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Fallout 5: Will We Ever Get A Sequel?

"The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim" celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021 without a sequel has become a bit of a household joke at this point. Similarly, Bethesda's other signature IP, "Fallout," will overtake its previous record of seven years between titles ("Fallout 3" in 2008, "Fallout 4" in 2015) this November, with little news of development on a "Fallout 5." The only new content for the series seen since "Fallout 4" was "Fallout 76" in 2018, which promised an innovative new mode of online multiplayer in the universe. But with numerous bugs, gameplay issues, and story content that came far too late, the spin-off ultimately failed to live up to its own hype.

Now Bethesda seems to be prioritizing work on its upcoming "Starfield," with the officially announced "Elder Scrolls 6" purportedly in development. It looks like fans will see another single-player "Elder Scrolls" before a fresh "Fallout" release, which is far from bad news. But with the flop of "Fallout 76" and the developer's focus on an entirely new IP, it begs the question: Will there ever be a "Fallout 5?"

Bethesda has an idea for Fallout 5

In an extensive interview with IGN in 2021, director Todd Howard touched on Bethesda's long-term development plans across its ongoing franchises. Obviously, "Starfield" is taking up most of the studio's time and resources with a release date slotted for 2023. Most of the discussion focused around the development for "The Elder Scrolls 6" being pushed back. Howard mentioned he felt "The Elder Scrolls" franchise was in a healthy, "vibrant" place with the ongoing success of "The Elder Scrolls Online" giving the developers the confidence to focus on a new adventure.

The same can't quite be said for the "Fallout" franchise, and the director didn't have much to offer about the matter. When asked if any plans for a mainline "Fallout" were in place, Howard said that Bethesda has as much as a one-pager — the basic concept of a game's direction — on "Fallout 5," but not much more. He also clarified that despite the multiple new acquisitions Bethesda Softworks has at its disposal, "Fallout" remains part of the core Bethesda "DNA," and he couldn't see himself handing the franchise off to another developer at the moment.

As for when "Fallout 5" might enter production, he didn't say a lot other than that he'd love to speed up the development process. For now, it seems his guess is as good as anyone's.