Fallout: New Vegas is Canon, Todd Howard Reassures

fallout new vegas

NOTE: There are spoilers ahead for Amazon Prime’s Fallout series.

Though Amazon Prime’s Fallout TV show has received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, in the immediate aftermath of its launch, there was a section of the franchise’s fanbase that was less-than-happy about perceived inconsistencies in the show that seemed to retcon Obsidian Entertainment’s 2010 title Fallout: New Vegas in particular.

Specifically, it’s revealed in the show – which, set in the year 2296, is the latest known point in the series’ timeline – that the city of Shady Sands was nuked into oblivion, with one scene in particular revealing that “the fall of Shady Sands” happens in the year 2277. Series veterans were quick to point out that that was inconsistent with the larger timeline, since in Fallout: New Vegas, which is set in the year 2281, Shady Sands is still very much standing and functional as a hub of civilization.

There were some who took that to mean that Fallout: New Vegas had been removed from the series canon, though Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard, the current steward of the franchise who directed both Fallout 3 and 4, has put those concerns to rest. In a recent interview with IGN, Howard confirmed that all previous Fallout games, including New Vegas, are part of the same canon within which the Amazon series also exists.

“Just so people hear it, we’re careful about the timeline,” Howard said. “There might be a little bit of confusion at some places, but everything that happened in the previous games, including New Vegas, happened. We’re very careful about that.”

Asked about the supposed inconsistency within the timeline with regards to Shady Sands’ destruction, he said, “All I can say is we’re threading it tighter there, but the bomb falls just after the events of New Vegas. That’s when Shady Sands blows.”

When asked specifically if that means “the fall of Shady Sands” that the show mentions isn’t necessarily referring to the city being nuked, Howard said, “Correct.”

“Look, we are tight on the dates, if you really want to get into it,” he added. “But what’s important is when the show takes place. What is happening in the time period of the show? And that’s what’s most important to us.”

The ongoing Fallout fever kickstarted by the success of the Amazon series has also brought with it renewed widespread interest in the Fallout games. Fallout 76 recently hit its highest ever concurrent user count on Steam, while the likes of Fallout 4 and New Vegas have also seen a notable uptick in player activity.

April 25 will also see the launch of Fallout 4’s long-awaited native PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions, bringing a number of technical and visual enhancements. On the same day, the post-apocalyptic RPG will also become fully optimized for the Steam Deck and launch for the Epic Games Store.

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