Fallout 4 is an ever-popular attendee on the videogame rumour merry-go-round. It’s one of those games where the smallest hint of information, or semantic intonation of a Bethesda tweet, can receive substantial analysis from media and community alike.
It’s also one of the few titles that attracts regular fakes and hoaxes, from invented European trademark filings to entire websites (remember the hijinx at Survivor2299.com?)
As E3 2015 approaches, the rumblings and whisperings about a possible Fallout 4 reveal are getting louder. That would be lovely, but are these rumours grounded in pure craving or something closer to reality? Let’s have a look at the evidence so far.
Things We Know For Sure.
1. Bethesda are hosting an E3 presentation for the very first time.
On 14 June, Bethesda will be hosting their very first E3 event. The unique nature of this makes it a focus for speculation. It’s possible that from this point on Bethesda will always be at E3 (in which case 2015 will just be the first in a now-regular occurrence,) or it may be the case that the publisher feels it has an especially strong line-up for the coming months.
2. Role-playing, action and free-to-play are listed as Bethesda’s E3 ‘product categories.’
If you search for Bethesda on the E3 exhibitor page, it will show a long list of 33 ‘product categories.’ Once such entry is ‘role-playing,’ which has led some to speculate that this is further evidence for Fallout 4. However, ‘role-playing’ is listed against seven different platforms, including generic ‘Xbox’ and ‘Playstation’ labels (presumably catch-all terms, rather than the alarming possibility of Bethesda releasing a PS1 and original Xbox game in 2015.) It seems fairly unlikely Fallout 4 would be geared towards anything other than current generation platforms.
Other publisher pages like Ubisoft’s or ArenaNet’s either have no ‘product categories’ at all, or much tigher ones (ArenaNet’s says MMO/Role-playing for PC.) Bethesda’s is very general and looks like it may have been put together by a third-party (perhaps an E3 site admin) vaguely familiar with the publisher’s titles, rather than the company itself.
The product categories list is there. We do know about it. But it’s difficult to draw many conclusions when the listings are so broad.
Things We’re Pretty Sure About.
1. An artist contracted to Mirada Studios listed “Fallout 4 cinematic trailer” on their LinkedIn profile.
I’m putting this in “pretty sure,” because my LinkedIn access isn’t high enough to be able to directly confirm whether this listing is still on the artist’s page. The image cap looks authentic enough, but you never know.
If it is indeed real (as it seems,) then a 3D artist contracted to California’s Mirada Studios worked on a cinematic trailer for Fallout 4 between December 2014 and March 2015. A cinematic trailer is exactly the sort of thing likely to be part of any “first reveal” of the game. This wouldn’t be confirmation of an E3 reveal, but it would suggest that Bethesda are actively putting together marketing materials for a future announcement.
An interesting side point to this is that one of the co-founders of Mirada Studios is Guillermo del Toro, a director who has a long-time working relationship with Ron Perlman; the narrative voice of the Fallout series. This is probably nothing more than a coincidence, but a neat little tie-in nonetheless.
2. Bethesda have other games to show.
Bethesda could quite easily fill up an E3 show without any sign of Fallout 4. It’s pretty certain they’ll show something from the new Doom (shown behind closed doors at QuakeCon 2014, and already announced.) Battlecry may well get a spot since it’s scheduled to come out in 2015, and would fit the ‘free-to-play’ listing on Bethesda’s E3 page.
There are also suggestions that a Dishonored: Definitive Edition (remastered for the newer consoles) is on the cards after a listing showed up on a Brazilian ratings site. The listing has since been removed.
The Elder Scrolls Online is likely to get some time devoted to it as well. Plus, there’s the possibility that Bethesda will use the event to announce something nobody has thought of or managed to leak yet.
Something From May That Was Already Pretty Debunked.
1. Some dubious looking art assets labelled as Fallout 4.
I’m restricting this to debunked rumours from recent weeks, otherwise we’d be here all day listing things like the made up stuff posted on Reddit two years ago.
Earlier in the month an image depicting a winter coat and a woman in shorts with the label “My works on [Fallout 4]” popped up on NeoGaf. It looked extremely dubious and posters quickly figured out that the woman looked identical to a character from 2013‘s Tomb Raider multiplayer mode. It’s probably safe to ignore this particular non-clue.
So, Shall We All Prepare For Fallout 4 on 14 June?
As you could probably have guessed, this article isn’t able to reach any concrete conclusions. To do so would be irresponsible and misleading.
Bethesda’s first ever E3 presentation event would be a fine venue for a Fallout 4 announcement, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed. The ‘cinematic trailer’ listing is quite compelling as well, yet doesn’t prove much beyond ‘Bethesda is experimenting with some Fallout 4 materials.’ We can pretty much assume Bethesda are working on a new Fallout; alongside The Elder Scrolls it’s their biggest series. They’re a large publisher, and they like money.
Whether it will shown at E3 2015 … that’s a maybe. But a “maybe” is a lot better than a flat out “no,” which has been the case for the last few major trade events.