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.

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.

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