When Fallout 76 launched last November, fans were met by a litany of unfortunate bugs, glitches, and mishaps both in and outside of developer Bethesda’s newest open-world multiplayer title set in the Fallout universe. While players may have had their concerns on the then-upcoming title following the game’s beta, and a massive patch for Fallout 76 shortly after release, the team behind Fallout‘s first attempt at an online-only experience expected many of those issues well before its official release.
Speaking on IGN’s monthly Unfiltered interview series, Todd Howard, game director for both the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises, admitted Bethesda was aware of the problems Fallout 76 was going to have as launch day approached. This means the developer was aware that the majority of software updates would be focused towards bug fixes rather than the new content that was originally planned.
The internet took to voicing negative criticisms for Fallout 76 in the ensuing months after release. A video posted by Internet Historian called out multiple problems with not just the game, but with Bethesda’s miscues from PR and controversy surrounding canvas bags that Collector’s Edition buyers were promised. Other problems included, but were not limited to, players being randomly signed in to other player’s accounts, a security breach via Bethesda’s digital market which exposed private user information, and players being banned for taking advantage of in-world exploits prior to their respective patch fixes.
It seems as though Bethesda and Todd Howard have learned that while Fallout 76 will be supported for a long time, a strong launch for a live service game is extremely important. Many fans were skeptical on Bethesda’s choice to divert from its traditional single-player experience, and the botched launch put the decisions for the franchise into further question. Thankfully Howard has confirmed an “online-only” format does not reflect Fallout‘s future, something many were worried about when Fallout 76 was first revealed.
While Todd Howard has said the eventual Fallout 5 will be single-player, Bethesda has a few more games in the pipeline before it can begin talking about the next adventures of the wasteland. With games like The Elder Scrolls VI and Project Starfield confirmed, but not showing up at E3 this year for Bethesda’s conference, it will be a long time before players hear anything else about the next Fallout.
This does however give Bethesda more time to dig itself out of the hole it created seven months ago, as its promise to support the game ‘forever’ will surely be put to the test.
Fallout 76 is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.