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Bethesda Sells 'Fallout' Franchise Rights to Obsidian

by Rainier on March 31, 2010 @ 11:25 a.m. PDT

Obsidian Entertainment announced that it has acquired exclusive ownership of the Fallout series -- beginning with the release of the highly anticipated Fallout: New Vegas role-playing game, on the PC, home consoles, handhelds, and other media (thanks Duck & Cover).

“We’re extremely excited about this development and what it means both for Obsidian and for Fallout fans around the world,” said Feargus Urquhart, CEO of Obsidian Entertainment. “Fallout is one the great RPG franchises. Millions of Fallout games have been sold worldwide, and fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of Fallout: New Vegas. Obsidian’s proven expertise in this genre, building on our industry experience and the tremendous success we have enjoyed with our previous games and experience with the series, will enable us to create the next chapter of Fallout that is truly worthy of the franchise.”

In addition, Obsidian announced that it has hired a number of original Fallout developers - including Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, and Jason Anderson - to work on the series. These developers will join the already large roster of staff at Obsidian who have previous experience with the series. Obsidian has plans to open an exclusive Fallout division at the studio.

Originally released in 1997, Fallout places a player in the role of a Vault-dweller, who ventures from his secluded, underground survival Vault into a post-apocalyptic world of mutants, radiation, gangs and violence. The game has been widely hailed as one of the outstanding role-playing games and video games of all time with its unique gameplay, style, and setting.

Commenting on this development, Bethesda President Vlatko Andonov said, “This is a good agreement for both companies and for gamers. Although several parties had a high level of interest in purchasing Fallout, we are most impressed by Obsidian’s execution of role-playing titles. Obsidian is the ideal choice to take on the Fallout franchise.”

Fallout: New Vegas is currently being developed by Obsidian under the direction of Lead Designer Josh Sawyer. “We are overjoyed,” said Sawyer. “Fallout is one of the greatest games ever made, and we plan to take the series back to its RPG roots while delivering a high-quality visual experience. We realize that a lot of fans are unhappy with the current state of affairs with the Fallout series - especially the lack of the true PnP style RPG elements that made the original Fallout such a wonderful game. We want to bring these things back into the mainstream. As game developers and RPG gamers, we know what makes a game great - and no marketing department is going to tell us any different.”

And yes, it's an "early" April Fools' joke :)

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