As ‘Fallout 76′ Crosses 20 Million Players Amid Success of Amazon TV Series, Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard Talks Franchise’s Future (EXCLUSIVE)

“Fallout 76” has found a whole new world of players thanks to the popularity of Amazon’s “Fallout” TV series. The Bethesda Game Studios title, which first launched in October 2018, crossed 20 million downloads and plays as of Wednesday.

That is a jump from the 17 million players “Fallout 76” had totaled in December, ahead of the April 10 release of Jonathan Nolan’s “Fallout” TV adaptation on Prime Video.

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“It’s kind of been sneaky popular for a while — but not to this level and it’s just been really great for the for the whole studio,” Bethesda director and executive producer Todd Howard, who oversees the “Fallout” franchise, told Variety.

In the under two months since the series premiered (and has already been picked up for a second season), daily active users across the “Fallout” video game franchise titles developed and published by Bethesda, a division of Microsoft Gaming, have ballooned over 600% to more than 5 million players.

“Depending on the ‘Fallout’ game, you’re looking at a 4-6x increase in daily players, which is beyond anything I’ve ever seen in my 30 years of doing this,” Howard said. “Having an event that brings that many people into games that you have and who have never played your games before, that’s a big thing. New players who have never played a game or never played one of our games. It’s a really, really unique moment.”

Additionally, the total number of concurrent players have increased across “Fallout 76,” “Fallout Shelter,” “Fallout 4,” “Fallout 3” and “Fallout New Vegas,” while “Fallout 4” and “Fallout 76” currently sit within the Top 7 first-party Xbox Game Pass games by hours, along with Bethesda’s “Starfield” and “Skyrim.”

Meanwhile, the “Fallout” TV series pulled in 65 million viewers in its first 16 days of availability, according to Amazon Prime Video, with Season 1 dropping in its entirety on April 10. That makes it the second most-watched title ever on the platform and the most-watched title since the debut on “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” back in 2022.

Based on Bethesda’s franchise of the same name, the “Fallout” TV series is set two hundred years after the apocalypse. Rather than attempt to follow any one specific storyline from a “Fallout” video game, the drama simply focuses on “the gentle denizens of luxury fallout shelters that are forced to return to the irradiated hellscape their ancestors left behind—and are shocked to discover an incredibly complex, gleefully weird, and highly violent universe waiting for them.”

Ella Purnell stars in the series along with Aaron Moten, Kyle MacLachlan, Walton Goggins, Moisés Arias, Sarita Choudhury, Michael Emerson, Leslie Uggams, Frances Turner, Dave Register, Zach Cherry, Johnny Pemberton, Rodrigo Luzzi, Annabel O’Hagan, and Xelia Mendes-Jones.

So what does all this “Fallout” success mean for new games?

“The TV show, I feel like it took us 15 years from when I first started talking about it — but it was five years since Jonah and I first talked,” Howard said. “And games take a good five-ish years. So we’re in plans for future games in this series, and nothing to talk about right now, but we’re always planning.”

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