One of the most anticipated games that is launching this year is Fallout 76 from Bethesda. Fallout 76 is vastly different from other Fallout games that have come before because it has no single-player campaign. It is online-only, so you must have an internet connection and Bethesda servers have to be running for you to play. Fans of the franchise who still play some of the old original games after many years are wondering what happens if Bethesda decides to shut the servers down on a game that can't be played without them.
Bethesda's Pete Hines did an interview with the gamers over at Gamespot and talked in depth about the current plans for Fallout 76, and the company is planning to support the game "forever." Hines said in that interview, "How long is [Fallout 76] going to be up? Forever." He went on to compare Fallout 76 to World of Warcraft, an online-only game that has been up and running since it launched November 23, 2004, almost 14 years at this point. Bethesda wants support for Fallout 76 to be "never-ending."
That is a significant promise that Hines seems to walk back a bit later in the interview. He states that Bethesda will keep supporting the game as long as people keep playing it. Hines did mention private servers in the years to come making Bethesda's continued operation of the official game servers unnecessary to play in the future. Hines offered no details on how many gamers still playing the game would be required for Bethesda to continue operating the official game servers. He also didn't address the idea of game ownership in his interview; players own the game, and if servers do shut down, that will leave them unable to use something they bought and paid for. Hines said that the issue of ownership if servers were shut down "is kind of irrelevant" because he has nothing that says the game isn't going to be up forever.
Many Fallout fans are sad that Fallout 76 lacks a single-player campaign, and that decision was interesting since Bethesda is the company that ran a "save the single-player game" campaign about a year ago. Hines noted that Bethesda never said that it was only going to do single-player games. New single-player games are coming, like Rage 2 next year that is single-player only, and Doom Eternal that has a single-player mode. Bethesda also has a sci-fi game called Starfield coming that is single-player only. Bethesda recently announced the PC system requirements to play Fallout 76, and they were surprisingly modest; the game launches November 14 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.