A rather interesting interview with Bethesda boss Todd Howard has surfaced on IGN. The industry veteran talks about the disaster that was and still is Fallout 76 and the reception that it received when it first launched back in November of last year. It's good that Howard's opening up about all of this, but his words haven't exactly resonated well with Fallout fans.
"We knew we were going to have a lot of bumps," Howard said, referring to the game's development. "That was a very difficult, difficult development on that game to get it where it was... A lot of those difficulties ended up on the screen. We knew, hey look, this is not the type of game that people are used to from us and we're going to get some criticism on it. A lot of that -- very well-deserved criticism."
Obviously Howard's aware of just how poorly received Fallout 76 was, and he admits that the project did "some" damage to the Fallout brand. "It would be naive to say it's had zero [impact]", he said.
However, the quote that's landed Howard in some hot water is this one: "Even from the beginning, [we thought] 'this is not going to be a high Metacritic game; that's not what this is, given what it is'."
Many have taken this to mean that Bethesda never had high hopes for Fallout 76 in the first place -- that it was fully aware of how shoddy the product was. Of course, it shipped the game anyway, and it was met with damning reviews and a huge fan backlash.
The other take on this quote is that Howard's trying to spin things a little. It almost sounds like he's saying that the negative review scores aren't necessarily indicative of Fallout 76's quality, but we think that's disingenuous at best. A lot of publishers and developers have tried to pin the blame on games media in the past when it comes to defending a bad product, and it never ends well.
"It's not how you launch, it's what it becomes," Howard continues. Sadly, that's a quote that we can't really take seriously: we're almost seven months into its life and Fallout 76 is still borderline broken on PlayStation 4.