When Bethesda Softworks began teasing a new Fallout game Tuesday afternoon, most fans assumed it would be a graphically updated version of a past hit, optimized for today’s consoles.
Wednesday, the company shocked gamers, unveiling Fallout 76, a brand new title in the franchise, which is apparently being overseen by the studio’s top developer Todd Howard.
The teaser for the game was unveiled on Twitch, after a 24-hour stream that featured the game’s iconic “Please Stand By” television test pattern and a bobblehead of the game’s “Pip-Boy” character. Minor changes were made to the stream, akin to Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte launch date reveal last fall. Despite the lack of information, the stream gathered as many as 146,000 concurrent viewers and more than 2 million total.
Bethesda’s not saying much more about Fallout 76 just yet. It will show much more at its press conference before E3, the video game industry’s annual trade show, on June 10.
It’s a notable announcement, though. Any game with Howard at its helm tends to turn gamers’ heads. And Fallout 4, released in 2015, is the company’s best-selling game, selling more than 20 million copies.
Bethesda, predictably, did not announce a launch window for Fallout 76 in its tease, but the company, traditionally, does not announce games that it does not expect to ship that year.
Should Fallout 76 hit retail this holiday season, it’s going to face some stiff competition, as Red Dead Redemption 2, from the makers of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, is expected to be a top seller. And Microsoft is expected to roll out the latest game in the Halo series.