Fallout season 2 will feature New Vegas, confirms Bethesda boss

The Fallout TV show takes place in the same world as the games. But when each game has multiple endings, how do you decide what to keep as canon?
Power Armor in Fallout. Credit: Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC
Power Armor in Fallout. Credit: Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC /

Fallout is well on its way to being a megahit for Amazon Prime Video. The weird and wild post-apocalyptic drama based on the long-running Fallout video game series from Bethesda Softworks was renewed for a second season barely a week after the entirety of its first dropped on Prime Video — a very good sign in an age when streamers can take forever to renew shows. Since then, the views have continued racking up. Just this week, the studio revealed that Fallout brought in upwards of 65 million viewers in its first 16 days of availability, making it the second-highest debut ever for a Prime series after The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

More adventures in the wasteland lie ahead! Fortunately, Fallout has a very deep well of source material to draw from, including six full-length video games and multiple spinoffs. Even though the Fallout TV show told a totally new story set in the same world as the video games, we're expecting to see even more references to the games as the show goes on, including to Fallout: New Vegas, the acclaimed 2010 video game often cited as a fan favorite. Fallout season 1 ended with the stinger that Lucy Maclean's (Ella Purnell) father, Hank Maclean (Kyle Maclachlan) had traveled to New Vegas after escaping a run-in with The Ghoul (Walton Goggins). Surely this means we'll see the setting in season 2?

According to Bethesda studio head Todd Howard: obviously, yes. Howard is already out there teasing how Fallout season 2 will tie into New Vegas, and it's got me pretty excited. He recently appeared on the Kinda Funny Gamescast show, where he hinted at some of the adaptation challenges that come with folding in the New Vegas setting.

"Obviously, Season 2 is going to be featuring some of New Vegas. We're careful about maintaining the key events of that game and the great content in it," Howard said. This will no doubt be a relief to some of the fans who thought that New Vegas had been scrubbed from the canon of the show, due to some conflicting timelines about when the city of Shady Sands was bombed off the map.

Fallout is a series that leans hard into ambiguity and player choice; New Vegas has multiple endings depending on what the player does, so which one — if any — will be the "canon" ending for the TV show? It's hard to know how timelines align across the wasteland, because communication across regions in this post-apocalypse is scattered at best. Throw in the fact that every single Fallout game has numerous endings and sprawling plotlines which can change dramatically depending on a player's choices, and it's hard to nail down exactly what's canon and what's not — a challenge that Howard is all too aware of.

“It is obviously difficult to deal with when you're going back to an area where a game had multiple endings. We have some answers there, but it's hard," Howard said. "I'll just admit and everyone realizes that it's hard to canonize and say that this is exactly how that game ended. So whenever we can, I like to avoid it.”

That approach of avoiding giving hard and fast answers about what events are canon from previous games has worked out pretty well for Fallout so far. After all, each game had to deal with this same issue in its own way, since they're all totally different stories set on different parts of the map. Howard's approach: “Don't refute anything that happened [and] be careful when you're specific about what happened. We want that game and what the players did to be their reality."

Sounds like a smart way to go about it to me. And if it's worked for the games for this long, it can work for the show too.

All eight episodes of Fallout are available now on Prime Video.

dark. Next. Every Fallout game, ranked from worst to best. Every Fallout game, ranked from worst to best

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h/t Collider