How Amazon’s Fallout Brought Excitement Back to the Wasteland

A rare example of a great video game adaptation.

How Amazon’s Fallout Brought Excitement Back to the Wasteland

Will other studios use this as an example going forward?

Studios have tried, often unsuccessfully, to turn iconic video games into TV series or films. The problem is that these studios often seem to misunderstand what made the game great in the first place. In the case of the Assassin’s Creed movie, I didn’t even know the game existed. That being said, having a super nerd involved in the production can cause some issues as well. As The Witcher production team learned when they cast Henry Cavill as its protagonist.

What's required is a delicate blend of fan service and original programming that few studios manage to land. That doesn’t seem to be a problem for Amazon’s Fallout series. They have managed to impress the die-hard fans of the series while also bringing in nonfranchise fans. Considering the luke warm reception the show received when it was announced, this is a huge accomplishment on the part of Amazon.

Fallout has already amassed a massive following over the years. Fans constantly bicker about which version provides the best post-apocalyptic wasteland. Some prefer the gritty world of Fallout One and Two, while others prefer Bethesda’s campier Fallout 3, 4, and 76. Not to mention the constant debate about whether Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas is even a real Fallout game. It is easy to see why Amazon had a large order on its hands when it took on the project. How do you please a group of players that can't even decide which parts of the story are canon or not?

“War, war never changes.” Amazon's Fallout Series

It's easy. You don’t try to appease them; you just take the source material and make a great series. Fallout is a series with hundreds of important characters, and each game provides multiple endings, so deciding what is canon would be impossible in the first place. Instead, Amazon looked at the huge culmination of all the Fallout lore and made something magical out of it.

This isn’t just good news for Amazon. The studio that owns Fallout, Bethesda, has seen a huge spike in player counts since the series dropped. Fallout 76, the MMO equivalent of the Fallout world, is seeing its previous player record shattered following the series' release. While Fallout 4 has seen a massive 525% spike is player count, raising it to almost Helddivers 2 level of players. Even New Vegas, which is over a decade old at this point, just hit a new all time player count on Steam.

Both Bethesda and Amazon are reaping pretty hefty rewards following the release of the new series, and they don’t plan to stop there. Season 2 of the show has already been greenlit, just a week after its premiere. And it looks like our adventurers are heading to New Vegas this time around.

This came as an unexpected treat for Fallout fans. While New Vegas is a beloved chapter in the saga, it has caused some controversy over the years. Primarily because it is unlike any of the other games in the series. Being created by Obsidian, Fallout: New Vegas is a heavily choice focused RPG where every decision takes the story in a new direction. Unlike Fallout 4, which gave players a few game changing decisions, the options in New Vegas are nearly unlimited.

This begs the question, how do you turn a choose your own adventure story into a streaming series? If Amazon proved anything to us this week, it's not to worry about it; they have it covered. Now all we have to do is wait for Bethesda to finally release Fallout 5. We just have to hope we don’t experience our own nuclear fallout in the meantime.

Cameron McFarland | Contributing Writer

Covering all things sci-fi, horror, gaming, and tech with an old-school, retro twist. Welcome to Sci-Fi 3D. We were geek…before it was cool!

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