Outraged Fallout Fans Threatened Bethesda After It Acquired the IP

A former Bethesda employee has revealed that the studio received death threats during the development of Fallout 3, including one that came through a fax machine. This occurred in response to Bethesda’s purchase of the rights to Fallout from Interplay. Former Bethesda artist Jonah Lobe disclosed this information in a recent YouTube video, where he recounted his time at the studio and the challenges faced with the Fallout playerbase. According to Lobe, the abusive messages came from fans of the classic games who were unhappy about the Elder Scrolls studio acquiring the series.

Lobe described the Fallout playerbase as having “more than its average share of less-than-pleasant fans,” and mentioned that the studio had to hire a security guard due to the high volume of death threats. Fellow former Bethesda developer Jeff Gardiner corroborated this, confirming that one of the threats was received via fax. Lobe also mentioned the toxicity in places like No Mutants Allowed, a long-standing fan site related to the original Fallout games. The first few Fallout games were handled by Interplay, but the company’s financial struggles led to the sale of the IP.

Bethesda purchased Fallout for $5.75 million and subsequently released Fallout 3 in 2008. The game introduced significant changes to the series, moving away from the turn-based RPG mechanics and emphasizing action-oriented gameplay with the adaptation of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system. The divisive nature of Bethesda’s approach to the Fallout series has persisted, particularly with Fallout 4’s shift towards more action-based gameplay at the expense of traditional RPG mechanics.

This has exacerbated the divide within the fanbase regarding the direction of the series.

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