You may have heard the news about Fallout Shelter already. I mean, it is a huge iOS game based on an even larger Bethesda franchise. Still, in case you haven’t, here’s the skinny. In two weeks, the company made over $5.1 million on the sim game. Not bad for a mobile game. But the thing is, it may not all be about Fallout Shelter being tied to Fallout .
Sure, Fallout 4 hype helps. So do the iconic character cameos that come up when people get Lunchboxes that move VIPs into their vaults. But, there’s something else to consider too. People wouldn’t be spending that kind of money on Fallout Shelter if the game wasn’t also fun.
It’s the same situation as Rayman: Jungle Run . Even if it didn’t have the iconic character, Ubisoft’s app would have been just as sweet. People still would have flocked to it, because the gameplay is solid. It’s the same reason Fallout Shelter would have succeeded, regardless of title, and not become a Run Sackboy! Run! The core experience is appealing.
First of all, Fallout Shelter is a simulation game. These get incredibly engaging, because there’s always some way to advance and elevate the virtual world a player is attending to. Citizens have needs, and there’s this desire to keep checking in to see if everything has been met. It’s the same thing that made games like NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower a success. Something is always happening, and it draws you back in.
But, there’s more to it than just keeping an eye on a vault. There’s the world outside of the vault to explore. Knowing that people could be sent off on missions to explore and discover new things is another matter that keeps people coming back to Fallout Shelter .
Perhaps the biggest draw of all is knowing that someone doesn’t have to spend real money on the game. Fallout Shelter isn’t a game with “stamina” limiting your every move, or special characters that require real cash to unlock. Lunchboxes are doled out for meeting regular goals. An array of content can be unlocked and enjoyed without spending money. It’s an enticing prospect.
Would Fallout Shelter have made Bethesda $5.1 million so quickly without the Fallout name and characters? No, it probably wouldn’t. But, the gameplay is solid and developer trusted enough that people would have played this game regardless, and surely would have kicked in enough cash to make it into a success.