The fate of Bethesda's Fallout games was decided with a sticky note

Fallout 3
(Image credit: Bethesda)

The fate of Bethesda's Fallout games was decided with two words written on a sticky note, Todd Howard has revealed. 

In a recent video titled 'Fallout Retrospective - A New Generation', a number of developers who worked on Fallout 3 shared their memories of working on the game and told the story of how the Starfield studio ended up taking over the Fallout series. In the video, Bethesda director Todd Howard explained how Fallout found its new developer, saying that it all started with a sticky note.  

After explaining that Bethesda had its sights set on acquiring the Fallout franchise, Howard said: "That original world always spoke to us. So when we thought about what we really, really wanted to do next, it was 'can you imagine if we got to do Fallout? No one's been doing it for a long time - is there any possibility?'"

Howard then went on to say how he and the team found out that they had the green light to make a Fallout game: "I can remember this, coming back to my desk and Todd Vaughn, our VP of Development here at Bethesda, had left a yellow sticky note on my keyboard and it said, 'Fallout's yours.' That's all it said. I'll never forget that."

This was clearly exactly the news Howard was hoping for, as he then goes on to say: "I think I screamed and ran around the studio and, [said] like, 'hey, we're doing this,' because everyone at the team had heard about this might be a possibility. You know, it was fantastic. We were super, super excited."

Bethesda took over the Fallout series as of Fallout 3. Previously, the games were developed by Interplay Entertainment and created by Tim Cain, who also speaks in the video. Cain explains that passing Fallout over to Bethesda "felt like my baby had been adopted by another family." He goes on to explain: "It wasn't so much that I didn't like the family, it's just my baby was going to be raised differently than how I would raise this baby."

Want to get into Bethesda's post-apocalyptic series? Take a look at our best Fallout games to get started. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.