Two years after Bethesda and its internal studio Bethesda Game Studios released Fallout 3 in 2008, Fallout: New Vegas, the fourth major installment in the series, hit from contracted developer Obsidian Entertainment.
Just like Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas was a massive hit commercially and critically, heavily decorated with game of the year awards for 2010, and having shipped an estimated 12 million copies.
But the game that wind up shipping on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC wasn’t always the game Obsidian was planning. According to Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart — via Euorgamer — New Vegas originally had three playable races: human, ghoul, and super mutant, before Bethesda stepped-in and nudged the UK studio the other way. Urquhart specifically revealed the following:
“Originally we had this idea where the player would be able to choose between three races: human, ghoul and super mutant,” he said. “It was just the engine…
“It really had to do with how all the weapons and armor worked. Trying to have them all work with ghouls and super mutants was just going to be – [Bethesda] felt like it was going to be a nightmare. It wasn’t like they said no but it was a very strongly worded, ‘We would really suggest that you not try to do that.'”
Urquhart also revealed to the outlet that given the history of Obsidian/Black Isle, Bethesda didn’t need much convincing when it proposed doing a project within the series. According to the CEO, the initial pitch was roughly three pages, and at first pitched the project as Fallout: Sin City, a name that apparently quickly got changed to Fallout: New Vegas.
As for where the game would take place, with Bethesda Game Studios seemingly having the east coast locked down, Obsidian decided to head to the western side of the country. Urquhart provides the following brief explanation as to how the team ended up on the setting it did.
“Someone threw up New Reno as one of the crazy things we did and then we saw Vegas and we just went with it. From there it was like the ’50s had the Rat Pack, then someone threw out the idea there was the scene in Goodfellas where you get taken out into the desert and whacked and thrown into a grave, and it it all kind of turned that way.”
Fallout: New Vegas is available on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, as well as Xbox One via Backward Compatibility.