Gamers who purchased the $200 Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition from various retailers and Bethesda were originally promised – through very blatant advertisements on Bethesda’s own website and the retailer websites where the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition was being sold – that they would receive a canvas bag with their purchase. However, customers found out that the canvas bag was replaced with a cheap nylon bag, with Bethesda claiming that the canvas bag was a prototype and that they didn’t have the materials to provide it in the package to customers. But then news broke that Bethesda actually did provide a canvas bag to gamers… except it was only for popular YouTube influencers.
As reported by GameRant, Bethesda provided the YouTubers with the canvas bag that was denied to actual customers (who paid $200 for the collector’s edition, by the way) when the company invited the YouTubers out to the Greenbrier promotional event in West Virginia back in September.
Images from the event clearly showcase that various YouTubers were given a quality canvas bag, as highlighted in the video from YouTuber HeelvsBabyface.
This information contradicts Bethesda’s claim in November that the canvas bags were unavailable to the “unavailability of materials”, which is why they claimed that they had to switch to a nylon bag.
They later told customers that the canvas bag was too expensive to produce, which is why they settled for nylon, with the support staff from the Bethesda Gear Store saying via e-mail…
“We are sorry that you aren’t happy with the bag. The bag shown in the media was a prototype and was too expensive to make.
“We aren’t planning on doing anything about it.”
Bethesda later claimed that what the Gear Store support staff claimed in the e-mail was incorrect, and that it wasn’t that it was too expensive but that the canvas material was simply unavailable for the collector’s edition, even though months before they provided free canvas bags to YouTubers. Bethesda told Polygon on November 28th, 2018…
“The support response was incorrect and not in accordance with our conduct policy. Unfortunately, due to unavailability of materials, we had to switch to a nylon carrying case in the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition. We hope this doesn’t prevent anyone from enjoying what we feel is one of our best collector’s editions.”
Bethesda attempted to offer 500 Atoms worth of in-game currency (which is equivalent to $4.99) to those who felt like they had been gypped out of the bag and lied to through the bait-and-switch false advertisement of the canvas duffel bag. However, as pointed out by Chris Livingston from PC Gamer, the 500 Atoms worth of in-game currency isn’t even enough to purchase the in-game postman costume that comes with the canvas bag that was promised in the $200 collector’s edition of the game.
Ironically 500 Atoms won’t even buy you the Fallout 76 postman skin that actually has a canvas bag (it costs 700) pic.twitter.com/UCN3kXYDmn
— Chris Livingston (@screencuisine) November 29, 2018
Interestingly enough, Bethesda didn’t seem to have any troubles giving out free canvas bags to YouTubers, while swapping the ones that were originally advertised in the $200 edition of Fallout 76 for nylon bags.
In fact, YouTuber MrMattyPlays also tweeted out that the canvas duffel bag he received at the press event was similar to one he received at QuakeCon, which you can check out below in the image he posted.
In light of the recent development of the Fallout 76 bag fiasco, I grabbed mine from the event out of my closet to get a closer look. Shortly after, I realized that Bethesda’s QuakeCon 2018 press gift included a backpack of a similar make. pic.twitter.com/I2D4mlp7HP
— Matty (@G27Status) December 1, 2018
Now to be fair, the bag featured in the videos from the YouTubers features a different design from the one that was initially advertised on the site and from the retailers. However, it is at least made from canvas material that was originally advertised, as opposed to the cheap nylon bag that came with the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition that people actually paid for.
Also, YongYea’s bag was apparently still the nylon bag, as evident in his video at around the 8:50 mark.
While Bethesda has promised to fix the game and has offered the 500 Atoms worth of in-game currency to customers affected by the issue, some law firms have taken an interest in this classic bait and switch tactic and are currently investigating for a potential class action lawsuit.
[Update: Article was updated with Bethesda’s response regarding the lack of materials for the canvas bag.]
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)