Bethesda loves the Switch, but ‘Fallout 76’ won’t be coming to the platform

Fallout 76 Hands-on
Bethesda

With Fallout 76 just weeks away, some Nintendo Switch owners may be wondering if the multiplayer-oriented shooter may be in the cards for Nintendo’s hybrid platform. According to Bethesda’s marketing executive Pete Hines, Fallout 76 “wasn’t doable” on Switch, GameSpot reports.

Hines offered this statement during a panel at PAX AUS. Now, this isn’t all that surprising. Fallout 76 is shaping up to be a massive game with a distinctly multiplayer focus, a change of pace for the series. Despite recently launching Nintendo Switch Online, the Switch isn’t exactly seen as a great console for online gaming. As an always-online experience, Fallout 76 would have a hard time working within the Switch’s design.

For starters, it would largely eliminate the on-the-go appeal of the Switch, forcing players to play it almost solely as a console game. But we also imagine the Switch would struggle to support the scope of the experience to begin with, given its limited hardware capabilities in comparison to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Bethesda would’ve likely had to downgrade the visuals and performance just to get it to work properly. That in and of itself likely contributed to not supporting the Switch for Fallout 76.

It’s not all bad news, Switch owners. Hines and Bethesda seem to be big fans of the Switch hardware. “The Switch is something I can say with certainty that it’s a part of every conversation with every dev we have now about what we’re doing going forward because we consider it to be a viable platform,” Hines said. He went on to say that every game currently in development under the Bethesda umbrella has been considered for release on Switch.

Indeed, Bethesda has been one of the major third-party supporters of the Switch. So far, the studio has released ports of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Doom on Switch, all three of which wouldn’t normally be considered titles likely to appear on a Nintendo platform. Doom Eternal and The Elder Scrolls Legends are both currently in development for Switch. Fallout 76, meanwhile, joins The Elder Scrolls Online as the only two Bethesda games confirmed to not be coming to Switch. It just so happens that both of those are persistent online experiences.

The takeaway of the story: If it’s not an online-focused Bethesda game, there is a good chance it’ll arrive on Switch sooner or later.

Fallout 76 launches on November 14 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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