Fallout 76 released last week, and though Bethesda was certainly hoping for the online role-playing game to take the world by storm, it hasn’t made a particularly big impact. Twitch viewership for Fallout 76 is significantly down compared to Fallout 4, and early reactions are mixed.
According to video game statistics site GitHyp, Fallout 76 peaked at 106,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch before dropping by more than 50 percent. These numbers are actually worse than when the game was in its B.E.T.A. stage, and they’re well below what Fallout 4 achieved in 2015. The site places Fallout 76 at No. 31 on its game viewership board for the year, behind older titles like Bloodborne and Dark Souls III.
Fallout 76 also lost out to Spyro Reignited Trilogy in terms of physical retail sales in the United Kingdom, as well as Pokémon: Let’s Go, if both versions are treated as one. The Fallout series is historically associated with the PC, which is overwhelmingly digital in 2018, but even taking this into account, sales were down more than 80 percent when compared to Fallout 4.
Negative word of mouth likely hasn’t done Fallout 76 or Bethesda any favors with the game’s launch thus far. In addition to bugs and server issues, players have taken issue with the structure of missions. Without more direct storytelling, it appears some of Bethesda’s design shortcomings are made more apparent.
Rather than focus on dialogue choices and structured narrative, Fallout 76 lets players move at their own pace and even drastically affect other players’ experiences. Player-versus-player combat is enabled, and you can even send nuclear weapons at others on the map.
Not every player is using their freedom as an excuse to kill others, however. Some are even pretending to be non-player-characters in order to assist newcomers. It’s a kind gesture that gives us some faith in the community, though we’re sure at least a few of those people will betray you whenever they get the opportunity. We’re mostly saying that because that’s exactly what we would do if given the opportunity.
Fallout 76 is now available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. If you played during the B.E.T.A. period, your progress will transfer over to the final game.