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Van Buren (Fallout 3)
Fallout 3 Logo.png
Developer(s) Black Isle Studios
Designer(s) Chris Avellone
Josh Sawyer
Series Fallout series
Engine Jefferson Engine
Platform(s) Windows
Genre(s) Post-apocalyptic Action RPG
Mode(s) Single-player
Input methods Keyboard and Mouse

Van Buren was the codename given to Fallout 3, a game that was being developed by Black Isle Studios before the parent company, Interplay Entertainment, laid off the PC development team on December 8, 2003, effectively cancelling the game. Prior to its cancellation, Van Buren was set to carry on the Fallout series as the sequel to Fallout 2. On May 3, 2007, the tech demo of the game was leaked onto the internet.[1]

An official Fallout 3 was developed by Bethesda Softworks after Interplay sold them the single player rights to the franchise. It was released October 28, 2008.[2]



A town from Van Buren

The following is a description of the scrapped development of Van Buren by Black Isle Studios. The official Fallout 3 does not follow this storyline. Although the complete story was never revealed, many important details were divulged during the game's development.

The character would start the game as a prisoner; whether the character was wrongfully imprisoned or guilty was to be determined at character creation. The game would have started in a strange prison as it was attacked by an unnamed force. An explosion would knock the character unconscious, and the cell door would be open when he awakened. The player would then escape into the wasteland while being pursued by strange assailants. After leaving, the character would have the power to shape the destiny of the wasteland. His interactions with organizations such as the Brotherhood of Steel could bolster or destroy the organizations, influencing people associated with them, much as in the previous two Fallout games.

One of the more significant elements of the plot and backstory of Van Buren was to be an ongoing war between the Brotherhood of Steel and the New California Republic. The game's ultimate plotline was planned so that the events in the beginning of the game would have been part of a scheme by a rogue New California Republic scientist, Dr. Victor Presper, to seize control of a U.S. orbital nuclear weapons platform and use it to initiate a second nuclear holocaust, cleansing the world of all but his chosen few. In the end, the player would not be able to stop all of the missiles from launching, and his or her decisions on where the missiles would strike would ultimately have decided the future of the world.

Van Buren was to be centered around Utah and Colorado, but it also would have included areas of neighboring states. The player would be able to visit places such as Hoover Dam, Denver, Mesa Verde, and the Grand Canyon.

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