Why ‘Fallout 4’ Was Revealed Only Months Before Launch

Fallout 4 rumors have swirled the past few years, but Bethesda Softworks waited until E3 in June to announce the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC game. That’s just a handful of months before its November 10 launch, and extremely atypical in an industry that often sees promotional campaigns last a year or more. A new interview reveals the reasoning between the short timeframe between announcement and launch.

Bethesda Vice President of Marketing Pete Hines explained to IGN that the short window between Fallout 4‘s announcement and launch was primarily due to Game Director Todd Howard’s desire to avoid showing anything that’s not ready.

Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

“If you ask Todd he’d probably prefer like a week or even a day between announce and launch,” says Hines. “He tends to hate showing his stuff before it’s out because he’s a bit of a perfectionist and it takes a lot of time away from making the game to work on demos or presentations. It’s not that he doesn’t want to show fans what he’s making, but every time he shows something, he sees what’s wrong or what needs to be fixed.”

“Ultimately we landed on six months, it felt like it worked for a game like this. We felt that it was highly anticipated. Obviously, Bethesda Game Studios has a stellar reputation and it is both a Fallout 3 follow-up as well as a follow up to Skyrim, which is well known throughout the world, and [we knew that] Fallout 4 would be something that would have a lot of buzz and noise around it and we didn’t need as long as you might for some other titles to kind of build that interest to launch.”

In truth, Bethesda didn’t need to engage its marketing department to hype up Fallout 4 the way that other franchises might. The fan base of the game was more than happy to discuss and generate buzz for the RPG over the past few years through a series of leaks and even hoaxes.

Fallout 4

Only a select few game franchises can pull that kind of self-generating buzz in the complete absence of engagement from the developer or PR. Rockstar Games and the Grand Theft Auto series is another that comes to mind immediately, though GTA V seemed hyped forever due to multiple delays. Still, the developer did comparatively little in the way of promoting at the time — sometimes sending out a handful of screenshots or a trailer for the fan base to investigate and speculate over.

Did the late announcement of Fallout 4 help or hurt the PS4, Xbox One, and PC title? Sound off in the comments below.

[Images via Fallout 4]