytime soon.