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When your game franchise rakes in a ton or money in its first few days, in addition to being able to crash the online porn industry for any period of time, you know you've got something special. Bethesda Softworks knows that Fallout 4 is that special of a property, and they aren't rushing to do anything in terms of a film adaptation any time soon.
Finder caught up with Pete Hinds, Bethesda's VP, and during their interview Hinds went into just why we won't be seeing a Fallout movie in any time in the future. His big reasoning is, of course, protection of their IP, as he mentioned the following conundrum:
We get asked to all the time, but the short version is; we make games. That's what we are known for. And this conversation usually falls into the camp of; are we going to let some other person do their own interpretation of what Fallout is, or Elder Scrolls is, or Dishonored is? Or are we going to hold onto it and let the developers be the only ones that are able to say, 'This is what Fallout is, or Elder Scrolls, or Wolfenstein, or whatever?' So we want our developers to decide what our franchises are about and not a movie director, or producer or studio.
With rival developer UbiSoft taking the completely opposite tactic and lining up Assassin's Creed, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, and Tom Clancy's The Division, we've seen what a game studio who buys into the motion picture industry looks like. This is why Bethesda's actions are not only interesting, but also a refreshing change of pace. But, to be fair, there's another really good reason for Bethesda to be a little more careful when it comes to any possible entrance into the Hollywood arena.
One of the big differences between the two game studios runs deeper than their motion picture strategies, as UbiSoft produces more sandbox / first person experiences that leave more room for film adaptation to get creative. Bethesda is more interested in creating a story experience that's singular to the games that they create, and their stories are already so intricate that there's no one specific version to be adapted. Player choice is key to the experience, and that aspect boils it all down to a two word argument that Pete Hinds makes for the studio maintaining the rights to their properties: total control. Hinds explains the company's principles in the following statement:
Even when they say, 'oh no, you will have total control,' well, I don't know anybody who actually has total control over the film adaptation of their video game. If you did, why would you not just make it yourself? Of course the film studio and the scriptwriter and the director are going to have a ton of say. They will have their own vision. So we get asked all the time, but we see it as a distraction. We're a video games company; let's do what we know.
Not only does Bethesda want total control of their own properties, they want you, the gamer, to have total control over your experience in the worlds they create. So for now, Bethesda is in the game making business, and that's all they're into. They know what's best for their games, and they especially know what's best for Fallout. Maybe in the future, they'll find some sort of scenario that puts them in the position to take the leap onto the silver screen. So for now, you can still find Fallout 4 on your TV screen, but be prepared to keep making the decisions on screen yourself for the time being.