Since the release of Fallout 3, we have seen the release of Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity, and Divinty: Original Sin. All three of these titles were funded on Kickstarter by fans; all three are made in the vein of the classic CRPGs of old; and all three have been met with a positive reception from critics and players alike.
Contrary to the mindset of the AAA publishing world, there is very much a market for an RPG that challenges the player in gameplay and doesn’t feature a Hollywood voice cast.
Bethesda could incorporate aspects of the CRPG experience like the additional, optional difficulties of New Vegas without eliminating the mainstream appeal of their games. Wasteland 2 featured a harsh world where everyday survival was a bitter battle day in and day out which fits given the game’s bleak tone and setting. Fallout 4 doesn’t have to be as difficult as Wasteland 2, but it could bring a harsher world to players who desire it.