Fallout: New Vegas already lets players build and roleplay almost any kind of character they want, but the player options were almost a lot wider. As developer Obsidian has now revealed, the studio’s original plan would have let players customize not just their human traits, but their race as well, choosing to make a human, a ghoul, or even a super mutant.
“Originally we had this idea where the player would be able to choose between three races: human, ghoul, and super mutant,” Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart revealed in a recent interview with Eurogamer. “It was just the engine…”
Expanding the game to include multiple player races would have opened up a lot of options for the story and the ever-expanding consequences of your choices in New Vegas, but as Urquhart explained, it became too difficult to change everything in the game to accommodate the different races.
“It really had to do with how all the weapons and armor worked,” Urquhart said. “Trying to have them all work with ghouls and super mutants was just going to be— [Bethesda] felt like it was going to be a nightmare. It wasn’t like they said no but it was a very strongly worded, ‘We would really suggest that you not try to do that.'”
Urquhart also revealed that the original name of the game, when it was first pitched to Bethesda, was not New Vegas but rather Fallout: Sin City. That was changed rapidly to Fallout: Vegas and then to the game’s final title, Fallout: New Vegas.
Adding more playable races may not have been worth all of the additional development work and time, but it would have been a neat addition. Regardless, Fallout: New Vegas as it was went on to become one of Obsidian’s most popular and best received games, so the design decisions worked out in the end.