An e-newsletter being published by a West Virginia online travel guide this coming week will explore the virtual landscape presented in Fallout 76, a soon-to-be-released video game set in a post-apocalyptic version of the Mountain State.
According to a spokesman for the newsletter, fans awaiting the November launch of the game are combing the Web to discover more about West Virginia landmarks, many of which are popularly featured on the travel website West Virginia Explorer at WVExplorer.com.
"Part of our mission is to provide the global audience of millions of Fallout fans a real-world view of the Mountain State," contributing editor John Barton said of the upcoming newsletter, the first issue of which is due out in the first week of July.
Barton said gamers have been busy surfing West Virginia Explorer and similar websites for clues as to how the game will be played out.
More than 15 million people purchased Fallout 4, the most recent installment in the game, which sold more 10 million copies within 24 hours of its release, Barton said, estimating that Fallout 76 would reach 15 to 20 million copies.
The multiplayer role-playing game take place in a post-nuclear version of West Virginia that features recreations of real locations including the capitol, Camden Park, The Greenbrier, the New River Gorge Bridge, and Woodburn Hall at West Virginia University.
The game will also feature mutants and monsters, several of which—such as Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster—were inspired by folklore perpetuated by West Virginia Explorer.
"In almost 20 years of publishing the explorer online I've never seen traffic like this," Sibray said. "If all I hear is true, this could have a measurable popular impact on perceptions of the state as a tourist destination."
Sign up for the newsletter here: "FalloutWV." Hashtag: #FalloutWV