In a rare and frankly surprising move, Bethesda has gone out of the box to market its biggest game of the year: Fallout 76. We’ve covered much of the game on the website leading up to the release, from the B.E.T.A test to the Pre-beta stress weekend, but this reveal is perhaps the most surprising and unique of them all. In an unorthodox announcement by Governor Jim Justice in accordance with the West Virginia Tourism Office, the Mountain State has announced a partnership with Bethesda in promoting Fallout 76 while encouraging travelers to visit the natural beauty of the region.
— West Virginia Tourism (@WVtourism) October 11, 2018
When the multiplayer-oriented Fallout title was announced, the reveal trailer was set to the tune of John Denver’s all-time classic “Country Roads”, a song that fully embodied the vast expanse of West Virginian wilderness. Seeing as the Fallout series has long been an open-world experience, there’s no doubt that the immaculately crafted world plays a huge role in the overall gameplay. It makes sense then that the state’s tourism office would seek to take advantage of the title’s surefire success to instill educational and economic incentives.
“It’s finally time the rest of the world sees what a gem West Virginia is,” said Gov. Justice. “For years, I’ve been saying we have it all: beautiful scenery, the best people you could ask for and more. And now, we get to share a piece of that with people all over the world through the unique lens of this video game.”
Credit has to go to Bethesda for not simply picking a mountainous location at random. The company went to lengths to faithfully recreate an authentic, albeit fictional, version of the state. According to Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby, the initial reactions to the setting reveal created much buzz on the Internet, as West Virginians were thrilled at the representation, while others relished the opportunity to explore a unique location different from the usual famous cities.
“I think the world was caught by surprise when Bethesda released the trailer with an eerily beautiful post-apocalyptic West Virginia set to a slightly more futuristic version of our state’s anthem,” said Ruby.
The authenticity didn’t just stop at landmarks and scenery either. Todd Howard, during Bethesda’s E3 showcase, revealed that the monsters that will appear in the game are based on actual folk tales and myths in the area, from the Mothman and the Beast of Grafton, to the Flatwoods monster. The full video highlighting West Virginia can be seen here:
This attention to detail, adhering to the principles of past Fallout games and their portrayal of America’s past, speaks to the care Bethesda put into accurately representing an important American region. It also exemplifies why the Tourism Office of West Virginia saw this as a good opportunity to showcase its state.
As for the partnership, the department will be creating advertising campaigns to both promote the game as well as give people insight into the landscape and culture of the state, including an open invitation to visit. More details regarding the specifics of the marketing will be announced at a later time, but the department has ensured that touring opportunities will be available as part of the campaign.
Fallout 76 releases November 14, 2018 for the Windows PC, Xbox One, and PS4.