Fallout 76 confirmed as an online game, out later this year

We knew that Fallout 76 was going to be the main attraction at Bethesda's E3 press conference, and the company certainly didn't disappoint in that regard. Bethesda's Todd Howard took the stage to talk at length about Fallout 76 tonight, and in doing so, he gave us a much better idea of what to expect from the game. He also dropped a pretty big bomb (no pun intended there) by announcing that Fallout 76 will be an "entirely" online game.

That means that the characters you encounter in the wasteland that once was West Virginia will be other players, and you can ally with them or fight against in your struggle for survival. Howard said that the map is four times larger than that of Fallout 4, and there might be good reason for that, as players and groups will be able to build bases anywhere they see fit.

So, is Fallout 76 an MMO? While it seems the game borrows some elements and even takes heavy inspiration from the MMO genre, you won't find servers packed with other players. Instead, Todd Howard says that there will only ever be a few dozen players occupying the same world as you at any given time. After all, Howard pointed out, the world is a lot less populated than it once was.

Speaking of servers, Howard promised that they will be "100% dedicated" and will be up and running for "years to come." Players won't see a server list when they boot up the game, but their progression will be saved nonetheless. That remains true even when hopping in between solo sessions and joining up with your friends – your progress follows you regardless of who you play with.

Don't be fooled by the game's focus on online play either – you can play Fallout 76 entirely solo if you wish, but you might have an easier time surviving if you group up with some friends. This is especially true when you consider that the game will have active nuclear missile launch sites that players can capture and use against one another. Should you and your team manage to find the entire launch code for a particular facility, you'll be able to drop a nuke anywhere on the map.

All in all, Fallout 76 sounds like a very interesting spin on the long-running franchise. We don't have much longer to wait until we get the chance to check it out for ourselves – not only will there be a beta that interested players can sign up for, but the full game will launch on November 14, 2018. We'll undoubtedly have more information on Fallout 76 soon, so stay tuned.