The Outer World's billing as "from the original creators of Fallout" seemed particularly pointed in light of Fallout 76's many problem—not to mention that Bethesda's latest Fallout abandoned the series' traditional single-player post-nuclear storytelling in favor of open-ended multiplayer base-building. But co-directors Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky told Game Informer that there's no anti-Bethesda strategy at play, and they don't like it when people use their game to bash someone else's.
"It's disheartening when your game is used to tear down another game. They're excited because your game is going to show up another game," Cain said. "That's not what we're making this for. We're not making this to make anybody not want to play something else. We're making it for people who want to play this."
Boyarsky pointed out that Obsidian has actually been working on The Outer Worlds for awhile, which on its own shoots a pretty big hole in the idea that the studio had some kind of anti-Fallout 76 strategy in mind. He said that it's a "crushing experience" when games don't do well after people have put years of effort into them—something that both he and Cain have been through in the past.
"The fact that people think we're trying to say something about another company's games that people have put their heart and soul into is not something that we're really happy about," he said.
At the same time, Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart acknowledged that the studio is aiming to fill the void left by Bethesda's shift away from narratively-focused Fallout games like New Vegas—although he added that there's room enough for both games, because "we're not fighting for the same dollars."
"In our mind, there are people that enjoy where Fallout was. That is what we wanted to do with The Outer Worlds, to give people that," he said. "Maybe that’s a bad decision from the standpoint of the number of people that will buy it. I don’t know. People seem to really enjoy what Fallout: New Vegas was, so let's give them an experience that's as similar as we can to that."
Obsidian has previously said that The Outer Worlds won't be a massive, open-world game like Bethesda's Fallout games, but will probably top out at around 40 hours of gameplay, with a focus on "reactivity and replayability" over sheer size. It's set to come out later this year.