In the world of video games, one story is at the forefront of every gamers mind right now: Fallout 76. A story that just keeps going from bad to worse. I have not played the game, but everyone I know personally has enjoyed it. On the other hand, the echo chamber of the internet tells me how it is the worse game in the history of bad games.
Fallout 76 released Nov. 14 to generally unfavorable reviews. The game is an action role playing game for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. The game, like many modern games, had a glitchy launch with bugs galore. This isn’t the first game to launch with bugs and it won’t be the last. The game also had issues with zero NPCs, or non-playable characters. The world felt empty, which isn’t how a Fallout game should feel. Shockingly, the biggest issues for the game don’t even seem to be the game itself.
Fallout 76 had a limited edition, like almost all triple A titles released. This edition is called the Power Armor Edition because in the Fallout universe power armor is a staple of the series. The Power Armor Edition came with the game, a steelbook case, a full scale wearable Power Armor helmet, a glow in the dark world terrain map, 24 collectable mini figures, bonus in game items and a duffel bag for the helmet. Out of all those items which caused the biggest backlash.
Take a good hard look at that list and take a guess.
Mind you this all cost $200 dollars.
If you guessed the duffel bag, you’d have been correct shockingly. Originally the bag shown with the edition was canvas bag for the Power Armor helmet. Instead what came with the edition was a nylon bag. This led to Reddit and Twitter attacks of Bethesda. Many people who bought this on Reddit complaining how this nylon bag instead of canvas ruined their $200 dollar collector’s edition. A nylon bag, which was the least important part of the package, ruined it for many people. This led to an influx of Bethesda hate, which got a response from the company.
The company’s response? Five hundred in game currency for purchases. That amounts to about $5. This led to more internet drama as players began to rally around their hatred for the nylon bag, which is now being directed at the game. This led to owners of the collector’s edition to sending in support tickets. Here comes the next wave in this tsunami of bad press.
An issue arose within the Bethesda support tickets where by sending one in you could see the names, addresses and what type of credit card is used by other users who sent in a support ticket. Bethesda had this response.
This was Dec. 5. December 6tis the Game Awards, one of the biggest nights of the gaming year, meaning a lot more eyes then normal are on the pulse of the industry then normal.
The story of Fallout 76 is less about the actual game and more about the company distributing the game. Bethesda may be facing a class action lawsuit due to false advertising claims by players. This isn’t the first time a gaming company has faced a class action lawsuit.
No Man’s Sky was hyped to be one of the biggest games of all time. The actual release was extremely underwhelming and led to its own class action lawsuit about false advertising, but was later cleared of breach.
In modern gaming, games being released before they are finished is extremely common. Fallout 76 isn’t even the latest in this controversy. Battlefield V was released Nov. 20. It launched with three of the four campaigns, missing major game modes, and missing the battle royal mode that has been hyped since the first teaser trailer. The first downloadable content was released Dec. 4. It is a game that had its own share of controversy. When it was first announced, the historical accuracy was called into question due to having a female on the cover and female soldiers being in the multiplayer.
The landscape of gaming has changed so much so quickly that the release of incomplete has become a real problem. It is made more glaring when a game like Red Dead Redemption 2 are released and are on another level and complete. As a group, gamers have to come together and focus on real problems.
Not nylon bags, but the games.