Last week's debut of Fallout 76, a multiplayer survival game by Bethesda studio, cannot be counted as successful. The title debuted in a terrible technical state, and the reviews are far from favorable. A question arises, whether all these problems will translate into low sales. Unfortunately, the game is not available on Steam, so the SteamSpy service, usually useful in such situations, won't help us this time. On the other hand, the fact that the game has just been heavily discounted, is a good indication that it doesn't sell as expected.
PC version's price on the Humble Bundle store was reduced by 33% (40% for Humble Monthly subscribers). A similar opportunity is offered by Green Man Gaming, among other places. These discounts will only last a few days, but most popular games are only sold with such lowered prices after at least a few months have passed since launch. It should also be noted that Bethesda usually isn't eager to aggressively discount their own productions. This is illustrated well by the autumn sale on Steam, where titles that are several years old, such as Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, can be purchased on 50% cheaper.
A 33% reduction in the price of the Fallout 76 PC version just nine days after the release looks like a sign of the publisher's desperation. In this title's case, the pressure on good sales is even greater, as it's a multiplayer title, that needs packed servers in order to live and grow. If there are problems with the number of players, the game may fall into a spiral of losing popularity, from which it will be unable to break out of without switching to a free-to-play model.
Fallout 76 was released on November 14 on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game has met a rather cold reception - the PC edition now has an average Metacritic score of 55%. After the release, developers started to quickly patch the game. The first update came out a few days ago, and brought many expected changes. It fixed some bugs, eliminated the FPS cap and modified the physics of the game to work correctly no matter how many frames per second our computer displays. Most of the technical problems will probably be removed in a few months, but the title has issues that run much deeper, including a poorly designed combat system and simplistic survival mechanics. Changing Fallout 76 into something genuinely good will require a lot of work, and it's hard to say if Bethesda can manage this task.
- Fallout official website