Bethesda has reached a juncture where whenever Fallout 76 is mentioned the prevailing thought amongst gamers is excitement stemming from a morbid curiosity of what Bethesda has done now. Many have contended there is no lower the company could stoop, no depth they have not reached, but as with clown world there is new lows unbeknownst to the fickle imaginings of man.
Yong Yea broke the story on the latest low the company has managed to reach. Reporting on how Bethesda has taken to banning the most dedicated fans. Fans who in addition to putting up with the constant bugs have given the company hundreds of dollars, make community tools for others to use and enjoy all while actively doing the developers bug testing and exploit locating work for them.
Reddit user undefined7196 launched into the love of the 76 community two months ago when he launched his user created map based on data mined information. Having created the map to allow himself to easily locate items and resources around the game world, he decided the community could make good use of his tool andr made it available for free to the general public.
While keeping the map updated undefined7196 worked with a group of data miners whom the current controversy centers around. Their group crawled through the code and even forums looking for exploits and bugs. Upon confirming an exploits potential they’d test it on accounts that were designated for bug and exploit testing and not for general play. With the technical information gathered from these tests they’d present all the information to community managers they worked with who would pass the information onto the development team.
Thanks to these individuals security flaws, such as the game storing your password in a text file were resolved. For such an important task you would think Bethesda would give them a shout out, free merchandise or even atoms to show they care about the community and are working together with them to make the best experience possible. That would make practical sense after all, but instead for their labors they’ve found their accounts banned. Not for regularly using exploits under the guise of testing, but for doing the one test.
Each of the team, banned for differing reasons, has reached out to customer support only to not have messages responded to, tickets deleted, and to be generally ignored with the exception to any issues dealing with Fallout Fuck You First Service https://falloutfirst.com/. None on the team have reported receiving any response to their tickets and requests. Not even the basic “We’re looking into the issue,” responses have been dispatched amongst multiple ticket requests.
One user on the ended up getting his account unbanned, but received a message warning him if he carried out another exploit his account would be permabanned. For all his hard work, he essentially just got spit in the face for a reward.
Community Managers for their part have been attempting to support the team. On numerous occasions they’ve reached out to the Customer Service department and have been met with an equal lack of communication. As they continue to work to resolve the issue, unrefined7196 ran into other issues that have made him formally shut down his tools and quit.
Having spent hundreds of dollars on atoms, bought 6 accounts, he naturally purchased Fallout First on a monthly basis. As a result of the feature launching with an infinite storage that deletes items, private servers that aren’t private and quick travel tents that disappear randomly from a user’s game world, he wanted his money back.
After not returning any messages for some time Customer Service at least got back to him to inform him that they had successfully found a loophole and did not need to refund his money. For his part he acknowledges the money is inconsequential to him. It boils down to a pure matter of principle. After all he’s done for the game, all he’s contributed, that they wouldn’t even refund the purchase of a broken product was the straw the broke the camel’s back.
He has announced he is done supporting a game that the developers have long stopped “giving a shit” about. Where the rest of the team doesn’t want to blame Bethesda, as Yong points out they are the one’s who both hire and manage their customer support staff. While they have a difference of opinion, as of now the map is down and like the Fallout First Website it now exists to read as criticism against Bethesda.
“I finally got a response, on this. The gist of it, I spent some of the atoms, so I can go fuck myself.
“For buying this car, we are throwing in a gift card to our gift shop.”
Car is not as advertised.
“I need my money back”
“Oooh sorry, you already spent that gift card in our gift shop.
“Here is the thing. $14 is nothing. It is nothing to me, and more importantly, it is nothing to them. But, there are principals here. They charged money for a broken product that was not as advertised. And they would rather lose a customer who was that die hard fanboy and has spent hundreds of dollars buying atoms, has purchased 6 accounts, has helped find and fix bugs, has created heavily used community tools, and helped build a community around this game, than give me back my $14.
“You didn’t save $14 you dumb greedy pieces of shit. You lost a steady revenue stream and free community tools.
Though it is pure speculation, with every game they’ve launched either under performing or outright failing commercially the issue might be Bethesda isn’t doing to well financially. It is no secret Fallout 76 was supposed to be their huge GaaS title that would provide a constant revenue stream for the company. Nor is it a mystery how the game is regarded when it sold barely more than a million units on all platforms when Fallout 4 sold $4 million units alone on PC?
Projections internally would be based around similar expectations and the project would have been budgeted accordingly. It had three studios working on it simultaneously for a few years , to then not even match what the last game sold on a single platform would be disastrous.
Is it any surprise at the end of the day the customer service for Fallout 76 is as bugged and broken as the game itself? Perhaps if Bethesda would prioritize hiring people capable of performing their jobs over coming from diverse backgrounds they wouldn’t have these ongoing issues.