After Big Success of Fallout Shelter, Bethesda Making More Mobile Games

"We're gonna do more."


Fallout Shelter was the first mobile game from Bethesda Game Studios and it won't be the last. Director Todd Howard tells GameSpot that the studio was blown away by Fallout Shelter's success and is planning to invest further in that space. "We're gonna do more," he told us this week at the 2016 DICE Summit.

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Though the Fallout brand is undoubtedly popular, Howard said the team never anticipated Fallout Shelter would enjoy the success that it has.

"I think if you expect, 'Yeah, it'll be number one and out-gross Candy Crush for a while,' you're generally going to be set up for failure and disappointment," he said.

Instead of thinking about the money it could make from Fallout Shelter, a point that Howard has stressed before, he said Bethesda's concern was ensuring it would offer a deep and engaging enough experience.

"Mostly we were concerned with it being appropriate for who we are [as Bethesda Game Studios]--meaning it's got a bit more meat on the bone than other things like it," he said. "But its overall popularity? We were not ready for that, which is a good problem."

Howard also shared some of his favorite mobile games at the moment, listing off titles like Threes, Hearthstone ("I got addicted to that," Howard says), Clash Royale, Crossy Road, and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.

Bethesda's drive to make more mobile games comes in part from the simple fact that developers at the studio are already playing smartphone games. As such, they are naturally getting inspired to make their own.

"It's in your pocket, a lot of [the games are] free or easy to try," he said. "So every time you're playing, you're thinking, 'We could do one of these, I think we could do something special here.' So we're gonna do more."

Howard did not elaborate any further on what Bethesda's future mobile games would be. It remains to be seen if they take the form of spinoff games for existing franchises, as is the case for Fallout Shelter, or if they will be entirely new franchises.

In December, Bethesda Game Studios opened an office in Montreal with an aim to "expand its development capabilities in console, PC, and mobile gaming."

Fallout Shelter was announced during Bethesda's E3 briefing last summer and released later that evening. It was a quick hit, with players logging 1 billion sessions in the game's first month on iOS alone. An Android version was released in August 2015.

Bethesda has never said how much revenue the free-to-play game pulled in from its microtransactions, but a research firm revealed that Fallout Shelter made $5.1 million during its first two weeks.

In addition to more mobile games, Bethesda Game Studios is working on Fallout 4's three expansions, as well as three "longer-term projects." One of these is "not as big as the other two," Howard has since clarified.

What would you like to see from Bethesda in the future in the area of mobile games? Let us know in the comments below!

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Avatar image for Spartan_418

Wish they'd release Fallout Shelter on the Windows 10 store

I don't have an iPad or Android tablet but I do have a touchscreen Windows laptop

Game like this is better played on a tablet (or tablet-sized display) than on a phone

Avatar image for ranzikiel

I think it was successful because it was "fallout"

Avatar image for blutiger_engel

Good. Move into mobile and MMORPG's, and let Obsidian have another crack at the single player RPG Fallout.

Avatar image for illage2

Well guys .... Time to head on out and get a gravestone for Bethesda. After all the Fallout 4 DLC is done they'll likely move onto mobile gaming full time.

RIP Betheada


Avatar image for merwanor

I am ashamed of how much time I spent with this stupid game. But well you have to have something to do when you sit on the porcelain throne. But I at least never spent any money on it, that people actually do put money into mobile games is just odd to me.

Avatar image for royal_oak_tree

Bethesda has become mainstreamed so no longer expect quality from them Fall Out 4 was proof.

Avatar image for RadPro

I'm concerned that the crappy mobile platform will take over traditional gaming over time.

Avatar image for ExoticCharm

@RadPro: It already has. Mobile games make way more money than traditional games and they take a fraction of time, money, and talent to be created.

Avatar image for rusty12000

I actually enjoyed Fallout Shelter, but I kind of hope the new mobile games fail. Don't like the idea of seeing another company go mobile and giving us more F2P crap. I hope they at least make a purchasable mobile game. I hate dealing with f2p mechanics in games and I hate seeing this as the future.

Avatar image for heartindarkness

the game was fun till at some point when u build everything, there was no point in getting more dwellers they were a hinderance, and the game simply kind of halted for me, uninstalled it since then

Avatar image for JPL1982

Windows Phone version Xbox Live enabled please!

Avatar image for R4gn4r0k

Seems like Fallout Shelter was fun for a while, but doesn't have the power to entice people for long.

Unlike every single other mobile game, amirite ?

Avatar image for i-rock-socks

Played it plenty and never spent a dime, as long as future games don't force micro transactions I'm open to new games

Avatar image for Dark_sageX

I enjoyed Fallout Shelter until I go screwed over by this "bug" that constantly deleted my game, I'm so glad I'm not addicted to micro transactions because that was bullshit, and bethesda never bothered to fix it, this game made me hate large developers even more.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien

Eh, Fallout Shelter died fast for me.

Avatar image for Realmjumper

@xenomorphalien: I wanted to play it but my phone wasn't beefy enough for it and it would lag out.

Avatar image for abcdefgabcdefgz

Fallout shelter was a simple thing to kill time until the real game. We dont need more mobile games. Mobile games are instantly doomed by the controls and tiny screen. Its just not a form factor for games beyond a tetris or angry birds. Its just a quick game to kill some time while you wait in line or whatever

Avatar image for jinzo9988

It was a great promotional tool, but really it was a recognizable franchise that actually attempted to be a game in a sea of clones, rip-offs and microtransaction-laced abominations. And it was a game that was accessible at the same time. Like taking candy from a baby quite frankly. It's like walking into a room full of Ugly Bettys when you're just an average looking girl. By comparison, people are going to notice you.

Avatar image for SoulScribe

It was a success because it was a way to pass time until FO came out. I don't think they could make lightning hit a bottle twice. I may be wrong.

Avatar image for validifyed

@SoulScribe: I think its more because of the much more accessible audience of Mobile-Casuals, which was initially boosted by popularity from FO fans.

Avatar image for bussinrounds

@validifyed: Yup, It's right up the new (Bethesda) Fallout fans alleys.

Avatar image for derceto

Just what the world needs, more mobile garbage.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico

@derceto: Do you take your console/PC on the train with you ? as I never see anyone doing that !! See a lot of people on their phones though and a lot of people have phones .. Funny that !!

Avatar image for brn-dn

Please don't.

Avatar image for kyelo

Really wish they'd put this on PC.

Avatar image for RadPro

@kyelo: You can play this on PC, just get Bluestacks.

Avatar image for catsimboy

Could they please have more depth than a puddle? Mobile games don't have to be just spreadsheets with graphics you know.

Avatar image for JustPlainLucas

I don't know... I had fun with Shelter for a while, but the novelty wore off really quickly. I also felt bad for the people who paid for lunch boxes only to get crap.

Avatar image for rosinmonkekyx17

@JustPlainLucas: Nobody pays for them unless they're stupid

Avatar image for katerinafm

A mobile game based on a game series I'd approve of is a Gwent card game. That'd be neat, and it'd be basically exactly the same as in the witcher 3 itself.

Avatar image for igorphoenix

@katerinafm: the problem with Gwent is that in its current state, it's unsuitable for multiplayer. Balancing this kind of game takes a lot of resources and CDPR is a relatively small studio already working on a big project (Cyberpunk). As much as I'd love it, I doubt it'll happen.

Avatar image for katerinafm

@igorphoenix: Could be single player though. With lots of cameos based on locations and maps...but I get what you're saying.

Avatar image for davillain-

That's were the money is now, Moblie games. Even Nintendo is getting into Mobile, it's all about making profits.

Avatar image for Abomination713

Fallout Shelter was a nice distraction for about a week to tide people over till Fallout 4 came out, but once again, the casuals have ruined gaming for everyone.

Avatar image for PETERAKO

yay, more crappy cow clickers!

Avatar image for deactivated-5c0b07b32bf03

I knew this was going to happen. A company can't make all that money and not continue doing something. Whatever. I just hope it doesn't negatively impact their 'real' game development.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico

@reduc_ab_: Well it kinda makes sense .. What business would say .. "Hey this was really successful and made us loads of money .. We shouldn't do that again" !!

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

It's a good sign when a studio starts following in the footsteps of respected publishers like Sega and Konami.

Avatar image for Ellimem

Too bad the game is so bad. It's average free to play garbage.

Avatar image for cornbredx

Honestly, other than the bugs, Fallout Shelter was alright so I'm glad they found success with it. In this uncertain economy for the industry you take it where you can get it.

Avatar image for straightcur

@cornbredx: Yep, this uncertain $2.3 Billion industry with steady

Avatar image for cornbredx

@straightcur: Uncertainty doesn't mean there's no money to be made, kid. It means whether or not you make any is not guaranteed- uncertain. A lot of development houses close every year. Just because some studio hits on something doesn't mean many others don't fail.

Avatar image for straightcur

@cornbredx: Look everyone, he called me "kid" lol, am I supposed to go cowar in a corner now?

The fact is, there is no business that is guaranteed. Uncertainty is the norm. Bethesda is not new or small and, if smart, would have a good business plan to safeguard themselves from uncertainty. Not every game will be a hit, but this shouldn't collapse their entire business. They are doing just fine.

Avatar image for cornbredx

@straightcur: cower*

I called you kid because you act like one. It doesn't mean you should be afraid. You probably should learn social skills, though. For example not being an asshole to any random person you don't know is a good a rule to live by.

It's funny how you make the same point my original comment did after making a snotty remark to the same exact comment.

I get the impression you read into something I said and made up what you think I meant by it, but it doesn't really matter. You happen to agree with me even if you're too macho to say it.

As you also said uncertainty is the norm. As I said it's good this game was successful for them. I didn't say anything else beyond that. I'm not sure why you had to be snotty about that.

Avatar image for straightcur

@cornbredx: You are the one throwing insults and calling names, lol. I made a comment about the industry with no hidden message or personal attack on you at all. I think you read too much in to it. Now your reply comes with even more insults and personal attacks. Perhaps the tone you are attaching to my comments says more about you than about me.

Have a great day.