Bethesda unveiled Fallout 76 earlier today with a teaser confirming that, yes, this is a videogame that is being made. The teaser starts off in what's become fairly routine for Fallout, with a close-up of a radio that slowly pulls back as music plays to reveal the game world. But even though the formula is the same, important elements are different: The song, Country Roads, is much newer than tracks used in previous trailers (the original was released in 1971) and the setting looks relatively intact, and even normal.
According to three sources who spoke anonymously to Kotaku, the game itself will be different from previous Fallout games too. Instead of a single-player RPG/shooter, the sources said it will be an online survival game in the vein of Rust and DayZ. There will be a storyline and quests, but the focus will be on base building, similar to what was seen in Fallout 4 (which, by the way, I found terribly tedious), and other survival and multiplayer mechanics. It was originally envisioned as a multiplayer Fallout 4, according to the report, but has evolved since then into something distinct.
The trailer itself suggests that Fallout 76 will have a certain element of post-nuclear Sim City to it. At one point, the radio announcer says, "When the fighting has stopped and the fallout has settled, you must rebuild." Vault 76 has also been referenced previously in Fallout 3 and 4 as a "control vault" that was intended to serve as a comparative baseline for experimental vaults—and, more significantly, that was intended to open just 20 years after the war.
That would put Fallout 76 in 2097, 150 years prior to Fallout 3 and nearly 200 years before New Vegas and Fallout 4. That doesn't actually appear to be the case: The Pip-Boy seen in the video indicates that the date is October 17, 2102. Even so, that's awfully close to the mark, and close enough to the Great War that the world will almost certainly be an even bigger dump than it is in the previous games, which will really be something to see. (Coincidence or not, 2102 is also the year that Richard Grey becomes the Master, takes over Mariposa, and begins the FEV experiments that culminate in the creation of Super Mutants.)
With all due respect to Kotaku's sources (which, to be fair, are usually pretty reliable), all of this is entirely unofficial and unconfirmed, so you should take it as such. In any event, we'll find out what's really cooking soon enough: Bethesda said it will show off more of the game during its pre-E3 press event, scheduled to start at 6:30 pm PT on June 10.