Fallout 76, a game surrounded by a lot of controversy for multiple reasons, has made it back into the gaming news with another disappointing move from it’s developer Bethesda.
They have decided to release a new paid subscription service, giving access to new features for the price of £11.99 a month, or one annual fee of £99.99. This comes as a shock to fans, as most paid around £60 (some even paid £200 for the underwhelming Power Armour Edition) for the game when it was originally released a year ago, and have now locked essential features behind an additional monthly paywall.
Players of Fallout 76 were promised private worlds before the game’s launch in October of last year, and here we are a year later getting them behind a paywall, even after Bethesda promised not to hide more features behind a paywall. On top of this, the private servers are exactly the same as every public server, they have said there is a possibility of changing the games settings and that there might be mod support in the future. The scrapbox is a new feature that lets player have an unlimited amount of resources and materials used for crafting and armour upgrades, compared to having a cap in containers like in the base game. This has also angered a lot of players again, as it is creating an advantage for premium players, this comes days after Bethesda announced they would be adding new non-cosmetic items to the in-game store. The worst part is, the feature doesn’t even work properly! A glitch has been discovered that removes items from the player rather that removing items from their inventory. Rushed gameplay that doesn’t even work properly? Reminiscent of Fallout 76’s initial launch.
The Survival Tent is feature intended to entice players into buying Fallout 1st by making exploration and collecting materials easier, as explained earlier, used for crafting and armour upgrades, giving premium players a further advantage. The game uses a premium currency called Atoms which gave players access to new cosmetic items, however Bethesda then added the capability to add necessary consumable items to the store, for players with the premium currency to purchase, Fallout 1st now gives players 1,650 atoms per month. Another included “benefit” of Fallout 1st is the Ranger Armour outfit from Fallout: New Vegas. Adding such an iconic cosmetic item had been something players have been asking for since Fallout 76 launched, has also been locked behind a paywall, angering players further.
These issues are causing a stir in the player base, with some a lot of non-premium players claiming the game is pay-to-win because of the free Atoms every month or how easy it is for premium players to gather resources and gain an advantage. These opinions are creating a class divide between base game and premium players, in some cases, base game players are specifically targeting premium players and griefing their experiences, naming themselves ‘1st hunters’.
A lot of MMORPGs offer subscription services for a similar price, however they usually run on a free-to-play basis compared to Fallout 76’s implied pay-to-win version. Both Xbox and Playstation have a game streaming service, Xbox Game Pass (£7.99/month) and Playstation Now (£8.99/month) giving access to hundreds of games from the last 3 generations of consoles and recently widening their horizons to include PC games as well, and if we look back to Fallout 1st, it doesn’t really offer much in comparison does it? Was Fallout 1st a major miscalculation from Bethesda, adding insult to injury of the mess that was Fallout 76? Or just a cash grab taking advantage of the loyal player base that have stuck by them over the years? All we can hope for is that they rectify their decisions before they ruin their excellent track record from classic games like Fallout 3 and Skyrim.