Bethesda design director confirms Fallout: New Vegas is still canon: 'Of course it is'

Fallout New Vegas key art
(Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment)

The Fallout TV series arrived this week and the response has been almost entirely positive. Almost. Not everyone is on board with Prime TV's adaptation of the beloved Fallout series: some fans have a major beef when it comes to the repercussions the show has on established Fallout lore, even though the show is set after the events of the games.

I won't spoil things here, but midway through the series we learn the date of an important event that may (or may not) overlap with the timeline of Fallout: New Vegas. This led some Fallout fans to claim that the New Vegas storyline was being retconned out of Fallout lore altogether. Other conflicting details in the show raised concerns that Fallout 1 and 2 were getting the same treatment. In other words, some fans wondered, are all of the non-Bethesda Fallout games getting wiped clean from the lore?

Well, no. Yesterday I took a shot at debunking the claims that the Fallout show retconned Fallout 1, 2, and New Vegas out of the fictional history books. But if you don't feel like reading 1,200 words on the topic, you can just listen to someone who knows a hell of a lot more about it than I do and sums much more concisely.

Emil Pagliarulo, Bethesda Game Studios design director and lead designer and writer of Fallout 3 and 4, posted a Fallout timeline on Twitter yesterday, hoping to clear up some confusion about when things happened across the main games of the Fallout series. That wasn't quite enough to settle the matter, but thankfully one Twitter user popped the real question: "So is New Vegas canon or not?"

"Of course it is," Pagliarulo replied. "We've never suggested otherwise."

There you have it. New Vegas is still canon. Todd Howard isn't trying to shove Obsidian out of the family portrait (they're both owned by Daddy Microsoft now). Hopefully those eight soothing words from Pagliarulo will calm the radioactive waters—though to be fair to the lore enthusiasts who raised this issue in the first place, the show could have been a bit clearer about some of the details and avoided a lot of this confusion and concern in the first place. 

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.