Fallout games are a series of role-playing video games developed by Interplay, Black Isle, Bethesda Game Studios, and a number of other studios, released either by Interplay Entertainment and, since 2008, Bethesda Softworks. The series encompasses both "core" role-playing titles and a number of spin-offs, as well as a significant number of cancelled projects.
Born out of Interplay's GURPS project, Fallout was originally intended to be a sequel to Wasteland, but due to licensing issues (the Wasteland IP was owned by Electronic Arts in the early 1990s), the team had to settle on producing a new, unique setting. Drawing inspiration from a plethora of sources, the Fallout setting is an eclectic mix of influences, mixing Mad Max, Wasteland, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic fiction, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and of course, 1950s Americana and science fiction into one. Over a quarter of a century, the series has evolved into a massive media franchise attracting millions of players, and its setting solidified into a distinct retrofuturistic vision of an apocalyptic future.
The core system of the series, SPECIAL, was created specifically for the game, but was not the original choice. Vault 13: A GURPS Post-Nuclear Adventure relied on Steve Jackson's venerable Generic Universal RolePlaying System and the entire game was designed around it. When Interplay unilaterally broke the contract a few months before release, SPECIAL was created to fill in the void. It has been a staple of the series ever since and went through multiple iterations.
Although a smash hit for Interplay, a string of bad business decisions, abortive attempts to cash-in on the franchise, and two underwhelming games led to the once-great publisher licensing the franchise to Bethesda Softworks in 2004. Although the deal originally only covered three games, litigation between Interplay and Bethesda Softworks eventually resulted in the latter securing the rights to the entire intellectual property in 2007. Since Fallout 3's release in 2008, Bethesda has held exclusive rights to the IP.
|Game||Developer||Publisher||Release Date||Platforms||Genre||Related games|
|Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role-Playing Game||Interplay Entertainment Fallout team||Interplay Entertainment||1997||PC
|Isometric role-playing game||Vault 13: A GURPS Post-Nuclear Adventure (early version)|
|Fallout 2: A Post Nuclear Role-Playing Game||Black Isle Studios||Interplay Entertainment||1998 (PC)
|Isometric role-playing game|
|Fallout Tactics*||Micro Forté||Interplay Entertainment||2001||PC||Isometric tactical game||Fallout: Warfare (tabletop component)|
|Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel*||Interplay Entertainment||Interplay Entertainment||2004||Playstation 2
|Overhead action game|
|Fallout 3||Bethesda Game Studios||Bethesda Softworks||2008||PC
|First person role-playing game|
|Fallout: New Vegas||Obsidian Entertainment||Bethesda Softworks||2010||PC
|First person role-playing game|
|Fallout 4||Bethesda Game Studios||Bethesda Softworks||2015||PC
|First person role-playing game||Fallout Shelter (free to play management game)|
|Fallout 76||Bethesda Game Studios||Bethesda Softworks||2018||PC
|First person online role-playing game**||Fallout: Wasteland Warfare (tabletop game)|
* Both Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel are considered non-canon by the current IP holder. See Fallout canon for details.
** Although Fallout 76 is billed as an RPG, it is a multiplayer spin-off designed for online play only and currently does not have branching storylines, dialogue choices, or human non-player characters.
- Fallout Trilogy: A collection of Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics released in 2004. Originally distributed by Interplay, rights to the trilogy passed on to Bethesda Softworks in 2014.
- Fallout Anthology: A collection consisting of Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, released by Bethesda Softworks in 2015.
- Fallout game for the first PlayStation: Canceled after less than half a year of prototyping, still in pre-production.
- Fallout Extreme: Squad-based TPP/FPP tactical game developed at 14 Degrees East. Cancelled in 2000.
- Fallout Tactics 2: Initially greenlighted, but flagging sales of the previous game resulted in the Micro Forté project being cancelled in 2001.
- Van Buren (BIS project codename): Fallout 3 developed by Black Isle Studios after Project Jefferson was canceled due to Interplay losing the rights to the Dungeons & Dragons license. The project was affected by corporate mismanagement and by the end numerous developers were working without pay. Cancelled in 2003.
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel: Vagrant Lands: Sequel to the previous game, cancelled in 2004 in the midst of litigation with Snowblind Studios.
- Fallout d20, a licensed pen-and-paper role-playing game by Glutton Creeper Games. Rebranded in 2007 as a generic post-apocalyptic game called Exodus after Bethesda Softworks issued a cease and desist letter stating that Interplay was never within its rights to license its development.
- Project V13 (also known as Fallout Online), a massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) set in the Fallout world, developed by Interplay and Masthead Studios. Canceled in 2012 after lengthy litigation.
- Van Buren PnP, a cards-and-dice pen-and-paper game used by Black Isle Studios to test the first iteration of Van Buren rules.