Despite an official confirmation by Bethesda, we at Gizmosphere are going to call it: Fallout 5 is going to happen. In fact, we dare say that Fallout 5’s release is pretty much an inevitability at this point, given the sheer popularity and cultural reach of the series.
Now, as to when Fallout 5 is going to be released, we don’t have enough to speculate on, but we do know that Bethesda has been busy the past couple of years.
Officially, Bethesda is focusing on Starfield, its first original RPG in over 25 years. It’s been in the making since mid-2010, and as of late 2020, we’ve yet to see any kind of Open Beta or even Closed Alpha testing. This means that any hopes of a Fallout 5 (or even an Elder Scrolls VI) will only happen if Starfield happens.
Which isn’t to say that Bethesda has been quiet on their other franchises: riding on Skyrim’s enduring popularity, the studio has released remake after remake of the cult classic over the past decade, while the Fallout series has seen a bit more movement: Fallout 4 was the franchise’s last major release back in 2015, followed by Fallout 76 in 2018. Fallout 4 received critical acclaim while Fallout 76 became notorious for being buggy and for focusing on online multiplayer rather than serving as a continuation of the game’s main narrative.
This means that Fallout 4 is the last game in the franchise’s award-winning main storyline. While this might not seem like much, remember that the Fallout series is one of Bethesda’s biggest sellers, so releasing a Fallout 5 for next-gen consoles is a more-than-likely situation, especially given the predicted increase in the lifecycle of the PS5 and Xbox Series X (with experts pegging the consoles to last around 7 years, maybe even a decade, before being replaced, a tech trend that’s here to stay even after COVID-19).
Another clue would be Microsoft’s purchase of Zenimax, Bethesda’s parent company. While the exact details of the purchase and how it would affect Bethesda’s lineup of videogames, this can mean that Fallout 5 might just be an Xbox/PC exclusive. Again, that’s pure speculation on our part, but given the Series X’ dismal sales compared to the PS5, it’s not completely impossible.
Again, a lot of what we’re talking about here is mostly speculation based on rumors, leaks, whispers in the dark, and theories based on market movements and business acquisitions (thank the power of the internet and social media for helping people voice their opinions). Here are all the things we’ve heard about Fallout 5:
Fallout 5: Where Can I Play It?
The most likely platforms that will host Fallout 5’s release will be the Xbox Series X and the PC, with a PS5 port being an inevitability. Even with a pessimistic (or, realistic?) release date of 2024, given these console’s extended lifecycle, these are the most likely places you’ll see Fallout 5
Again, there is speculation that Fallout 5 might be a Series X/PC exclusive, given Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda’s parent company and given the Series X losing out to the PS5 on release. However, Xbox officials did come out to say that exclusivity deals on new releases, particularly from Bethesda, will be decided on a case-to-case basis. Given the two reasons above, however, Fallout 5 has a good case of being an Xbox Series X/PC exclusive.
Fallout 5: Where is the Game Going to Be Set?
The Fallout series has always been set in a post-apocalyptic America that’s been ravaged by 200 years of nuclear winters, so it’ll be no surprise that Fallout 5 will most likely be set on American soil. Exactly where in America, though, is up for debate.
Each Fallout game has been set in a specific region of the country, with Fallout 3 primarily taking place in Washington D.C., New Vegas being set in the Las Vegas area, Fallout 4 taking place in Boston and the New England area, and Fallout ’76 taking place in West Virginia.
Without any official announcement from Bethesda, every information we have about Fallout 5’s setting and story is based off of rumors from purported “insiders” and long-time fans, with some of our favorites being:
Fallout 5: New Orleans
The frontrunner rumor for a Fallout 5 setting, the Big Easy is believed to be the next setting of the franchise because of a trademark application for the name “Fallout New Orleans” back in 2016. The trademark has yet to be applied to any product, not as a Fallout 4 DLC or a Fallout ’76 expansion. Some experts argue that Bethesda reserved it for later usage, while some people think it’s a clever bait-and-switch by the company to throw eagle-eyed fans off the trail. Time will tell, however, if the rumor is accurate.
A Fallout game set in NOLA would be very interesting, though: we’ve already seen swampy areas throughout the franchise, but a game entirely set in the Deep South would be a very interesting take on the story, and we’d be treated to some highly unique characters and situations that we haven’t seen in the series (Voodoo mutants, maybe?)
Fallout 5: Chicago
Rumors of a Fallout game being set in the Windy City were spurred way back in 2010, when perceptive players picked up on a hint in-game about an Enclave outpost all the way in Chicago. Of course, there have been 2 games and a ton of DLC’s that haven’t given this rumor any validity whatsoever. Still, it would be interesting to see how America’s Second City might have survived the nuclear apocalypse.
Fallout 5: International?
This is less of a rumor and more of a theory by fans, but the idea of setting Fallout 5 outside of the U.S. of A might just be the fresh take the series needs. It would be remarkably interesting to see how the rest of the world has coped with Fallout’s narrative apocalypse, or if they even experienced it at all. Fans are speculating a Russian, Chinese, even Korean, cities as possible settings for Fallout 5, if not for these countries interesting relationship with our country (both in-game and IRL), then for the fact that these are the 3 biggest markets of the game outside of North America.
Again, to reiterate, these are all rumors and fan theories. Unfortunately, we have to wait for an official Bethesda announcement before we can make a solid, verifiable claim to Fallout 5’s setting.
Fallout 5: Who, What, When?
If we’re to take into account historical releases of the franchise, Fallout 5 will most likely take place a few years after Fallout 4 (which was set 120 years after the events of Fallout 3). Of course, this doesn’t mean that the studio won’t consider creating Fallout 5 as a prequel or a spinoff (as seen in Fallout ’76 and Fallout New Vegas), but Fallout’s numbered games are almost-always continuations of the main story.
We still don’t know which console will host Fallout 5, but most likely it will be released on the Series X and on PC first (by then, you’ll probably finally have finished building the best gaming PC under $1000), with a PS5 port being a distinct possibility.
As for release date, well…
Fallout 5: Release Date
There has been no official word from Bethesda as to when Fallout 5 is coming out. As of the moment, all we have are pure speculations and rumors. Again, Bethesda is focusing all its efforts on Starfield, which means that Fallout 5’s release date might be somewhere closer to 2022, with the most optimistic predictions going as early as mid-2021.
A 2022 release date for Fallout 5 does make sense, however, considering that the previous games were released in 7-year gaps: Fallout 3 came out in 2008, while Fallout 4 came out in 2015. Of course, with the pandemic of 2020 and the slow-down many industries faced because of it, we might see a slight delay.
Now for some pessimistic views: some analysts don’t even want to speculate about a Fallout 5 release date specifically because Bethesda has yet to confirm a Fallout 5 to begin with. Again, Bethesda is focusing most of its current efforts on perfecting and releasing Starfield, which has yet to see a release date on its own. It’s also trying to release improvements on Fallout ’76, all the while planning and pre-producing Elder Scrolls VI as well.
So while the most optimistic of us might want to think that a 2022 (or even a late-2021) release date for Fallout 5 is realistic, the more pessimistic of us think that a 2024 (even a 2025) release date is more likely.