Although the upcoming Fallout 76 will be the franchise's first online multiplayer, Bethesda boss Todd Howard says single-player options could appear in the future. Despite an impressive marketing campaign ahead of Fallout 76's November release, many gamers are still left confused about how the game will work.
As fans once again prepare to head out into the Wasteland, they're promised that Fallout 76 won't be as lonely as previous titles in the series. Teamwork is key in the MMO, and although NPCs are being almost totally done away with to make for a PvP experience, developers have clearly looked into returning to a classic Fallout formula somewhere down the line.
Fallout 76 may be something different to the "main" series of Fallout games, but that hasn't stopped Howard reiterating that it will still be part of the same family. Asked by Italian website Multiplayer.it whether Fallout 76 will contain any single-player areas or dedicated player vs environment servers, he confirmed that it won't be part of the game's launch:
“Not at the launch. When you come into play you can see the other players but you will not be forced to interact with them; you can play on your own. You can see them but you do not have to fight them. Maybe you can use them to exchange items, to join a team, or you can visit their camp. There are a lot of things you can do with other players that is not a comparison with weapons. However, one of our long-term plans is to have servers where you can live your lonely world. You alone. Or at the limit where you can invite only your friends; or you can apply mods and change the rules at your discretion. All of this is in our projects but there will not be at the launch of the game.”
While Howard doesn't give a timeframe for the possible introduction of a single-player option, the popularity of Grand Theft Auto Online shows the potential of a game like Fallout 76 running for a long time. If Fallout 76 is as popular as Bethesda hopes, it could become an evolving title that might one day have single-player servers or even move beyond its West Virginia backdrop.
Considering Fallout 76 has made such a big deal about its cooperative mechanics and working together as part of a team, it makes sense that Bethesda continues to push the unique selling point when the game launches. That being said, World of Warcraft has already shown the benefits of PvE within a multiplayer game. It is a handy way for casual gamers to train and level up without the fear of being harassed by bloodthirsty players. On the flip side, PvE can be criticized as a lonely style of gameplay that encourages fans to go it alone rather than get into the spirit of teamwork.
There is a long-term plan as Bethesda promises cosmetic microtransactions will help fund Fallout 76's DLC options for "years and years." What the game's shelf left is remains to be seen, but it sounds like those aloof players who want to become their own scavenging loners will also be catered for at some point. Whether buddying up to take on the apocalypse with friends or echoing the single-player campaigns of the Sole Survivor, Courier, and Lone Wanderer, Bethesda is working on something for everyone with Fallout 76.