Is it really that common? I can't think of any examples where the fictional world remains at the same level of technology regardless of passage of time aside from maybe old cartoons. And even if it were common, that doesn't make it a good or an effective plot device. Most people would argue the the opposite. And thats not true, we only saw no technological and social changes in Fallout 3, and hopefully Fallout 4 will be different in that aspect (in parts of the trailer it looks to be the case). Things need to change for new issues to be explored, or else you're just left with a stagnating setting and the same issues you had last time. I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm not asking it be realistic like having the exact half-life of plutonium, but at the very least it should make sense and the world should develop. The tagline isn't 'The plot, the plot never changes' . I disagree. In order for a franchise to be unique, it is up to the writers to take a unique direction moving on and to expand upon the original game, rather than holding onto an aesthetic simply because that's recognisable. Fallout New Vegas was able to expand on the previous games, moving it further ahead, while also keeping the aesthetic. Sticking to a formula makes it the opposite of unique, because there's nothing different or special about it. I would have thought that's a given.