When Interplay shut down its Black Isle Studios subsidiary in 2003, many PC gamers lamented the move would mark the end of Fallout 3. Despite assertions by Interplay CEO Herve Caen that the sequel to the groundbreaking postapocalyptic role-playing game was still alive and well, the publisher's dismal finances--which forced it to temporarily shut down--had many fans of the series pessimistic.
Those same fans rejoiced when Bethesda Softworks announced it had purchased the rights to console and PC games based on the Fallout 3 series in July 2004. To many, having the developer and publisher of the award-winning Elder Scrolls action RPG series take over such a cherished IP was a godsend. Furthermore, Bethesda producers proclaimed that they would remain true to the series' darkly comic spirit.
However, to date, gamers only have Bethesda's word to go on. At E3 2005, the only evidence of Fallout 3's existence was a sparse teaser poster (pictured) designed to look like a bomb-shelter sign. E3 2006 may see even less of the game on display. Confirming a recent flurry of Internet reports, Bethesda Softworks public relations head Pete Hines said that the game will not be present at the upcoming event in any significant form.
"I can tell you it won't be at E3 and that it'll be a while still before we're ready to talk about it," he told GameSpot. "Much like with Oblivion, we don't like to talk about games until we're a fair ways along in development and cannot only talk about it, but show it." Hines gave no indication as to exactly when Fallout 3 would be ready enough to emerge from the development vault.