Bethesda turned down multiple Elder Scrolls game pitches from the Fallout: New Vegas team

Fallout: New Vegas is a stone-cold classic, and one of Obsidian Entertainment's best RPGs. It turns out the team also wanted to make an Elder Scrolls RPG.

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Before it became a first-party Xbox studio delivering critically acclaimed titles like The Outer Worlds, Grounded, and Pentiment, Obsidian Entertainment was known as a 'gun for hire' studio entrusted with some of the most beloved RPG franchises in gaming: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Neverwinter Nights 2, and most notably, Fallout: New Vegas.

An Elder Scrolls game from Obsidian and the team behind Fallout: New Vegas was rejected by Bethesda.

An Elder Scrolls game from Obsidian and the team behind Fallout: New Vegas was rejected by Bethesda.

Partnering with Bethesda Game Studios, Fallout: New Vegas would see franchise veterans who worked on the original top-down games return to the series for the first time to develop an original story using the technology and tools established for Fallout 3. To this day, it's widely considered the high-water mark for the franchise.

It turns out that the team behind Fallout: New Vegas also pitched Bethesda many different Elder Scrolls projects and games that would also serve as 'New Vegas' style spin-offs as fans waited for mainline releases like Skyrim. According to industry veteran and ex-Obsidian writer Chris Avellone, Bethesda turned him and the team down continuously.

Taking to X/Twitter, Chris Avellonw confirms that one of the Elder Scrolls games he and the team pitched to Bethesda was an RPG that would serve the same function as New Vegas.

"One of the Elder Scrolls proposals (which I pitched) was intended to serve the same function as [Fallout: New Vegas] did between [Fallout 3] and [Fallout 4], to provide more adventures in the setting during the years before the next Bethesda release," Chirs writes. "I thought it couldn't hurt to try and push a similar system to what Treyarch/Activision had going with Call of Duty at the time (but hopefully less rushed). Bethesda could do a core release, then we'd release a TES title (in the same world or a divergent timeline/era) before the next big [Elder Scrolls]."

Chris adds that he felt Bethesda wasn't too happy with Fallout: New Vegas, which potentially factored into the rejection. To meet its tight deadline, New Vegas launched in a buggy state, something Obsidian was also unhappy with - and would have loved more time to iron out the game's issues.

As for what an Obsidian-developed Elder Scrolls would have looked like, one idea was to present an alternate timeline or parallel universe of Tamriel, where heroes from previous titles had failed to "save the world." It is an interesting concept that would eventually serve as the basis for Obsidian's brilliant Pillars of Eternity offshoot - the underrated Tyranny.

Interestingly, in 2023, Bethesda and Obsidian are both Xbox first-party studios - so the idea of Obsidian creating an Elder Scrolls game or even another Fallout isn't too far-fetched. With the release of Starfield, Bethesda Game Studios is shifting its focus to the next mainline Elder Scrolls Game. And with that being potentially five years from release, a Fallout: New Vegas 2 sounds pretty tasty. As does an Edler Scrolls spin-off.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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