Back at E3 we got a whole load of details about Bethesda's Fallout 76, and during the event in Los Angeles we also caught up with company frontman Pete Hines to have a chat, during which time we asked him about their approach to multiplayer considering they've advertised themselves as saviours of the single-player.
"Well, first of all, as a publisher I am extremely comfortable with where we are in single-player games, between all of the stuff that we did last year and all of the things we just announced, right," Hines explained. "We didn't just announce Prey last year as a wholly single-player game, but then we just released brand new DLC for it and a ton of free updates for the game. Wolfenstein is a single-player game that we wanted to add co-op to because we figured with the twin sisters, rather than her just being AI, that would be cool [...] Rage 2, Doom Eternal - all of these games are embracing and doing single-player, as is Fallout 76."
"When I play, I'm not on the schedule of a lot of people that I work with or my friends or my kids, so I end up playing any kind of game that's online by myself anyway. I've played Fallout 76 almost entirely that way myself because that's kind of my preference, and I sort of want to see what that feels like."
"But the truth is this game is not what everybody expects or immediately jumps to. I understand when you hear 'online' or you hear 'multiplayer' or 'PvP' that people jump to 'well, it's an MMO' or 'it's a free-for-all where everybody's just shooting each other' or 'I'm gonna get griefed constantly by other players'. And the fact is, this just doesn't fit into the mould of anything else, because that's what Bethesda Game Studios does."
"We aren't the type of company and they're not the type of developer that looks at what somebody else is doing and says 'oh, we're just gonna do that'. No, we're gonna do something we feel is very unique in the space that somebody else hasn't really done, because that's what we're actually best at, is doing things and going places where other folks aren't trying and pushing boundaries a little bit, so I think as more information comes out and folks understand it's not tons and tons of people, it's post-apocalyptic, it's gonna be dozens and dozens, not hundreds, that you can't just have someone keep chasing you down and killing you over and over again, the game just doesn't allow for that - the PvP is almost more of a challenge system, not just a 'kill everybody that you see' - that we do want folks to roleplay."
Have you had concerns about the online aspect of Fallout 76?