Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Bethesda’s poorly received ‘Fallout 76’ won’t be going free to play

Earlier this week, we heard rumors that Bethesda had begun removing Fallout 76 from store shelves in certain regions, apparently in preparation for the online role-playing game to transition to a free-to-play business model. Despite the game’s recent troubles, however, Bethesda will not be doing this anytime soon.

Responding to an upset fan concerned about the game going free-to-play just months after excited players had purchased it, the Bethesda Twitter account said there was “no truth” to the rumor.

There is no truth to this rumor.

— Bethesda (@bethesda) January 22, 2019

Though the game will still be available for sale, it has had its price cut significantly from the $60 it cost at launch. As early as November 24, the price on Amazon was cut to just $35. It’s currently selling for $40 on the platform — still far above what Fallout 4 will set you back.

As something of a concession, Bethesda announced in December that anyone who logged into Fallout 76 before the end of 2018 would receive the Fallout Classic Collection, which contains Fallout, Fallout Tactics, and Fallout 2. Despite this collection being on PC, the offer applies to anyone who played the game across PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One.

Fallout 76‘s problems began almost immediately after it launched in November, with Twitch viewership statistics showing that it wasn’t holding attention the way Fallout 4 did in 2015. Even worse, the launch numbers were actually worse than they had been during the B.E.T.A. period, suggesting viewers had seen enough of the game and were ready to move on to something new. Piles of game merchandise went unsold at local retailers we visited, as well.

Though the bugs, lack of content, and issues with cheating and exploiting in Fallout 76 have all received criticism, not everyone is so down on the game, or at least the potential it holds. Digital Trends’ Matt Smith sees potential for the game to re-emerge much like No Man’s Sky did after radically improving its basic gameplay systems to the point of being unrecognizable. Bethesda has certain made major improvements in its games before, particularly with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but achieving Fallout 76‘s redemption will be its toughest challenge yet.

Fallout 76 is now available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
The best free FPS games you can play right now
10 essential tips for Arena Mode in Apex Legends

A few years ago, it was hard to find any decent free-to-play games that weren't MMORPGs, and good free first-person shooter (FPS) games were almost non-existent. The few that were around usually came from less-than-reputable sources and usually experienced a host of bugs and connectivity issues.

With battle royale games offering a boon to the free-to-play model, though, AAA studios have started releasing high-quality, free FPS games. Games like Warframe paved the way for Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0. 

Read more
Fallout 4’s PS5 and Xbox Series X upgrade launches for free in 2023
Power armor suit in Fallout 4.

In celebration of Fallout's 25th anniversary, Bethesda has announced that Fallout 4 will get an upgrade for the current generation of consoles in 2023. This free update will launch for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC and comes with a variety of new features that take advantage of more powerful hardware.

The upgraded version will include a performance mode that prioritizes high frame rates, in addition to new quality features that boost the game to 4K resolution. This new version of Fallout 4 also offers bug fixes and Creation Club content. Players who already own the game on PS4, Xbox One, and PC will gain access to the current-gen upgrade at no additional cost. It's unclear how much the game will cost for players buying it for the first time on PS5 or Xbox Series X/S.

Read more
Microsoft won’t increase the Xbox’s price in wake of PS5 price hike
Xbox Series X and S

Microsoft issued a response to the news this morning of Sony increasing the price of the PlayStation 5 console in markets outside of the U.S.

In a statement to Windows Central, a Microsoft spokesperson says, “We are constantly evaluating our business to offer our fans great gaming options. Our Xbox Series S suggested retail price remains at $299 (250 British pounds, 300 euros) the Xbox Series X is $499 (450 pounds, 500 euros).”

Read more