The latest controversy to come out of Fallout 76 and Bethesda has nothing to do with the quality of the software, but instead with a part of the $200 Power Armor Edition of the game.
As a quick reminder this lavish collector’s edition featured a wearable power armor helmet as the big ticket item, hence the name. It also came with a lot of other items, including a canvas carrying bag for the helmet.
That bag is the problem here with some buyers of the Power Armor Edition finding out that it’s not canvas as advertised.
A post on the subreddit /r/PCGaming not only pointed out that the bag seems to be made out of a nylon material instead of canvas, but it also highlighted a ridiculous interaction with a Bethesda Store support member.
Their response for the discrepancy between the advertisements and the real product? “The bag shown was a prototype and was too expensive to make“.
This statement lead many to believe that the email exchange was faked, but it was verified by a moderator on the subreddit and, more importantly, official word has come down from Bethesda.
As expected the person on the other side of the email was placed at arm’s length with Bethesda saying that the support member was “a temporary contract employee and not directly employed by Bethesda or Bethesda Game Studios”.
More than that, however, the official Fallout 76 Twitter account has released the following as “compensation” for those not happy with the bag (here’s a screenshot for posterity should that tweet be deleted).
We understand and respect that there is disappointment with the bag in the Power Armor Edition. We are sorry. Please contact Bethesda Support to provide proof of your CE purchase. They will assist in granting your account 500 Atoms.
Please visit: https://t.co/TJBMjYaph0
— Fallout (@Fallout) November 29, 2018
Atoms are Fallout 76’s premium currency that can be bought with real money, with 500 of them costing $4.99 or £3.99.
That’s right, Bethesda isn’t refunding their customers five real dollars, but are instead providing them with some fun bucks for a game they know people are unhappy with already.
As an aside 500 Atoms gets you very little in the way of cosmetic items. A quick browse of the Atomic Shop reveals that for 500 Atoms you can paint your PipBoy and get a pot plant for your C.A.M.P which is nice, we guess.
We can’t help but think that this wouldn’t be such a problem if Fallout 76 was a better-received game. The rather poor state of it at the moment has sapped much of the goodwill this company had and many are unwilling to forgive incidents like this.
If you’re reading this and you bought a Power Armor Edition, all we can suggest is getting in contact with your country’s consumer protection agency and asking them what to do. Many are suggesting contacting Bethesda for some solution outside of the 500 Atoms, and then trying to issue a credit card charge back for the purchase under the guise of false advertising.
Speaking of: while the official listing for the product on Bethesda’s store now describes it as a “Nylon Carrying Bag”, many third parties do not. Amazon and many others still have the description of “West Tek Canvas Carrying Bag”. We fully expect those descriptions to change in coming days.
Those more interested in the game itself may want to give our Fallout 76 Diary a read to find out why so many are not happy right now.