Talking about Fallout games are about as close we can get to replicating the modern political discourse without actually broaching the subject of something that matters. The nation seems entirely split on Bethesda’s flagship franchise. On one side is a group of gamers who love the post-apocalyptic retroism the franchise explores in various American locations after nuclear winter wipes out civilization as we know it.
On the other side, however, are those people who find Fallout games to be buggy, ugly and downright unfun to play. You can firmly consider me in the former category, but unlike today’s political discourse having an opinion that stands on the other side of the argument seems entirely reasonable. The games are huge, take years to develop and are so complicated that the “end product” is often buggy.
Bethesda has been upfront about that in the past, and certainly will be doing more of the same with its latest title, Fallout 76. This departure from typical Fallout games — an online Fallout teeming with real-life players interacting in universes rather than the NPC-filled wastelands of the past — means a lot of challenges for the game’s makers.
The company acknowledged that in a letter it posted online on Monday, asking for patience from their fans as they work out the kinks of the game amid what could be “spectacular issues” for the new title once it is released on November 14.
“Usually after years of development, we finally finish, release the game, and take a break. With 76, we feel we have not finished, but reached a starting line where all new work begins,” Bethesda’s note says. “We all know with the scale of our games, and the systems we let you use, that unforeseen bugs and issues always come up. Given what we’re doing with 76, we know we’re opening everyone up to all new spectacular issues none of us have encountered.”
In essence, Bethesda is warning players that they’re releasing a game they don’t feel is complete just yet. And that’s understandable given how huge a game this is, but it’s also notable that they’re being upfront about it.
Some gameplay videos have leaked out on YouTube so far but the beta starts on Tuesday, which is part of the reason Bethesda released its note. There will inevitably be reports of things broken or unfinished. That’s part of the process, after all, but setting expectations is important to keep the buzz about the game going until it finally sees the light of day.
No one will be surprised by big updates and added fixes to the game after launch day. That’s almost inevitable of any major release in 2018. But Bethesda wants to be careful it doesn’t disappoint the side of the gaming world that’s firmly on team Fallout, and asking for patience is a big deal here.