Bethesda: Why It's Called 'Fallout 3' And Not Just 'Fallout'

There's a deep sense of attachment for "Fallout" fans. When Bethesda Softworks revealed they were doing "Fallout 3" in a style different from the original games, many old-time fans cried bloody murder.

I always wondered why Bethesda chose to place a three in the title. If they had just named it "Fallout," wouldn't people's expectations have been altered? Fans would be happy with a new "Fallout" game and newcomers wouldn't have a barrier to entry.

Even though my interview with "Fallout 3" product manager Pete Hines is a few weeks old, as "Fallout 3" ships to gamers this week, the question is still relevant. So, Pete, why call it "Fallout 3?"

"We do consider it to be part of the series and we are trying to continue the legacy of 'Fallout 1' and '2'," explained Hines. "That's part of it, which is that we wanted to fit in to what's going on. We didn't want to suddenly just call it 'Fallout' because then it's like we're trying to pretend like the first one didn't [exist]."

The way Hines talked about the subject, you could sense that making Bethesda's take on "Fallout" as an official third entry raised the stakes for them on a personal level. It drove them to make this a true "Fallout" sequel, not a mere reboot, even if the visuals had changed.

"Honestly, we never really seriously considered anything else. It's the next Fallout game"

"There's only one 'Fallout' ever. There's only one 'Fallout 2,'" said Hines. "Those games will always exist and we didn't want to do anything that was seen as trying to start over again. Honestly, we never really seriously considered anything else. It's the next 'Fallout' game, that's what we're trying to to, both for people who played the original games and people who never have."

And as for my theory that some players unfamiliar with "Fallout" might ignore a games series they know nothing about, Hines laughed it off.

"I don't think so, based on how well we did on 'Oblivion,'" he said. "They [gamers] just saw 'that looks cool, I wanna play that.' And since we make it such that you don't have to play the original ['Fallout'], there's no real barrier to entry in terms of getting into the series now."

"Fallout" fans, does the number three mean anything to you, or am I just overanalyzing things?

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