POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — With the announcement that the internationally-known gaming franchise Fallout would be basing its next title, Fallout 76, in West Virginia and that Mason County’s Mothman legend would reportedly be featured in the game, the Mothman Museum reached out to Bethesda Game Studios and asked them to participate in this weekend’s upcoming festival.
“Basically, it was kind of serendipitous,” said Festival Organizer and Mothman Museum Marketing Specialist Ashley Wamsley. “The guy who was one of the artists (of the game), when they announced that it would be based out of West Virginia, it was posted online with him wearing one of the shirts from the Mothman Museum. He bought it through us through the website. Once we realized what was going on, we contacted them and said ‘What do you think about working together?’”
Wamsley said festival organizers weren’t sure of what to expect but were pleasantly surprised by Bethesda’s reaction. The museum and festival organizers were put in contact with Bethesda’s marketing department and Wamsley said they seemed “excited” to take part in the event.
“We said, look, we have this festival every year and it’s dedicated to Mothman and what would you all think about playing some kind of part in it? Whatever you think you might want to do,” said Wamsley. “So, the plan is, as of now, if everything goes perfectly, they’re sending some of their marketing reps and they really just want it to be kind of organic and mingle in the crowd.”
Wamsley said details were still partly being worked out.
“The festival is huge with a lot of people,” said Wamsley,” but it’s not so (physically) spread out that you wouldn’t see them. We’re working on that part. Their plan is for them to send some marketing people and give out some cool freebies that are Vault Boy related. Hopefully, the Vault Boy costume will be there so you can get your picture with him. We’re encouraging as many of the cosplayers to come out as they can and we think there will be a good turnout.”
Wamsley said Bethesda had been “super approachable” throughout the process of getting the festival organized with the company’s presence.
“When things were posted online, it really drove a lot of traffic to the museum (web presence),” said Wamsley. “A lot of those people said they didn’t even know what Mothman was but they were interested in learning more about the folklore of the area and coming to Point Pleasant. It’s been a good thing for us and the town.”
Wamsley said posts made on social media connecting Mothman and Point Pleasant with the Fallout 76 game had garnered thousands of likes.
“We’ve had people come in and say they were doing Fallout tours of West Virginia and trying to go to all the places (that may be in game) on the map,” said Wamsley. “I don’t know how much Bethesda realizes how big of a deal it’s going to be for the state.”
The Fallout game series has traditionally been set as a post-apocalyptic story in various locations throughout the U.S. As an action roleplaying video game, much of Fallout’s story has been based in the post-World War II culture of the 1950s, making multiple thematic references to the potentials and dangers of nuclear technology. Mutated monsters and radioactivity are just among a few of the hazards players encounter as they journey through Fallout’s previous game titles.
“Point Pleasant is perfect for that kind of thing,” said Wamsley. “That post-apocalyptic look and all that with the TNT area. It’s like desolate there. It’s perfect for that kind of storyline.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.