Fallout Shelter has been a wonderful surprise hit ever since it was released during E3 2015. Fallout fans love it, and nobody seems to have anything horrible to say about it despite it being one of those loathsome free-to-play games. Ewww…
However, would fans have had the same positive reaction if it was released last year? Bethesda doesn’t think so. In fact, it thinks such a happy little game might have made gamers mad. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Bethesda executive Pete Hines discusses the timing of the release.
“If we tried to do this last year without announcing [Fallout 4 for consoles and PC] and said, ‘Oh we’re doing a game and it’s on mobile and it’s called Fallout Shelter,’ we’d probably get lynched, right?
There would be pitchforks at the gate. ‘That’s not the Fallout we asked for, you bastards!’
But doing it this way, they’re like, ‘I’m getting what I want and oh, by the way, while I wait here’s this other free thing that’s fun to play.’ So part of it is just how do we not get ourselves killed and make it a success?”
Is he wrong? Would this game that has brought a smile to even the most outspoken of free-to-play critics if Fallout 4 had not been confirmed by that point?
I hear the complaints now. “Why are these jerks making a crummy free-to-play game when all we really want is Fallout 4?” and “What a bunch of sellouts! Where is Fallout 4?” “Publishers are just into cheap cash-ins, and I’ve lost all purpose in my life as a result.”
Stop and think about that the next time you’re about to jump to a conclusion. I’m guilty just as much as anyone, but I would have totally written off a fun little mobile game and further frustrated a developer who was already working its tail off on the game I really wanted to see.
Patience is a virtue we gamers need to practice if Bethesda worried about such a circumstance.