Gamers and publications alike didn’t really expect Fallout 76 to be good, and it certainly wasn’t. I gave it a rating of 20/100 in my review, and even I found that to be more than generous for such a (literal) wasteland of a game.
However, now the developers themselves have admitted that they actually expected the disastrous launch for the game, and this is coming from Bethesda director Todd Howard himself.
In an interview with IGN, Howard said:
“That was a very difficult development on that game to get it where it was.
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.”
When asked about whether Fallout 76 had caused the once-revered Bethesda (responsible for games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and others) any lasting damage to its reputation, he said:
“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…they’d be surprised.”
One of the biggest regrets that Howard has for Fallout 76 is that he wishes they had properly and more extensively tested the game before launching the full version to the world, in the form of something similar to Steam Early Access or beta tests. He said:
“The main takeaway we had was 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.”
Despite all the bumps and bruises along the way, Howard ultimately believes that the game has grown into “fabulous game with an incredible community behind it.” It’s a way of looking at matters positively, I guess.
“We felt strongly this is a game we want to play, this is something we really want to do, and all of the games like this…there’s a [difficult] period when you launch.
It’s not how you launch, it’s what it becomes, and I couldn’t be prouder of the team that’s worked on it.”