Oh Bethesda, you ignorant fools. The perennial punchline of the gaming community. The drunken uncle at a family wedding trying to impersonate his wife by making misogynistic comments in a shrill, high-pitched voice that doesn’t reflect his spouses cadence. “Knock, knock. Who’s there? Bethesda”. Bethesda’s historic negligence has become mythologized. Ridiculed and dismissed, mocked for their flagrant disregard for conscientious quality control and spurious statements concerning their shoddy often misleading work. Bethesda have steadily become the industries most notorious charlatans, with Fallout 76 only solidifying their adverse notoriety.
I haven’t played the game, so most of my assumptions can be dismissed as purely scrupulous conjecture, but it’s an opinion influenced by the numerable and very vocal majority. And I’m inclined to believe those that have no doubt enjoyed Bethesda previous content as well as endured their less than stellar frame rates, glitches and bugs. With hundreds of think pieces already inspiring some rather creative fury against the much maligned developer, it’s hard to imagine how they could have bungled the development of Fallout 76 any worse than they have, short of physically abusing cancer patients with uranium syringes. You’d think a community so openly aghast by their persistent negligence would have realised that Bethesda really don’t care about the quality of their products.
I had intended to debate the various issues and calamitous procedures adopted by Bethesda. To analyse objectively if their dubious conduct is in any way salvageable or perhaps even something that can be vindicated. But the almost daily revelations associated with Fallout 76, and by association Bethesda are so extensive it may take a literal nuclear winter to properly assess the situation with any redeeming clarity. And frankly who has time to deliberate the intricacies of Bethesda’s duplicity when so many respected and creative exponents have already scrutinised Fallout 76’s inept release. For me the most concerning factor is how Bethesda’s indolent development processes will affect The Elder Scrolls 6.
I can tolerate bugs, mild irritations that have a negligible impact on the players immersion. But to endure potentially a decades worth of waiting for a Skyrim successor that replicates the same insufferable apathy that has ravaged Fallout 76 terrifies me. We can only hope that Fallout 76 can be redeemed and that valuable lessons can be gauged from this experience. So help me Bethesda if you mess that up!