Work has begun on Fallout 5 – but don’t hold your breath for its release

There’s a new Fallout game in the works at Bethesda – but it’ll be quite some time before Fallout 5 hits consoles or PCs.

Speaking to IGN regarding the impending release of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Anniversary Edition, Bethesda studio director Todd Howard revealed that a “one-pager” design document is already in place for Fallout 5, being a very early blueprint for what the studio has planned for the game.

But as the “one-pager” description suggests, there’s very little to share at the moment, with Bethesda’s immediate concerns being the latest Skyrim re-release, and next year’s Starfield. That’s before even considering the work taking place on The Elder Scrolls 6, which at least at this point has a teaser trailer out.

So, in other words, don’t hold your breath on a Fallout 5 release date being revealed any time soon.

Analysis: New Vegas 2?

That’s not to say Fallout isn’t still a property that Bethesda cares about. "Fallout's really part of our DNA here,” said Howard.

But with Bethesda now part of the Xbox Studios family, part of a stable it shares with fellow open-world RPG makers Obsidian, there’s been inevitable discussions as to whether the series may transfer over to Obsidian’s stewardship at some point.

This wouldn’t be as far-fetched as it may initially seem – Obsidian handled development duties on the Xbox 360 era Fallout: New Vegas, a game highly regarded for capturing the spirit of the series isometric roots (even if a litany of bugs and a rushed development cycle prevented it being polished to greatness).

"We've worked with other people from time to time,” said Howard in regards to Obsidian’s potential involvement. 

"I can't say what's gonna happen...If I could wave my hand and have [Fallout 5] out...you know, I'd like to find a way to accelerate what we do, but I can't really say today or commit to anything, what's going to happen when, other than our cadence is Starfield then Elder Scrolls 6". 

Obsidian has its hands full too – it’s working on Avowed, its own take on The Elder Scrolls formula, and has ongoing development with survival game Grounded to take care of, as well as a sequel to The Outer Worlds.

In the meantime, Fallout fans have MMO-like Fallout 76 to tide them over. But with two Xbox Studios with Fallout franchise experience under Microsoft’s roof, don’t be surprised if some sort of collaboration takes place.

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