When you’re a video game studio that’s released a dud game before subsequently pissing off your fans with false promises, you’d move mountains to get that goodwill back by fixing the game ASAP. But if you’re Bethesda and the game is Fallout 76, apparently the strategy is to piss off fans even more.
After seemingly getting back on track following Fallout 76‘s trouble-filled launch, Bethesda has blown all that recovered goodwill away (again) by announcing it will be introducing a Netflix-esque subscription service called “Fallout 1st” to the game that will give paying players access to a private server.
There’s only one response to this peculiar move from Bethesda:
It’s not like this new Fallout 76 subscription service going to be as cheap as Netflix – or similar services like Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now – either as it’s apparently going to cost $12.99USD a month (about $19AUD) or $99.99USD a year (about $146AUD).
The value of money is also in question as well as membership will net you:
- Private worlds for yourself and up to seven friends.
- A Scrapbox with unlimited storage for crafting materials.
- A Survival Tent that acts as a placeable fast travel point.
- 1,650 Atoms a month for the game’s shop.
- An exclusive Ranger Armor outfit.
- Unique icons and emotes.
So despite Fallout 76 fans asking for things like human non-playable characters, more bug fixes and new quests for ages, Bethesda, in its infinite wisdom, thought it was a better idea to postpone those things in favour of something that charges players even more money.
It’s not impossible to rescue a dud game as Hello Games has impressively done with its slew of free post-launch updates to the initially-panned No Man’s Sky.
However, it’s another to shamelessly charge players even more money for content no one asked for and to lock away requested things behind a paywall. While this subscription service model isn’t new for gaming – Minecraft has done it with great success – introducing it to Fallout 76, a game that’s spent most of its post-launch time trying to fix its problems rather than improving and expanding its player base, is premature to say the least.
Look, it’s understandable to want to make money considering the amount of resources that goes into a game like Fallout 76 these days, but the way Bethesda is going about it feels pretty shady. It’s almost like the studio is going out of its way to piss off fans for the sake of a few extra dollars.
Whether this will work in the short term remains up in the air but it’ll almost certainly cost Bethesda more than just money in the long run as this move has all but eradicated whatever fan goodwill the studio had left.
At this point, it’s almost better if Bethesda shifted its attention to make sure Fallout 5 is a masterpiece rather than rescuing Fallout 76 because it’s winning back fans is going to be an uphill task.