Is the 'Fallout' Show Actually Connected to the Games? Fans Aren't Happy With the Answer

The 'Fallout' series on Prime Video has earned positive review from fans and critics, but its canon status raises eyebrows.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Apr. 11 2024, Published 10:31 a.m. ET

'Fallout' series key art
Source: Prime Video

Spoiler alert: This article contains minor plot details for the Fallout series on Prime Video.

Whereas live-action adaptations of video games were once looked on as a curse upon otherwise beloved gaming franchises, they seem to be all the rage these days. Following the financial success of the Sonic the Hedgehog film series and the acclaim earned by HBO's adaptation of The Last of Us, both studios and gamers seem to be willing to take more chances on adapting games into movies and shows. In 2024, Fallout joined the list as a new streaming series on Prime Video.

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The series follows the same plot as the games. Set in a post-apocalyptic era devastated by nuclear war, survivors attempt to navigate the danger-filled American wasteland that has been largely influenced by 1950s-esque atompunk technology.

The storylines of the original Fallout games easily lend themselves to a vast and free-wheeling canon that can contain multiple self-contained stories. As such, fans have been curious about whether the show is canon. Interestingly, they aren't happy with the answer.

Ella Purnell as Lucy MacLean in 'Fallout'
Source: Prime Video
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The 'Fallout' show actually has a place in a larger universe, but fans are divided over its canonical status.

The original Fallout games, of which there are many, take place across several different eras of the post-apocalypse. Entries are set across the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd centuries. With over 300 years of timeline to work with, stories could easily take place at any point in Fallout's history without disrupting the larger canon. To that end, the show was crafted with the sense of tying it to the games and is considered canon. In fact, the show is meant to be the latest entry in Fallout's timeline.

Todd Howard, a prominent developer on multiple Fallout games and executive producer on the show, even confirmed its canon status in an interview with Vanity Fair.

Todd stated, "We view what's happening in the show as canon. That's what's great, when someone else looks at your work and then translates it in some fashion."

However, longtime fans of the Fallout games aren't exactly happy with the way this canon entry retcons the original timeline of the games.

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In the series, it is revealed that a major faction in the games known as the New California Republic (NCR) collapsed following the destruction of their home in Shady Sands in the year 2277. However, this event does not jive with the timeline established by Fallout: New Vegas, a fan-favorite entry.

On the r/Fallout subreddit, one user explained, "The timelines don't much up and [the show places] the NCR's destruction four years before New Vegas happened."

In fact, the show's canon status effectively removes New Vegas from canon entirely. This revelation over multiple timelines and retcons has been poorly received by fans. One person wrote on X (formerly Twitter), "People are really going to hate the new Fallout series not because it breaks the canon of the world, but because it wipes it clean."

Want to judge for yourself? The first season of Fallout is now streaming on Prime Video.

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