Eurogamer: Where exactly does Fallout 3 fit into the Fallout timeline, again?
Pete Hines: It's 30 years after Fallout 2, and about 200 years after war. So it's true to the Fallout canon and the overall story of the universe, but it does not specifically follow the storyline.
Eurogamer: Speaking of which, did you ever consider remaking the original?
Pete Hines: No. There's a lot of folks that think we're borderline suicidal for attempting to make another game as it is, but going back and trying to make the first one... yeah, that would definitely be pitchforks and swarming the gates. We'll let those games sit in everyone's memory, benefit from that nostalgia, and stand on their own; I don't think they need to be redone, they're great games on their own. You know, we've taken the same approach to the Elder Scrolls stuff. People are like 'Oh, you know what? You should bring Arena back and put it on Xbox Live Arcade!', and we're like, you know what, it was what it was, great for 1994, but we're not about to go back and redo all our stuff. We prefer to move forwards.
Eurogamer: So how have the infamous Fallout fans reacted so far to what you've shown of the game?
Pete Hines: Well, the fan community is actually rather large so it depends what segment we're talking about [laughs]. Obviously we're fans - that was, like I said, the impetus to go in and get it in the first place. You know, I think if you're really interested in playing another Fallout game in that sort of world, then hopefully you'll give it a chance, but there is a segment of our fanbase - I say 'our', I mean the Fallout fanbase - that has basically decided back in 1994 that we're doing it all wrong and that they're going to hate our game whatever we do. I mean if you have made up your mind and said 'Here's my specific list of things that my game must have', and we're not meeting your list, then you're probably not going to like the game. But you know, we're OK with it, we're used to it by now - the Elder Scrolls fanbase is a very global and very large community that has very strong opinions about what they want, so we appreciate that folks are very passionate about certain franchises, certain series. They like what they like and that's what they want. But for everybody else who doesn't fall into that category, who are willing to judge with their own eyes and figure out whether or not they like what it is we're doing, it's been really good.
Eurogamer: Why do you think that people are so obsessive about Fallout?
Pete Hines: More than anything, it was really different. If I had to guess, I'd say that a big part of the draw was the darkness of it. It was pretty... brutal isn't the right word, but it was pretty dark in contrast to everything else out there - I mean, it had a dipswitch in the settings allowing you to turn the violence up. I think that's a big part of it, it was so much more adult and mature than everything else in terms of its content. A lot of folks are still very loyal to that, to that kind of experience, and very much want to play another one.
Eurogamer: So do you see Fallout as a continuing franchise for Bethedsa?
Pete Hines: Absolutely. We didn't go acquire the rights just to make one game. We fully intend for this to be a success, and as long as we don't fuck it up and we make a good game, we think it will be.
Fallout 3 isn't out until next Autumn (which feels like about seventy-three years away), but we'll apparently get something playable in the new year - although Pete informs us that this is the last we'll see of Fallout 3 for a good few months. In the meantime you can read up on the game so far in Eurogamer's preview, and perhaps hand-fashion a countdown clock to help pass the time.