Fallout 1st Needs to be a Win for Fallout 76, but isn't Right Now
/ 3 MIN read
Fallout 76 needed a win with the new Fallout 1st subscription service, but the backlash seems to prove it wasn't.
Image courtesy of: Bethesda
This is one of the many answers I’ve given to different people asking my thoughts on Bethesda’s announcement for Fallout 76’s new subscription service Fallout 1st. I’ve always been on the more forgiving side to Fallout 76’s many past transgressions, so when I first heard about the service, my initial thought was “Great! They can release this for Fallout 76 and get some positive karma out of this.” My hope was a service that works as intended and added in some features that not only had the community been asking for, but would be willing to pay for to get extra goodies.
Bethesda has been on the back foot since before the game released, and has yet to dissuade anger and complaints. This is partly because the game launched a buggy mess and lacked game features and partly because Bethesda has seemingly ignored fan response and pushed forward with further buggy patch updates. The stable releases and updates they have put out are either paid features the community asked to be included in the base game or seemingly out of touch trend chasing features like the Battle Royale mode. It just seemed like Bethesda couldn’t or wouldn’t get major positive traction with the internet and community at large.
I read the announcement along with the rest of the internet. Private worlds, bonus Atoms, extra cosmetic items, exclusive ‘utility’ items, emotes and more for just 12.99 a month or 99.99 a year. I’m on the side that most of these ‘utility’ items are things that should be available through play, not with your wallet, and only 8 people on a Private World is kinda lame compared to the 24 on a regular server but all in all the service sounds solid in theory. The price is a bit much for me right now with the current state of the game and how often I play it, but after the big Wastelanders DLC that adds in another main quest and human NPCs it’d definitely be more valuable to me. All in all I was looking forward to it. So of course the service launched broken, with private worlds and the extra items not working correctly, and the internet is absolutely shitting on Bethesda right now.
People have every right to be upset with the way it’s been handled, and unfortunately it’s just another thing to hold against Bethesda and Fallout 76. Until Bethesda can do something to truly dispel all the earned negative criticism lobbed their way with a good solid win, they’re going to continue to get dog piled by the internet even when it’s not deserved because it’s low hanging fruit.
I think had Bethesda launched the Fallout 1st service and instead made the private world feature a free part of the base game, this announcement would have gone over way better even with the service launching in its broken state. Giving the community a feature they’ve been requesting since launch, and saying that in the future private worlds would add in mod support, the ability to change the world rules and persistent world stuff added to a paid version later, could have cooled some angry fans and garnered some good faith.
As it stands currently from these angry fans, this Fallout 1st launch tells players “pay for these features you wanted in the base game, a bunch of stuff you don’t care about, and maybe we improve in the future if we feel like it.” It then doesn’t even have the decency to do what it says as intended.
Personally I’m a bit on the ‘sad, but not surprised’ side of all this. I love the Fallout franchise as a whole, new and old games alike, but it’s clear the business side of Bethesda has messed with the magic of the game developing side of Bethesda and it’s hard to keep coming up with reasons to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’ll follow through. I’m still looking forward to getting a Fallout 1st subscription, although now I’m definitely waiting till later. This new exciting feature for a game that needed a win just isn’t that right now.
Fatsack - Ethan Kellogg is a Twitch streamer, graphic designer, web developer, and advisory live stream consultant. Likes video games, TTRPGs, weird music, and stiff drinks. He/Him