In what I would categorize as unexpected news, Amazon announced today it was partnering up with Bethesda Studios to make a television series based on the popular Fallout video game franchise. Here's the announcement trailer, which is modeled after the opening title sequence of the games. Two of the creators of Westworld will be working on the project.
For those not in the know, the Fallout series is based in a future where the United States has been ravaged by nuclear disaster. The main character wakes up in a "vault," one of several hundred apocalypse chambers across the country, after the radiation has more or less faded and society has begun anew in a nuclear wasteland. There are five games, the most popular of which is Fallout 3, based in Washington, DC. The most recent iteration, Fallout 4, was based in Boston.
I have sunk a concerning amount of my life into these games, so I mean, hey, I'm not gonna complain too much. I always felt the worlds video games create are often excellent structures to create a TV show out of. The Witcher was pretty good in that regard as the most recent example.
But ... why? The Fallout games are great, but the world isn't exactly unheard-of. There are more movie and TV shows about a nuclear apocalyptic future than you can count. The central plot of the Fallout games range from bad to pretty solid, but none are spectacular. The best storylines in Bethesda games are usually found in the form of side quests and other small nuggets you can find in their world, which isn't a bad thing, but a bit tough to translate to a television show. If they aren't going to use Bethesda's outlines for storylines, it means they're just using the setting, which ... is not unique. Cool, certainly, but nothing we haven't seen before.
Obviously it's a little early to make a judgement call. The show in the baby stages of production. Still, if they were going to make a Bethesda game into a show, I would have preferred Skyrim or something in the Elder Scrolls universe. They'd be able to take far more creative license when it comes to a fantasy setting rather than the dystopian one they've chosen. I do hope Amazon proves me wrong. But I'm not terribly optimistic.