Bethesda’s Todd Howard Says He Knew Fallout 76 Would “Get Some Criticism” Before it Launched
In one of the first instances since launching, Todd Howard has opened up about the response to Fallout 76.
Ever since Fallout 76 launched in late 2018, Bethesda’s higher-standing members have largely remained silent about the game. While the company has remained committed to turning things around after the dismal launch product that Fallout 76 was, outspoken people at Bethesda such as Pete Hines and Todd Howard have shied away from talking about the game in a public manner. Now, that silence has finally been broken.
In a new interview with IGN, Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard talked a bit about the launch of Fallout 76 and the response to the game. Howard was initially asked if he knew ahead of Fallout 76’s release if he expected the game to be received like it was and he acknowledged that he thought there would be difficulties.
“We knew we were going to have a lot of bumps,” Howard admitted. “That was a very difficult development on that game to get it where it was. We were ready for, you know, a lot of those difficulties that ended up on the screen. We knew, hey look, this is not the type of game that people are used to from us and we’re going to get some criticism on it. A lot of that is very well-deserved criticism.”
Howard went on to also state that from the beginning of the project, he knew that Fallout 76 wouldn’t be what he described as a “high Metacritic game” but also said it was something the team at Bethesda Game Studios really wanted to make.
While stating that he thinks the game has drastically improved over the past few months, Howard also said that they should have tested Fallout 76 with a larger live audience before releasing. Whether that be through early access or an extended beta phase, Howard said that Fallout 76 needed to continuously be live for a long span of time before Bethesda ever charged people for the game and launched on day one.
Perhaps most interesting of all in the conversation, Howard also directly acknowledged that Fallout 76 likely damaged the reputation of Bethesda and the Fallout IP as a whole. “I’m sure it’s had some. It would be naive to say it’s had zero, right?” he admitted. “But I think if people come to the game now and see what’s going on there, I think they’ll be surprised. I’m really, really proud of what everybody’s done on the game and because I know where it’s going, I think we’re definitely longterm believers.”
It’s definitely intriguing to hear someone this important at Bethesda open up about Fallout 76 after all of the turmoil the game has seen since release. While Howard continuing to express optimism moving forward isn’t surprising, we’ll have to wait and see if future updates to the game are met with the same, positive response from the game’s community. Maybe we’ll get a look at that future content this coming weekend during Bethesda’s E3 2019 briefing.