Fallout: New Vegas was originally designed as a huge expansion to Fallout 3, it's been revealed. Spotted by Eurogamer in a video celebrating Bethesda's 25th anniversary, executive producer Todd Howard explains how there was a big push to capitalize on the success of Fallout 3 with a big piece of DLC.
Since Bethesda had already moved on to developing Skyrim, it turned to other companies and pretty much immediately landed on Obsidian. "There was only one group that we would really want to do this," Howard explained. However, once the Alpha Protocol developer had been brought on board, Todd Howard felt "strongly" that Fallout: New Vegas should actually be its own standalone game.
To help get Obsidian up to speed, the studio was given the entire Fallout 3 engine and all of its assets. Then the team had to decide what sort of game it would make. Game director Josh Sawyer said: "We're not gonna really deviate tremendously from what Bethesda did. Clearly many, many people liked this game — Fallout 3 — so let's look at what we can bring to it that feels unique from our perspective without trying to reinvent the wheel. Fallout: New Vegas is famed for the freedom it lends the player over Fallout 3, letting you take the story and gameplay in many different directions.