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Historical Consciousness in Fallout: New Vegas

Buckle up, this is a long post (~2800 words). Will probably go back and do some editing later.

In 1997, Interplay Entertainment’s subsidiary Black Isles released a small videogame called Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game, and released a follow-up the next year in Fallout 2. Black Isles hasn’t existed for years, not since Interplay’s financial troubles (which also forced the company to sell the rights to the Fallout series in 2006 to Bethesda Softworks), but the core membership of Black Isles (including Fallout 2 directors Tim Cain and Chris Avellone) founded a new development company called Obsidian, which you may be familiar with.

In 2008, Bethesda published Fallout 3, transforming the originally grid- and turn-based combat isometric into a 3D, first-person camera format much like Bethesda’s other flagship series, The Elder Scrolls. In 2010, presumably because Bethesda was busy developing Skyrim, Obsidian released a gaiden game called Fallout: New Vegas, set in the Mojave Wasteland (where parts of Fallout 1 and 2 take place), featuring many elements from Black Isles’ planned Fallout: Van Buren as well as a number of factions from the original isometric games.

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