Fallout 76 had a rocky launch in 2018, with fans extremely disappointed by its game-breaking bugs, the sparse world, and the absence of NPCs to interact with. In the years since, developers have implement a variety of quality-of-life changes and addressed many of the major concerns that turned fans away from the game — but it’s hard to deny how badly the game started out.
In a recent livestream, Todd Howard, Bethesda Game Studios director, admitted the game’s launch was a major screw up.
“When that game launched — the litany of issues we had, and we let a lot of people down, and, well, there was very little we didn’t screw up, honestly,” Howard said during a Bethesda Roundtable with Xbox. It’s an incredibly strong admission, and a fair one at that.
It’s not the first time Howard has spoken about the difficulties of launching Fallout 76, having admitted in 2019 that the criticism against the game was justified, but it is the first time he’s spoken so definitively about the game’s launch issues.
With the game’s major criticisms now thoroughly addressed through multiple patches and content drops like Wastelanders, it’s fair to say Fallout 76 is no longer the same game it was in 2018. It’s got a thriving community, frequent event quests and constant updates that keep the action fresh. There’s plenty to love about the game in 2021.
Still, its ‘screwed up’ launch in 2018 meant many have turned away from Fallout 76 for good.
In the Bethesda roundtable, Howard admitted the launch would have gone better if Bethesda had tweaked the original approach. Howard had said in earlier interviews he wished the game had gone through a free beta before being launched, but he’s now gone one step further and admitted having the game on a platform like Xbox Game Pass would have been a better alternative for everyone.
During the discussion, Howard talked further about the new relationship between Microsoft and Bethesda and how it would operate in future. Notably, he did not touch on the potential exclusivity of Bethesda titles, but he did talk about how Xbox could make future games more accessible.
The whole chat is worth a look if you’ve got a spare hour — but you won’t find anything too juicy about exclusives reshaping the future of gaming. It appears we’ll have to wait a little bit longer to hear what big plans Xbox has for Bethesda.