The world has witnessed and endured some truly mind boggling shit in it’s long and illustrious existence: Dozens of extinction events. Global, environmental degradation. Agricultural plights. Famines. Pestilence. War. Coldplay. Michael Bay movies. A Donald Trump presidency. Liquorice. Automated soap dispensers. Country and/or Western and a Lance Armstrong autobiography that attributes his success to “hard work”. Yet, through sheer perseverance to be publicly revered as the world’s most incompetent game developer, Bethesda, despite a myriad of equally inept competitors, have out done them all. Surmounting the most staggering ascent to the peak of mount “Everyone Disliked That”. Out of all of the confounding decisions made by Bethesda over the years, the decision to implement private servers, as well as other exclusive incentives in a game that by its very nature propegates a social, interactive experience, is probably the most baffling. And quite possibly the most brazen act of sabotage ever committed by a video game developer.
“Fallout 1st” is a premium subscription service that uniquely affords Fallout 76 users access to private servers, as well as other exclusive content for a modest £12 monthly excess. That’s an annual £144 surplus for an open world game, requiring permanent online connection to play, but now with the added support of being a traditional single player Fallout game. You know, the ones that didn’t need to be constantly anchored to a WiFi router! This contradictory philosophy would be alarmingly neglectful if it wasn’t so hopelessly redundant. Seriously, this might be the most absurd, insulting and egregious waste of everybody’s time. You’d think that the extensive issues Fallout 76 has suffered since launch would have prompted some contrition from Bethesda, perhaps even a little humility. The shoddily assembled Nuka Rum bottles. The systemic exploitation of the Atomic store. The pre-order gift canvas bags constructed from cheap nylon, as well as their patented brand of interminable glitches were already inexcusable. Yet the “Fallout” from 76 has become just another symptom of a greater malignancy: greed.
The pervasive consistency of Bethesda’s “ignorance” to glitches and aggressive monetization is far too coordinated to be an oversight. These kind of decisions would be reviewed extensively, with the expressed intention of achieving maximum benefit from nominal effort. Any persistent or lingering issues can be rectified in post when you’ve already recouped the revenue necessary to compensate for it. Which is a cunning expedient in the short term, but an artifice that becomes substantial more volitile once the loyalty of your consumers has been severely compromised. And perhaps the goodwill generated by Bethesda’s earlier successes has inevitably been eroded by the perfunctory efforts of a developer that has taken its fans for granted for far too long. Perhaps we simply underestimated their greed, or merely overestimated our own integrity in ignoring the problems. But if one disgruntled fan’s acquisition of the “Fallout first” domain name, for the purpose of humiliating Bethesda’s interminable idiocy is any indication, then perhaps Bethesda have finally gone too far.
The deceitful parlance and flagrant disregard for fan recognition has been sabotaged beyond refute. At this point their actions are irredeemable. They have routinely proven that they simply can not be trusted. And with the Elder Scrolls 6 in development, you have to wonder if this is their last chance to save themselves!