We now have Developer/Creator Appreciation Week going on in Blaprilverse, and while I’m usually not one to overly focus on the negative I’m taking the liberty to turn the idea upside down in light of current events.
Of course I’m talking about the fact that the long anticipated Wastelanders-expansion for Fallout 76 released just over a week ago.
Now, a lot of folks seem to be pretty happy with it. Syp, Naithin and many Steam-users have to say good things about the new experience, and more power to them. I absolutely don’t begrudge anyone finally having some fun (or more fun) with the game they bought, don’t get me wrong here.
Still, in my opinion this doesn’t redeem Bethesda one bit. I’m not willing to just forgive and forget their disastrous and to some extent downright criminal conduct surrounding the game’s original launch 1 1/2 years ago – yes, it’s indeed been this long.
So today I’m going to recap this train wreck of a release, lest we forget what happens when players shower game companies with their hard earned money without knowing whether they’ll actually get said money’s worth (or any worth at all) in return.
Let Developer/Creator Naming and Shaming Week commence.
I’m not even going to beat the dead horse that is Todd Howard’s grandiose presentation at E3 2018 again. Of course it is extremely funny (and sad) to watch considering what players actually got, but I can hardly blame only Bethesda for doing what absolutely everyone does to get people hyped up for their games, can I?
So let’s leave the land of fairytales behind and cut straight to the facts.
The game released on November 14th 2018. Before being able to actually play people had to download a day one patch, about 50 GB in size depending on platform. Hell, the game client itself was smaller than that!
The real ‘fun’ began after and despite that sizeable download though…
You don’t have to listen to the commentary, just watch the first few minutes of that video to get but a small glimpse of what players went through. Glitches, bugs, crashes, disconnects, duping (accidental as well as on purpose); you name it, FO76 had it.
The game crashed some people’s gaming devices so hard that they had to reinstall the whole thing, in some cases allegedly even their console’s operating systems. Others logged into their accounts – or so they thought – just to realize that they were logged into someone else’s instead for some reason.
However, as sad as it is to say, so far this is all not that unusual for a triple-A release these days. Not many are quite this bad, sure, but bugs, massive day one patches and stuff like that have become the norm rather than the exception in the last 10-15 years or so.
Which is bad enough on its own, but apparently the folks at Bethesda weren’t content with delivering one faulty product and leave it at that. Hell no.
On the left you see a canvas bag, advertised to be included in the game’s ‘Power Armor Edition’, priced at 200 bucks. On the right you see what buyers actually got. Of course people weren’t happy and contacted Bethesda’s support about it. To give credit where it’s due, they did get a response.
Wait, what? They surely weren’t serious here, were they? When more and more inquiries piled up they added:
Now you’re talking…wait. How much do 500 Atoms cost again? Oh yeah. 5$. Five. Dollars.
Well at least folks could now buy an ingame-outfit that actually includes a canvas bag…oh.
Only after the outrage had become big enough to be covered by pretty much every gaming news outlet there is did they cave in and promise that everyone would get their real canvas bag…in four to six months time.
But fear not, if you feel you’re in desperate need of a drink after all that crap Bethesda’s got you covered.
Oh hey, that’s a pretty nice looking bottle of rum. And for an 80$ price tag the bottle as well as its content should be of a somewhat high quality, no?
See, they even delayed shipping because “one of the components of the product was not up to Fallout standards“.
The rum was shipped about a month after its initial release date. The bottle, it turned out, was a standard glass bottle inside of a not really that great-looking plastic casing. Apparently you couldn’t pour a drink without spilling half of it, so you pretty much had to crack open the plastic and use the rather bland glass bottle. Almost needless to say at this point, the rum didn’t taste that good either. Oh yeah, and somehow there were a whole bunch of 5-star ratings before the rum had even shipped. When people called them out for it those reviews quickly disappeared as if by magic.
There’s still lots more I haven’t covered. This video by the Internet Historian sums it all up very well and is also highly entertaining…although it’s a bit like watching a car crash in slow motion.
So yeah, that’s why I think Fallout 76 doesn’t deserve a second chance. As far as I’m concerned it didn’t deserve a chance to begin with. When the makers of a product lie to me, deliver a product that’s not even close to working as advertised (or even something else entirely), fake their own reviews and generally behave as if they can do whatever the fuck they want without the smallest bit of respect for their customer’s rights, time and money, they don’t deserve anything but a hefty kick in the nuts.
I’m sure, I’d like to add, that the majority of people who worked on the game and its related products in whatever capacity did their best, and I’m not faulting them for any of this. The fish rots from the head down though, as the saying goes, and this particular head is undoubtedly rotten to the core.
I’m glad that I didn’t spend any money on this pile of crap, and I definitely won’t buy anything with Bethesda’s logo on the box any time soon. Screw you.
Blapril 2020 post count: 9