The New Early Access

Fallout76 is about to launch.  November 14th to be exact.

Fallout 76 is riddled with game breaking bugs and more hacks.

Bethesda has replied with an acknowledgement of the issues, and that they will be fixed in time.  Just not to expect a smooth game at launch.

This is the exact same model as early access on Steam.  Though in large fairness, Early Access was for devs who couldn’t find a way to subsidize their costs before being ready for release.

I am really curious as to how that works out.  A multiplayer game that knowingly launches with this lack of polish is pretty rare, and usually loses most of the playerbase unless it’s the only one in the market, or offers something super interesting.  H1Z1 and PUBG are recent examples where that applied.

And it’s not like Bethesda has ever releases a game that was bug free.  Skyrim was chocked full of bugs on launch, but it was a single player game.  I can’t really think of any multiplayer game that launched with this list of bugs, and had long term success.

Now we’re in AAA expectations, early access, and multiplayer with PvP options.  From an IT dev perspective, I would not be looking forward to the next few months.  From a business perspective, I don’t see how this actually is going to work out positively.  There won’t be positive news cycles, except for the blurbs Bethesda themselves put out (e.g. like the how to get a nuke posts recently).  Players… I can’t hazard to guess.  Bethesda players are traditionally tolerant of bugs due to the giant scale of the games, but the last release was 3 years ago (FO4). But what market is FO76 actually aiming for?  And does FO76 offer something that other games do not, outside of the Fallout universe?

I think this will be an interesting experiment in major game launches.

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