Bethesda Softworks decided to hype up the launch of Fallout 4 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One (opens in new tab) even further, by launching a mobile game where the player could simulate the overseer position in their own vault.
What may have been another shoddy mobile game using the IP of a classic actually turned out to be quite a fun experience, one which netted Bethesda £3.25 million in the opening two weeks.
Taking off Apple’s 30 per cent cut, Bethesda still made £2.2 million in the opening two weeks. That is extremely good for a mobile game that only offers in-app purchases, especially since Fallout Shelter is a lot less vulgar about its business model than other freemium mobile games.
Fallout Shelter managed to hit the top of the grossing page on the iOS App Store for a few days (opens in new tab), but lost the top spot to global favourites like Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans. It has maintained a spot in the top 20 since launch.
In Fallout Shelter, the business model relies on players buying lunchboxes, the pseudo-cheat currency that unlocks better weapons, more resources and special characters. Of course, these can all be found inside the game, but the lunchboxes speed up the process.
One of the ways Bethesda differs from other mobile app developers is it does not allow microtransactions to affect new vaults. This means if a user spends £5 on Vault 444, the lunchbox earnings remain in that vault.
Bethesda plans to launch Fallout 4 on November 10 for PS4, PC and Xbox One (opens in new tab). Fans of the series are hoping this new success does not diminish Bethesda’s investment in quality triple-A titles, instead of mobile games.