At the E3 conference just a few weeks ago, Bethesda Softworks, a company mostly known for its great titles on consoles and PCs, surprised Fallout fans with a smartphone game.
The game called Fallout Shelter, was released for the iOS to hype the next title of the popular franchise. In the app, players are in charge of their own nuclear shelter and the survivors. The survivors rescued from the wasteland can be assigned to different activities.
The game was a hit since the surprising release, which came hours after the announcement, and has brought Bethesda millions.
The fact that a company dedicated to making console and PC games had success with a smartphone app is surprising, since many have tried and failed. The mobile gaming market is a different part of the gaming industry and the two usually stay away from each other.
This release was different. The free app brought $5.1 million to the company in the first two weeks. How? It sold players “lunchboxes” to speed up their game progress. The app was the most downloaded iPhone game in the US in the next three weeks after its release. It was also one of the ten top grossing games until last week.
Todd Howard, the game director at Bethesda, says the company was caught off guard with all the success. They saw the release as a way to promote Fallout 4, which will be released on the newest consoles and PC on November 10, 2015. “The main thing it has done is give us more faith that the gaming audience is enormous, and they don’t care what device they’re playing on,” he says. “They all have phones and iPads.”
The interest for mobile and console games is there, but they’re both different when it comes to numbers. Big titles like the ones they usually make cost around $100 million to produce and market. While mobile games cost way less to make but also bring less.
Howard did not reveal how much money it took to make the app, but he says its success made it almost “infinitely profitable”. While the game is no longer on the top with the regulars that have been there for months, it is considered a success because it was made by a company that does not focus on the mobile side.
Howard says that the company did not think about the money they would make and that all it has brought in is a bonus. But competitors have to watch out for Fallout Shelter once again since it will soon come to Android. The company is also working on an expansion to keep fans occupied until the release of the title.
Fallout Shelter is promoting this.
The game will be the fifth major installment in the Fallout series and its events will take place right around the same time of Fallout 3. It has already been confirmed that it will be in Boston and its surrounding Massachusetts countryside.
There will be two editions released, the standard and the collector’s edition which includes a wearable replica of the Pip Boy. Fallout 4 hits stores November 10, 2015.