Since the Fallout series’ happy mutation into first-person, new owners Bethesda have engaged in occasional wasteland scuffles with Interplay - a company now scrabbling for old ground without any of the staff that first made its name as a publisher of wonderful isometric RPGs.
Today, ricochets from that distant combat have finally hit us, Fallout's players. The original games have finally tranferred into Bethesda’s catalogue, and in the process been separated from the distributors who’ve always seemed like the series' natural partners - GOG.
The Cyprian games site bid farewell to “three classic Fallout games” - Fallout 1, Fallout 2, and the questionably classic Fallout Tactics - in a New Year’s tribute post this week.
“These titles have been with us since day one, that is for over 5 years now, and they were always one of the highlights of the selection of games that we offer,” they wrote. “There are very few titles in the history of computer role-playing games that have had so much impact on the gaming landscape, players' expectations, and even the popular culture.”
GOG pinpointed Fallout’s “iconic” setting, memorable quotes and sometimes-insurmountable challenge as the reasons it’s now “burned in the memory of a whole generation of gamers”.
“It was an honor to have you here, Fallout,” the distributors went on. “Take good care of yourself out there, try not to mistake a gecko for G.E.C.K. (not even remotely the same thing!), and remember to take your Rad-X pills.”
Crucially, copies of all three games bought before yesterday will remain on users’ virtual mahogany shelves to download. Gift codes granted in GOG’s recent giveaway are no longer valid - but codes acquired elsewhere will still be redeemable “in the foreseeable future”.
Unfortunately, Bethesda appear to be one of those rare PC publishers GOG don’t have an existing relationship with. The early Elder Scrolls’ are absent from the site, despite falling well within its ideological remit - and I can’t imagine that’s out of forgetfulness.
Instead, expect to see the older Fallouts resurface in a lovingly packaged collection not unlike the recent The Elder Scrolls Anthology. Is there anywhere you’d prefer to find them?