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With the popularity of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout reaching a fever pitch, many gamers have begun calculating and examining details about both and came up with a rather wacky (or not so wacky) summation of both games, but Bethesda has officially shot down the fan theory that Fallout and The Elder Scrolls share a connected universe.
Gamespot interviewed Bethesda's VP of marketing, Pete Hines, who explained that the theory about The Elder Scrolls and Fallout being in the same universe is hogwash. According to Hines,
I haven't the foggiest of notion how anybody could make the leap that they are in fact part of the same thing, We made Elder Scrolls, and a completely different developer and publisher came up withFallout, which we then acquired. So how did they ...
The other developer and publisher he's referring to is Interplay. Yes, there was a time before Fallout was under the umbrella of Bethesda. Back in the 1990s, Interplay was one of the biggest developers and publishers around. Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but that's how it all rolled back in the day.
Interplay worked on the Fallout games up until its properties were acquired by Bethesda, after the company fell on hard times. Sadly, other games like Baldur's Gate and Descent _were left by the wayside. Bethesda did wonders with the _Fallout franchise, turning it into a mainstream AAA product after the release of Fallout 3.
In the meantime, Bethesda had been cultivating its own brand in The Elder Scrolls, which has been growing and evolving over the years since its original debut in the mid 1990s, around the same time as Fallout was gaining popularity. The big difference was that Fallout was a lot more mainstream back in the 1990s, and only the most hardcore of PC gamers knew about The Elder Scrolls (or could actually run the games).
But how did people come up with the idea that the two disparate games were connected? The Elder Scrolls started as a first-person medieval fantasy magic series, while Fallout started as an alternate reality dystopian futuristic survival, turn-based RPG. Well, the Gamespot article recollects some of the theories by explaining that some gamers noticed similarities in items and lore that appeared to connect the two universes together.
Pete Hines was quick to shut it all down, explaining that even though both properties are now under Bethesda's IP wings, they don't share universal lore. I'm surprised gamers didn't attempt to connect them together through Doom. For those of you who don't know, Doom deals with transdimensional travel, and it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility that you could make an argument that Doom Guy would be the bridge between Fallout and Elder Scrolls connecting, but even then it's a stretch and completely ridiculous... or is it?
Don't be surprised if fans come up with some other equally crazy, but not altogether impossible theories connecting other Bethesda properties together... like Wolfenstein and Doom or Prey and Dishonored.