Todd Howard: Bethesda Knew Fallout 76 Was Never Going To Succeed

To say that Fallout 76’s launch was rough would be an understatement. Fallout 76 had an overwhelming amount of negative reviews. In a recent interview, Bethesda Game Studios’ head, Todd Howard, says they knew Fallout 76 wasn’t going to be well received and they were ready for it. This also means that Todd Howard lied through his teeth at E3 2018.

During the latest episode of IGN Unfiltered, Todd Howard, director, and executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios talked extensively about Fallout 76. It was a game that was massively criticized due to lackluster online infrastructure, frequent crashes and glitches, empty open world, microtransactions, and lack of commitment from Bethesda.

When asked about Fallout 76’s alarming amount of negative reviews, Howard said: “It would be naive to say it’s had zero.”

Back in 2018, Fallout 76 had:

  • 46% (2.7 User Score) on PS4
  • 65% (2.4 User Score) on Xbox One
  • 59% (2.4 User Score) on PC

Not only that, but the final verdict on Metacritic was a 2.4 out of 10 from users. Bethesda’s Fallout 76 came with a range of different bugs and issues. Bethesda even went so far as to ban two YouTubers who posted Fallout 76’s glitches.

We [Bethesda] knew we were going to have a lot of bumps. That’s a difficult development; a lot of new systems and things like that. ‘Hey, we’re going to try this new thing.’ Anytime you’re going to do something new like that, you know you’re going to have your bumps; you know a lot of people might say, ‘That’s not the game we want from you.’ But we still want to be somebody that’s trying new things.

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.

To put that it into perspective, Fallout 4’s DLCs have higher review scores than Fallout 76. This is a huge embarrassment for any game developer. The majority of Fallout 76’s bugs and glitches can be blamed on Bethesda using the outdated “Creation Engine”. Not only that but according to a previous statement by Howard, Bethesda is going to use the same Creation Engine for games like The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield. They are going to make some improvements on it obviously but fans still remain skeptical about it.

Howard went on further to say that Bethesda never expected Fallout 76 to be well received at all. And that really says something. A game developer not being confident in its own creation.

“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,'” Howard said.

Bethesda has continued to defend Fallout 76, again and again, each time it is criticized by fans. It will be interesting to see whether or not the studio ever learns from Fallout 76’s failure.

Fallout 76 is an online action RPG developed by Bethesda Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. You can also look forward to Bethesda’s E3 2019 press conference which is due Sunday, June 9, 2019, at 5:30 pm PT.