How Long Did It Take To Make Fallout: New Vegas?

Fallout: New Vegas is one of the most beloved entries in the popular Fallout game franchise. But how long did it actually take developers Obsidian Entertainment to make this massive open-world RPG? This in-depth article will reveal the full timeline for New Vegas’s development.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: It took Obsidian around 18 months to develop Fallout: New Vegas, from conception to release.

Timeline of Development

Pre-Production: Early 2009

The development of Fallout: New Vegas began in early 2009 with the pre-production phase. During this stage, the game’s concept and design were fleshed out, and the team at Obsidian Entertainment, the studio behind the game, started brainstorming ideas for the story, characters, and gameplay mechanics.

According to Polygon, the team faced several challenges during this phase, including the need to familiarize themselves with the Fallout universe and create a game that would live up to the high standards set by its predecessor, Fallout 3.

Full Development: Mid 2009

By mid-2009, the full development of Fallout: New Vegas was underway. The team at Obsidian Entertainment, with guidance from Bethesda Softworks, the publisher of the game, started working on implementing the various elements of the game, including the world design, quests, and dialogue.

Fallout Wiki states that during this phase, the team also focused on creating the unique factions and settlements that players would encounter in the game. This attention to detail and world-building helped to create the immersive and dynamic world that Fallout: New Vegas is known for.

Content Creation: Late 2009 – Mid 2010

From late 2009 to mid-2010, the content creation phase of development took place. This involved creating the vast amount of assets needed for the game, such as character models, weapons, and environmental textures.

The team at Obsidian Entertainment also worked on designing and implementing the numerous quests and side missions that players could undertake in the game. This phase required meticulous planning and coordination to ensure that all the content fit seamlessly into the game’s narrative and world.

Bug Fixing and Polishing: Mid – Late 2010

In the final phase of development, from mid to late 2010, the focus shifted to bug fixing and polishing. This involved identifying and addressing any technical issues or glitches that were discovered during playtesting.

According to Eurogamer, this phase was crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable gameplay experience for players. The team at Obsidian Entertainment worked tirelessly to fine-tune the game and make sure that it met the high standards set for a Fallout title.

Size of the Development Team

Creating a massive and immersive game like Fallout: New Vegas required a dedicated and talented team of developers. Let’s take a closer look at the size of the development team behind this highly acclaimed game.

Core Developers at Obsidian

The development of Fallout: New Vegas was primarily handled by Obsidian Entertainment, an experienced game development studio known for their work on RPGs. The core team at Obsidian consisted of talented designers, programmers, artists, and writers who worked tirelessly to bring the game to life.

While the exact number is not publicly available, it is estimated that dozens of core developers were involved in the creation of Fallout: New Vegas.

Assistance from Bethesda

In addition to the core team at Obsidian, they also received assistance from Bethesda Game Studios, the creators of the Fallout series. Bethesda provided valuable support and resources throughout the development process, including access to the Fallout game engine, technology, and assets.

This collaboration between Obsidian and Bethesda allowed for a seamless integration of the game into the Fallout universe.

Total Team Size

When considering the total size of the development team for Fallout: New Vegas, it is important to include not only the core developers at Obsidian but also the additional support from Bethesda. While the exact number is not known, it is safe to say that the combined team consisted of over a hundred individuals, each contributing their unique skills and expertise to create the vast and detailed world of New Vegas.

For more information on the development of Fallout: New Vegas, you can visit and

Factors That Affected Development Time

Time Constraints from Bethesda

The development of Fallout: New Vegas was subject to various time constraints imposed by Bethesda, the publisher of the game. As with any game development project, meeting deadlines and release dates is crucial.

Bethesda had a specific timeframe in mind for the release of Fallout: New Vegas, which undoubtedly influenced the development process. The developers had to work within these constraints to ensure the game was completed on time.

Engine Familiarity

An important factor that affected the development time of Fallout: New Vegas was the familiarity of the development team with the game engine. The team at Obsidian Entertainment, the studio responsible for creating the game, had previous experience working with the engine used in Fallout: New Vegas.

This familiarity allowed them to navigate the engine more efficiently and make the necessary modifications and improvements to create the game.

Cut Content

During the development of Fallout: New Vegas, there were several instances where content had to be cut from the game. This could include features, quests, or even whole areas that were initially planned but ultimately removed due to time constraints or other considerations.

Cut content is a common occurrence in game development, as developers often have to make difficult decisions to ensure a timely release. In the case of Fallout: New Vegas, the cut content may have contributed to a shorter development time, as the team had to focus on what was feasible within the given timeframe.

How the Timeline Compares to Other Fallout Games

When it comes to the development timeline of Fallout: New Vegas, it’s fascinating to see how it compares to other games in the Fallout franchise. Each game in the series has its own unique journey from conception to release, and understanding these timelines can give us insight into the complexities of game development.

Fallout 3

The development of Fallout 3, the critically acclaimed predecessor to New Vegas, took approximately three years. It was developed by Bethesda Game Studios and released in 2008. During this time, the team faced various challenges, including transitioning the series from its original isometric view to a fully immersive 3D world.

Despite these challenges, Fallout 3 was well-received by both fans and critics, securing its place as a beloved entry in the franchise.

Fallout 4

The development timeline for Fallout 4 was notably longer than that of its predecessors. It took Bethesda Game Studios approximately seven years to create the game, which was released in 2015. The extended development period allowed the team to introduce several innovative features, such as the ability to build and customize settlements.

This added depth and complexity to the gameplay experience and contributed to the game’s overall success.

Fallout 76

When it comes to the most recent installment in the series, Fallout 76, the development timeline was also significant. It took Bethesda Game Studios around four years to develop and release the game, which came out in 2018.

Fallout 76 was a departure from the traditional single-player experience, as it introduced online multiplayer gameplay. This shift in focus required additional time and resources to ensure a smooth and enjoyable multiplayer experience for players.

Comparing these timelines, we can see that the development of Fallout: New Vegas fell within a similar range, taking approximately two and a half years. Obsidian Entertainment, the studio behind New Vegas, had the advantage of building upon the existing framework established by Bethesda Game Studios with Fallout 3.

This allowed for a shorter development timeline while still delivering a rich and immersive experience.

Understanding the timelines of these games gives us a glimpse into the dedication and hard work that goes into creating a successful video game. It also highlights the importance of collaboration and building upon the foundation laid by previous installments.

Whether it’s a three-year journey or a seven-year endeavor, the end result is a game that captivates players and immerses them in a post-apocalyptic world filled with adventure and excitement.

Reception to the Development Timeline

When it comes to the development timeline of Fallout: New Vegas, the reception was a mix of praise and criticism. While many applauded the efficient timeline of the game’s creation, others raised concerns about the presence of bugs and cuts.

Praise for the Efficient Timeline

The development of Fallout: New Vegas was completed in a relatively short period of time compared to other AAA games. This efficient timeline was seen as a remarkable accomplishment by both fans and industry experts.

The game was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Bethesda Softworks, and it took them approximately 18 months to bring the game to life.

During this time, the development team managed to create a vast open world with intricate storylines, engaging characters, and immersive gameplay. The team’s ability to deliver such a high-quality game within a tight schedule was widely praised.

One of the factors that contributed to the efficiency of the development timeline was the use of existing assets and game engine from Fallout 3, which saved time and resources. This allowed the team to focus more on creating new content and refining the gameplay mechanics, resulting in a polished final product.

The success of Fallout: New Vegas in terms of sales and critical acclaim further validated the effectiveness of the development timeline. The game received positive reviews from both players and critics, with its immersive world, compelling narrative, and memorable characters being praised as standout features.

Criticisms Related to Bugs and Cuts

Despite the overall positive reception to the development timeline of Fallout: New Vegas, there were some criticisms related to bugs and cuts in the final game. Some players reported experiencing technical issues, including game crashes and glitches, which affected their overall experience.

It is worth noting that the development timeline for Fallout: New Vegas was relatively short compared to the scope of the game. This led to some compromises being made, including cuts to certain features or content that were originally planned.

While these cuts were necessary to meet the deadlines, they did result in some disappointment among fans who were expecting a more extensive experience.

However, it is important to acknowledge that the development of any complex game is a challenging process, and some issues are bound to arise. The development team at Obsidian Entertainment worked tirelessly to address these bugs and released several patches and updates to improve the overall gameplay experience.

Despite the criticisms, Fallout: New Vegas remains a beloved game among fans of the Fallout series and is considered by many as one of the best entries in the franchise. The efficient development timeline, coupled with its engaging gameplay and rich storytelling, has solidified its place in gaming history.


Considering the scale and complexity of the game, Obsidian Entertainment developed Fallout: New Vegas in a remarkably short timeframe. Their ability to create such an expansive RPG world in just 18 months is a testament to the skill and dedication of the development team.

However, the rushed schedule likely contributed to some of the bugs and cut content issues that drew criticism at launch. Overall, New Vegas overcame its hurried development cycle to become one of the most beloved Fallout games of all time.

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