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Should you believe the latest Fallout 4 rumours?

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Fallout 4 is coming. Probably. A leaked document from a casting agency has reignited rumours that Bethesda is working on the game, and that it’ll be set in post-nuclear-war Boston. Regardless of the authenticity of this latest leak, it’s hugely likely that Fallout 4 is in the works, and that it’s coming to next-gen and PC within a few years. Bethesda has declined to comment on “rumour and speculation”.

There’s usually truth to this kind of leak. Significant details of GTA’s story appeared months before the game’s actual announcement via a casting document, which outlined several of the main characters. The Fallout doc also talks about specific characters like radio DJ Travis Miles, and someone called Preston Garvey who sends you to salvage a fusion core from a museum. MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is listed as a location too. It’s all very plausible information. The Boston location ties in to a rumour that appeared last year, where another independent source claimed that Fallout 4 would be set on America’s east coast.

However, Fallout 4 is a game in high demand from fans. It has been two years since Skyrim, Elder Scrolls Online is an MMO--people want another meaty Bethesda RPG to sink their teeth into. Me included. And that has lead to several red herrings in the past few months: false leaks purporting to be from insiders who know about the game. 

Why would anyone create false rumours about a video game? Sometimes it’s wish-fulfilment: people want the game so badly, it’s as if they’re poking Bethesda into action. Sometimes it’s for publicity: news sites make leaps of faith with information to drive traffic. And sometimes… well, people just love to troll others. It’s easiest to troll a group of fans so desperate to have their new favourite game announced that they’re more likely to believe every half-assed rumour that comes their way.

Earlier this month, someone calling themselves DCHoaxer created a fake website that teased the announcement of the game at the VGX awards. When it was revealed that the site called Survivor 2299 was a hoax, DCHoaxer explained: “I wanted to force Bethesda to reveal something during VGX on 12/11, and bring /r/Fallout community together (for at least 3 weeks). Unfortunately, this plan failed.” He also freely admitted that he was “a douche”.

DCHoaxer’s website was no less plausible than this current casting document. Neither source provided any information that couldn’t be guessed at by anyone with a passing interest in the series. It’s a fact that Bethesda has trademarked the name Fallout 4, but that doesn’t necessarily mean any such game is in the works. Publishers regularly trademark names to retain the potential to create that game in the future, or to prevent someone else from beating them to it. However, in this case, the sheer number and variety of leaks imply that Bethesda is actively working on a new Fallout game rather than just being cautious. Will it be actually called Fallout 4? Who knows?

So while it’s sensible to suggest that 'Fallout 4' is in production, and exciting to think that we could be playing a new Bethesda RPG within the next couple of years, let’s not take these rumours as gospel. Because like infamous 90s TV icon Fox Mulder, the more we want to believe, the easier we are to fool.

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14 comments

  • Meleedragon27 - December 14, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    I want to believe and get my hopes up, but I'm hesitant to do such after the Survivor 2299 hoax (and I was so excited about that, too...). It's too soon to believe again after that, as much as I would like to, so I'm going to to remain skeptical until we finally hear something from Bethesda themselves.
  • winner2 - December 13, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    Yeah it's coming, but I would be suspicious even if they had a guy in a brotherhood suit handing out bobble heads as tickets to a special event at the Washington monument.
  • herrer - December 13, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    All I can say is that if the company is ready to release info then go on but please is there on thing I hate about the industry sometimes is the secrecy regarding some of these titles either do it or not.
  • -Saatkvss- - December 12, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    seems obvious to me that fallout 4 is coming. presumably within the first 2 years of next gen, after the inevitable bugs in elder scolls online have been fixed. i would certainly appreciate some confirmation from bethesda, asi loved fallout 3 and buggy new vegas. leaving the vault for the first time was my 2nd "watershed" moment as a gamer (jack taking his first bathysphere ride in bioshock has to be no.1) weren't bethesda kicking around a fallout mmo also?
  • Doctalen - December 12, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    I believe that was either the original Interplay thinking of it or an offshot of Interplay. I think it was the Van something project. I'll have to do some google searchs
  • brickman409 - December 12, 2013 5:36 p.m.

    Project V13 is what it was called.
  • Doctalen - December 12, 2013 5:37 p.m.

    Then what was the Van Buren thingy?
  • brickman409 - December 12, 2013 7:18 p.m.

    Van Buren was the subtitle of the original version of Fallout 3 that was being developed by Interplay
  • shawksta - December 12, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    My brother was soul crushingly dissapointed when Geoff said at VGX that "No, its not Fallout 4". Especially since he followed that countdown website. We all know Fallout4 is coming, the question is WHEN.
  • BackwaterRifle - December 12, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    A one piece of misinformation with this article. The site never teased a reveal at the VGX's, its countdown ended 4 days after. The 7th was just the day the site gave up its shenanigans, it never truly reached the end of the second countdown. I also want to call out Kotakus recent claims, they are most definitely in my mind BS.
  • g1rldraco7 - December 12, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    No. it just leads to broken hearts and faith :(
  • Sjoeki - December 12, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    With all those rumors created by that fake site, I really got my hopes up, when I found out that it was fake I started a new game in Fallout 3. I bought it at launch and played the crap out if it then. When I started my new game I once again was blown away when I exited vault 101. Still one of the best games I played this generation, and as far as Fallout 4 goes, I want to believe but I'll try not to get my hopes up till Bethesda gives some information.
  • Sy87 - December 12, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    I was so heart broken hearing that the website was a fake, but I was also hopeful that surely Bethesda would make another Fallout. If they weren't than the reaction has to tell them. As the systems get better you just have to make a new Bethesda RPGs. Thank you for giving me hope with some facts.

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