Earlier this week, Bethesda announced and launched Fallout 1st, an expensive premium subscription for Fallout 76 that grants access to useful in-game features and a private world for up to eight players. There was already plenty of scepticism around this latest money-making scheme but it got worse over the week as new items launched with big bugs.
Early adopters of Fallout 76’s new subscription have been reporting various issues. For starters, the new scrapbox with unlimited storage for crafting items has apparently been deleting player’s resources. Meanwhile, private worlds aren’t invite-only, so anyone on your friends list can join your game whether you want them there or not. Beyond that, the server session closes as soon as subscription-holding players leave the game, so if you are the subscription holder and want to take a break while friends continue building or collecting resources, you will need to remain in-game and avoid getting booted for being AFK to keep the session open.
In a statement sent through to Polygon, Bethesda admits that its implementation of ‘private worlds’ is not what players had expected. In a future update, the developers will be “looking to provide an option that will allow Fallout 1st members to restrict access to their servers more completely”.
Meanwhile, the scrapbox item deletion issue currently the team’s “top priority” for fixing and Bethesda is “exploring ways to restore missing items”. These fixes will need to come through fairly swiftly though, as Fallout 76’s new struggles are catching mainstream press attention, with The BBC interviewing the person who managed to nab the Falloutfirst.com domain to protest the subscription announcement.
During an interview with The BBC, David Chapman, the man who bought the domain, explained that his motivation “stems from a frustration with Bethesda”, as the publisher continues to claim that “players had been asking for this”. From Chapman’s point of view, “players never asked to pay a subscription for features hidden behind a pay wall”. This would be especially true for private worlds, as players have been asking for a way to host their own private games prior to Fallout 76’s launch.
Over the last year, Fallout 76 had been showing signs of improvement and many dedicated fans were highly anticipating the upcoming Wastelanders update, which will bring human NPCs into the game. Since the Fallout 1st announcement, the Fallout 76 subreddit has transitioned from a place of positivity shining a light on the game’s strong points to a stream of negative threads calling out the controversial moves.
KitGuru Says: Things were looking up for Fallout 76 with the Wastelanders update but this subscription launch has really derailed things, with the game back in the same poor position it was one year ago. At this point, the Wastelanders update will need to greatly subvert expectations in order to turn things around.