“Fallout 4,” the next installment in the flagship post-apocalyptic video-game franchise, is set to be announced Wednesday, according to several reports. On Tuesday, the game's publisher posted a mysterious countdown clock on their Fallout website, which is set to run out at 10 a.m. EDT.


The “Please Stand By” graphic was previously used in "Fallout 3," which is the previous installment of the venerable role-playing franchise, developed by Bethesda, Maryland-based publisher Bethesda Softworks, released in 2008 to critical praise. Since then, Bethesda has focused on their other core franchise, releasing “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” and “The Elder Scrolls Online."

Although the game has yet to be officially announced, several sites have reported teasers and leaks in the weeks leading up to the countdown clock. Last week, German site PC Games said that Bethesda will unveil a closed-doors demo of Fallout 4 at its first ever E3 conference in Los Angeles, IGN reported.

The rumor mill was stoked again after a CGI artist who worked for Mirada Studios, headed by director Guillermo del Toro, listed a cinematic trailer for Fallout 4 on their LinkedIn page in May, according to VideoGamer.com.

Bethesda director Todd Howard had said last February that there was no official timeline for announcing Fallout 4, but said it would take “a while.”

Fallout 4 has been teased for over two years, with leaked casting documents from Kotaku indicating it will take place in the Commonwealth -- the irradiated remains of Massachusetts as shown in the game. In the Fallout universe, the Commonwealth also hosts the scientists of The Institute, the remnants of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 2008, before the release of Fallout 3, Bethesda Vice President Pete Hines told gaming site TVG that the studio planned to produce multiple Fallout games.

“The whole reason we went out and acquired the license and that we now own Fallout is that we clearly intended to make more than one," he said. "This is not something we're going to do once and then go away and never do it again."