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In a new editorial entitled "Traveling Through the Wasteland", the editors at Forbes have treated us to a quick history lesson around EA's original Wasteland, its spiritual successor Fallout, and inXile's long-overdue sequels that have helped the iconic RPG series live on. An excerpt, as you might have expected:
Wasteland had a planned sequel but Brian Fargo, the game’s director, left Electronic Arts (EA), the game’s publisher, in 1988, the year the game was released. EA made the sequel but they decided to divorce it from the Wasteland universe. They called it Fountain of Dreams. It should have been called “Fountain of Broken Dreams.” None of the creative team that made Wasteland worked on Fountain of Dreams and although it looked like a Wasteland game, it didn’t play like one. The reviews were terrible and the game tanked. So, I waited…
…When Fargo left EA he took most of Wasteland’s creative team with him and founded Interplay Entertainment as a development and publishing house. He didn’t take the Wasteland IP, however, EA kept that. Fargo hadn’t lost interest in post-apocalyptic RPGs set in a nuclear wasteland and he decided to make another one. It was called Fallout.
Fallout was intended as a “spiritual successor” to Wasteland but it was a very different game. Wasteland is a tactical RPG where you control a party of Desert Rangers who set out to impose justice and order in a land overwhelmed by post-nuclear chaos. Fallout is a solo RPG where you emerge from a subterranean vault and try to survive in a different post-nuclear world. Fallout was a great game that launched a great series but it wasn’t a proper sequel to Wasteland.