Fallout 76 Hit With Massive Internet Fallout Following Bag Apology

Fallout 76's false advertising isn't dying down in their second day of controversy, with Fallout communities flaring up over Bethesda's tepid response.

November 29, 2018

Yesterday we chronicled the growing controversy surrounding Fallout 76‘s Power Armor Edition. In case you missed it, the Power Armor Edition was originally advertised as including a Canvas West Tek Duffel Bag. To the disappointment of many, the bag they received for the nearly $200 edition was a cheap-quality nylon bag instead of the advertised canvas. Some point since the initial reveal, Bethesda changed the description but failed to communicate that change to many who had pre-ordered the Power Armor Edition already.

And if the broader Fallout communities weren’t already upset about the events, the tepid actions of PR have been like trying to put out a dumpster fire with gasoline.

First, Bethesda Games’s official Reddit account posted an apology to the game’s official subreddit. Focusing more on the messaging than the false-advertisement issue, Bethesda apologized for the contracted support staff who blamed the switch on the fact that it was “a prototype and was too expensive to make.

Uncovered by the Reddit post was why the switch (which Bethesda would have known about for months) wasn’t communicated to consumers. As a result, the response is sitting at over -12K karma — instantly drawing comparison the EA Reddit response about Star Wars Battlefront II‘s unfair microtransaction and progression policy sitting at -667K karma.

In fact, if this list of most-downvoted comments is still accurate, Bethesda’s response is currently standing at the 4th most downvoted comment in Reddit history.

Realizing the backlash, Bethesda has offered jaded consumers to reach out to Bethesda support for 500 Atoms in Fallout 76 — the title’s in-game currency:

(For the record, 500 Atoms is roughly $5.)

The response to Bethesda’s cold approach and underwhelming/delayed response has been… expected. But instead of editorializing, let’s show you the highlights:

One of the funnier revelations: 500 Atoms won’t even let you purchase the in-game postman skin that comes with a canvas bag:

The official Fallout subreddit isn’t doing much better with this news; a post about the news titled “Bethesda thinks them misleading us is only worth 500 atoms” has well over 2.5K upvotes and is trending. Community members are warning burned purchasers to not take the 500 Atom offer, or risk losing possible class action lawsuit or consumer complaints. And those aren’t empty threats — a prominent Washington DC-based law firm is already investigating anti-consumer practices based on their return policy.

With the reviews for Fallout 76 coming out this week (and many of them being overwhelmingly negative) it’s almost shocking that a new controversy is able to steal the limelight. But it is clear that both Bethesda and Bethesda’s PR team has a lot of soul searching to do over the coming years. Consumer confidence is actively eroded and while many are (for better or worse) bandwagoning onto the controversy, the biggest hits seem to be coming from the dedicated Bethesda fanbase.

Fallout 76 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. If you could care less about the critics or want to see a train wreck in action, you can buy the game over on Amazon, and you can also read our review.

Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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