Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard has admitted the company 'let a lot of people down' with the launch of Fallout 76.
Speaking during a roundtable event celebrating the company's acquisition by Microsoft, Howard cited a 'litany of issues' with the 2018 launch, adding, "there was very little we didn't screw up".
Fallout 76 "Let A Lot Of People Down", Admits Todd Howard
Since then, Fallout 76 has improved - despite the game initially omitting key aspects of a trademark Bethesda RPG, namely NPCs. Howard went on to add that since the game arrived on Game Pass, in July 2020, it's now "one of the most-played games on Xbox."
Fallout 76's first months were disastrous. Countless glitch videos and a largely vacant world lacking in NPCs alienated the Fallout player base, with many drawing comparisons to the troubled No Man's Sky launch.
Bethesda even changed plans to offer the collector's edition bag that had been promised, before being forced to rethink that decision by an angry fanbase.
Bethesda are no strangers to bug fixes, with their catalogue of famous moments including Skyrim Special Edition's patch to fix a patch.
It's normal for such ambitious projects to be affected by bugs (as we're seeing with Cyberpunk 2077), but Fallout 76's core game mechanics were under just as much scrutiny - with gamers citing repetitive quests and just robot NPCs to interact with.
Earlier this week Microsoft officially completed the acquisition of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media.
"If you’re an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists, and that’s our goal."