Bethesda Will Relaunch Fallout 76 | Alessandro Fillari
Last year, I said that Bethesda would relaunch Fallout 76. It didn’t quite happen in the way that I expected, but I still stand by the theory that Bethesda would make a significant effort to retool the game into what people wanted in an online Fallout. Sure, it didn’t make it a free-to-play game or rework the overall story, but meaningful changes have been made that fundamentally altered the state of Fallout 76 for the better. At E3 2019, the developers at Bethesda Game Studios Austin showed off the newest additions to the game, which included a battle royale-style mode, new events, and other significant changes. In 2020, the developers even plan to add in actual NPC characters in the world, making it seem more like a traditional Fallout game.
Fallout 76 is leaps and bounds in a better state than what it was back at launch. With that said, the game is still in need of a significant rework. As is tradition with other Bethesda open-world RPGs, Fallout 76 is still rife with bugs and other unusual occurrences that are to the detriment of player progression and enjoyment. One of the recent updates introduced a premium service to 76, allowing players to pay a subscription for additional storage and other features. While this has afforded players who spent the additional funds with new resources to take advantage of, the more significant side-effect of this new premium service within 76 is that it’s created in-game conflict between the players who do have a special status, and those that don’t. Essentially, the recent updates have introduced socio economic unrest in the world of Fallout 76. It has gotten to the point where premium players are building strongholds to protect themselves from less well-off players who’ve taken to the “eat the rich” mentality.
It’s such an odd turn for the recent updates for 76 to unintentionally introduce a situation that shows off shades of Lord of the Flies. You could make the argument that the vault dwellers of Vault 76 are currently taking part in one of Vault-Tec’s controlled experiments, which is something that seems in-line with series lore. Still, Fallout 76 will need a lot more work to get to where it needs to be, and I believe a proper relaunch will be the only way for it to succeed going forward.