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 a while now, the execution was poorly handled and the result has left a lot of questions about Bethesda and where they go next. Now it looks like Bethesda' parent company, ZeniMax, is owning up to their part of the controversy.
For Australian consumers, a new statement from ZeniMax means they will finally be getting the refunds they have been asking for. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has officially accepted a court-enforceable undertaking that leaves the company with no choice but to pay up.
Now that ZenixMax has agreed to pay up, here is the statement ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court released:
ZeniMax has acknowledged that they are likely to have misled certain Australian consumers about their rights to a refund when they experienced faults with their Fallout 76 game. When a consumer buys a product it comes with automatic consumer guarantees, and retailers must ensure their refunds and returns policies do not misrepresent what the Australian Consumer Law provide. When a consumer has purchased a product that has a fault which amounts to a major failure, the Australian Consumer Law provides them with the right to ask for their choice of either a repair, replacement or refund.
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 with a severe lack of cotnet, something that Howard admitted earlier this year that 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 think 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.