How Fallout 76’s overhaul helped restore players’ confidence in Bethesda


There have been many controversial video games in the past, but none have sparked as much debate as Bethesda’s Fallout 76. When the game was released in 2018, it was pounded with criticism for everything from its numerous technical problems to its dearth of non-player characters. However, Bethesda has worked to win back the trust of its player base over time.

Emil Pagliarulo, the lead designer of Starfield, wrote to Twitter to thank the community for its continuous support and to appreciate the lessons learnt from Fallout 76.

Our goal from the very beginning was to create a brand new universe for our players (old and new!) to get lost in. To push ourselves to provide you with as much content, and hopefully joy, as we were humanly capable of. Did we pull it off? Well, we sure as hell tried.

When 76 launched rough, we asked for your patience. We had some lessons to learn. And you supported us as we supported that game, and made it the experience you wanted and deserved. That trust clearly carried over into Starfield, and made us want to work ever harder.

Since its debut in the late 1990s, the Fallout series has been a popular mainstay among gamers. Expectations for Fallout 76 were high because games like Fallout 3 and 4 had won a lot of praise. Nevertheless, a flurry of unfavorable reviews greeted the game when it was released.

The always-online role-playing game component of Fallout 76 was a major source of disagreement. While the concept of a Fallout game that could be played cooperatively was exciting, the implementation was far from perfect. The world felt empty and lacking the rich storytelling that the series was renowned for when the NPCs were gone. Rather, they were forced to roam a lifeless, dull environment, frequently coming across more bugs than interesting material.

It should come as no surprise that the gaming community reacted angrily and quickly. With 6752 ratings, the game presently has a 2.8 user score on Metacritic. It’s interesting to see that some people thought Fallout 76 had potential despite the criticism. Some users held out hope for further advancements due to the game’s large open area and the prospect of exploring a post-apocalyptic world with others.

In order to fix the game’s technical problems and enhance the user experience overall, Bethesda acted and started to release updates. Fortunately, these efforts started to pay off, as as of June of this year, the game had over 15 million players. The gaming community took note of this shift, with many players believing Bethesda had gained valuable insight from it.

A lot of players entered the game with cautious anticipation as Bethesda prepared to release Starfield, the much awaited space-based role-playing game. Despite the favorable outcome that was suggested by the gameplay trailers and development team interviews, a considerable portion of the population chose to adopt a “wait and see” approach.

Wastelanders, Fallout 76’s first major update, reintroduced non-playable characters, a dialogue system, and a new main story questline.

Now that Starfield is out for both the Xbox and PC, early evaluations show that it is a skillfully made game deserving of recognition from even the greatest of game developers. Now that Bethesda appears to have learned from its previous mistakes, all we can hope for is that some of the flaws raised by players will be fixed.

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