The Fallout 76 launch was less than ideal, and many would call that a drastic understatement. Though the concept was intriguing, fans have been asking for a way to play in the Wasteland with friends for awhile now, the execution was poorly handled and the result has left a lot of questions about Bethesda and where they go next. For those concerned about issues falling on deaf ears, don’t be. Director Todd Howard recently opened up about the whirlwind that was the Fallout 76 launch and how that affects things going forward.
“We knew we were going to have a lot of bumps,” said the director in a recent interview with IGN. “We were ready for…a lot of those difficulties that ended up on the screen. We knew, hey look, this is not the type of game that people are used to from us and we’re going to get some criticism on it. A lot of that is very well-deserved criticism.”
That being said, that doesn’t mean all feedback was constructive, but the team worked to bypass the vitriol and uncover the meaning behind it: “I don’t always like the grammar or adjectives they use. I think the intent–even a very mean-spirited comment from a fan–I think the intent behind that is actually well-meaning. They love these games and they’re super-important to them.”
The game, though the concept is something that a lot of people are forgetting has been asked for previously, unfortunately, had a very buggy launch, something that Howard admits they should have handled differently: “You’ve got to let it bake with a large live audience for longer than we did. There are just certain things you can never see until it’s running 24/7 for a number of months.” Pre-release programs such as Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview were thrown out as would-be alternatives, with Howard suggesting the nifty idea of a beta specifically for Fallout 4 players that “would’ve made a world of difference in how the game hit on day one.”
When asked if Fallout 76’s perceived failure could doom the Fallout franchise, or the Bethesda name as a whole, he replied: “I’m sure it’s had some. It would be naive to say it’s had zero. But I think if people come to the game now and see what’s going on there, I thing they’ll be surprised. I’m really, really proud of what everybody’s done on the game.”
That being said (on a personal note), despite its flaws I have been enjoying creating my own character and building awesome things with gaming friends that I usually co-op with, but the title was handled in a very niche way so the criticism makes sense and it’s nice to see the studio holding themselves accountable.