Some disappointing retailer reports on Fallout 76’s sales recently gave way to the rumour of Bethesda aiming to make it free to play, with one fan calling the company out and warn them that if they do this – 500 Atoms won’t cut it.
NPD Group’s November 2018 report on video game sales in the US saw Fallout 76 come in fourth, which is quite the feat considering the shape the game was in when it arrived. Unfortunately, more recent retailer reports seem to be grimmer than Morrowind on a brightness-impaired CRT display, which gave way to the rumours.
As the story goes, Australian game retailer EB Games have pulled Fallout 76 from the shelves, digital copies included, leaving only some more pricey versions and pre-owned copies on their website. This led some to speculate that Bethesda are planning to make it free to play but the company responded.
Well, not immediately, as it took an enquiry from a fan who tweeted at Bethesda that if they make Fallout 76 free to play – “500 Atoms ain’t gonna cut it” and that he’ll want his money back. “Straight up”. He said that sticking with the game and tolerating “the notion of it being FO4 online” would make this a real slap in the face and as much as we don’t mind f2p, it’s hard to argue with that.
Thankfully for him, Bethesda refuted the rumour by responding that there’s no truth to it, so Fallout 76 is staying put for the time being. To be fair though, some outlets have dropped the game’s prices so low that it’s one sandwich away from free to play, but it’s one sandwich that the company intend to keep in place.
Despite the encouraging November sales in the US, the big picture remains – Fallout 76 is still lagging behind Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas, which really says enough. On the other hand, the amount of patience and understanding that the fans have shown is a good indicator of just how beloved Bethesda are, as I personally doubt any other company would survive such a move, but as you can see – love doesn’t last forever.
You can find Bethesda’s response here.