Fallout: New Vegas dev tried to make an Elder Scrolls spin-off

Fallout: New Vegas dev tried to make an Elder Scrolls spin-off
Bethesda | Obsidian Entertainment

Written by 

Tom Chapman


18th Dec 2023 14:40

Is there anything more frustrating than a gaming what if? From rumours of a canned GTA 4 remake to Star Wars: 1313, a Gotham by Gaslight game to us still lamenting the loss of Silent Hills, there's a universe of untapped potential that we'll sadly never get to play. 

Bethesda has the keys to some of the biggest IPs out there, and it'll come as no surprise that both Fallout and The Elder Scrolls are also awash with cancelled games that will never see the light of day. Interplay was once working on Fallout Online, while The Elder Scrolls Travels: Oblivion was a cancelled PSP game.

Fallout: New Vegas dev pitched an Elder Scrolls spin-off

Elder Scrolls Online Halloween Wolf Hunt
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From the depths of video game development, we've got an insight into what could've been. Apparently, the studio behind Fallout: New Vegas pitched a spin-off to Bethesda, hoping to work its New Vegas magic on Tamriel. 

Responding to an 80-level story on Twitter (via PCGamesN), New Vegas writer Chris Avellone explained how he pitched an Elder Scrolls spin-off that would've filled in the gaps between Bethesda's mainline entries. As Bethesda focused on Fallout 4, Obsidian Entertainment delivered New Vegas in 2010. 

"I thought it couldn’t hurt to try and push a similar system to what Treyarch/Activision had going with Call of Duty at the time (but hopefully less rushed)," said Avellone. "Bethesda could do a core release, then we'd release an Elder Scrolls title (in the same world or a divergent timeline/era) before the next big Bethesda push."

While New Vegas has become a cult classic and is regarded as one of the best RPGs of all time, this wasn't always the case. "Not surprisingly, it didn’t gain much traction," continued Avellone. "I never got the impression Bethesda was happy with Fallout New Vegas’ reception (good and bad)."

What was Obsidian's Elder Scrolls spin-off about?

Waxing lyrical about what could've been, Avellone explained the pitch he made - sounding like a multiverse adventure. "If Bethesda didn’t want us messing with their core world, one was a spinoff where you adventured in an alternate Elder Scrolls world the last hero had failed to save in the last round of Elder Scroll titles."

In February 2022, Avellone first revealed the idea of an Elder Scrolls spin-off from the New Vegas team, but it's taken 18 months for him to lift the curtain. Sadly, even the fact that Obsidian and Bethesda both sit under the Microsoft umbrella doesn't mean we'll see the pair unite on future Fallout or Elder Scrolls titles. 

There's still plenty of talk for New Vegas 2, but for whatever reason, Bethesda isn't willing to fill that Fallout-shaped hole in our lives. At least The Elder Scrolls 6 is rumbling forward, and now that Starfield has blasted off, Bethesda has vowed to (eventually) turn its attention back to the sword-swinging saga.

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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