Fallout 76 development reportedly mired in crunch and poor management

Video Gamer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Learn more

The development of Fallout 76, Bethesda’s online action-R.P.G., was reportedly very troubled, mired in crunch and poor management.

The report comes from Kotaku, and it is based on interviews with ten former employees of Bethesda. “No one wanted to be on that project because it ate people. It destroyed people,” the piece begins. “The amount of people who would go to that project, and then they would quit was quite high.”

Apparently, the crux of the problem was a lack of clear direction from senior management. Plus, Todd Howard, the game’s director, was apparently spending most of his time on the now-delayed Starfield.

Fallout 76’s design director, Emil Pagliarulo, said, that Howard “didn’t seem to want to be involved with the product at all. He didn’t want to have any contact with it… or read anything that we put in front of him.”

Technical hardship exacerbated these problems. Bethesda intended the Creation Engine for single-player experiences. Wrangling that engine to deal with a game that supports servers of twenty-four players was tough. And this, reportedly, led to lengthy periods of mandatory crunch.

Somehow, this isn’t surprising. I found it difficult to enjoy Fallout 76, because it felt strangely empty, which may be the point in an apocalypse. But these games have often filled their worlds with compelling stuff. And that one, it goes without saying, was also a technical mess at launch.

About the Author

Fallout 76

  • Release Date: November 14, 2018
    • - 31 December 2018 (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, RPG
4 VideoGamer