Microsoft boss Phil Spencer thought about pulling support for Fallout 76 back when the platform holder acquired developer Bethesda as part of the larger purchase of parent company ZeniMax. In a revealing email, Spencer suggested that if the game couldn't manage 10 million monthly average users (a number it would ultimately surpass), a decision should be made to "move on from it".
2018's Fallout 76 was released with a whimper, an abysmal offering we favoured with a 3/10. To its credit (or shame), Bethesda kept at it, and around the time of the Wastelanders update in 2020, the game was in a much better place, thanks to a steady stream of free updates. News of ZeniMax's acquisition came a few months later, in September, and the below email is dated a year after that, 1st September 2021.
In the email, Spencer expresses distaste at bringing Microsoft Games to Sony's PS Now service, which was seen as a competitor to Xbox's Game Pass. But, if it meant boosting player numbers beyond the 10 million monthly active user threshold, then it was a price worth paying. Fallout 76 would come to PS Now the following month before ultimately being subsumed by PS Plus, and the rest, as they say, is history.