It came as something of a pleasant surprise for everyone that Fallout 76 will feature a multiplayer in a shared world- a feature distinctly missing from any of the previous games and something Fallout 4 never attained. And now we know why.
In his interview for the new episode of the Noclip documentary, Todd Howard explained this as Bethesda always wanting to create the feature for Fallout 4 but never quite committing to it in favor of the linear, story-driven campaign (swing and a miss Todd). But according to Todd it was something that always stuck at the back of their minds.
“While developing Fallout 4, Bethesda wondered: “Hey, should we do multiplayer? ‘Probably not.’ What would it be? ‘OK, it would be this.’ Let’s talk it through. ‘OK, that’s pretty awesome.” He says.
As the idea kept nagging and nagging, their vision for the multiplayer clarified, they felt confident enough to do it and by the time they wanted to fully commit to it, they concluded that “it deserves its own thing”. “Every once in a while we’d keep talking about it. ‘We should’ve done that, we should do it.’ And as Fallout 4’s going on, it becomes ‘no, we should really do it as its own thing” Todd says.
The great designers working on Elder Scrolls Online helped greatly in this effort by bringing their MMO acumen to the table. That’s the story of what became Fallout 76 in a nutshell.