The Outer World's is a hit. Bethesda's "Wastelander's" was wise not to go head-to-head with this game especially with the power of Microsoft and Obsidian behind it. So, Bethesda puts on the brakes, delays Wastelander's knowing that doing so the optics are going to be bad and the attrition rate could go through the roof come holiday 2019. Heck, any DLC they launch against the Outer World's was probably gonna perform in the range of either "okay" at best to "really bad" in comparison. So, it's clear that The Outer World's wins this round and was always going to be in position to eat up the legacy Fallout die-hards who have 76 fatigue and are hungry for Wastelander's but didn't get it.
So, Bethesda's looking at this situation and probably thinking, "f#ck it. Why not?" may as well launch Fallout 1st DURING the chaos knowing full well that it will turn the Wastelander's sh*t storm into a full blown Cat-5 publicity Hurricane that you're seeing now. While at the same time, retain the true 76 die-hards (the whales) via Fallout 1st, let the fickle walk to the Outer World's (since they already have one-foot out the door anyway) and punt to 2020. Live to fight another day.
It's a double-down on Wastelander's and Fallout 1st. And it's a Smart move by Bethesda.
What's in it for Todd Howard and Co? There's an a exodus of players, yes – with Outer World's it was gonna happen anyway – but WITH Fallout 1st, you take a shot at getting a revenue stream through holiday 2019 with your existing base despite the attrition AND you get up to 5 months ADDITIONAL development time to polish out Wastelanders with a 2020 launch window that doesn't put them up against The Outer World's. *If*
In the meantime, feel free to stay & play Fallout 76. Hell, feel free to PAY & play during your stay. But, for those of you walking out that door right now, good luck spelling Outer World's WITHOUT first screaming Fallout 76 at the top of your lungs. It's like you can't recall Jenna's giant summer birthday bash back in high school without that crazy Todd dropping a deuce in the pool can you? Some of the kids hate Todd, to other's he's a hero but to everyone, indeed he's a legend they all know. Notoriety +100 points. Popularity x1000%.
It's hard to feel bad for the Outer World's when Bethesda just dropped a King-sized Snickers smack in the middle of their party but strangely you still do. In the end Bethesda hijacks The Outer World's on the headlines, gets paid, trims the roster AND positions themselves to start off Year 2 with some delicious NPC's to pull in more cash. Sure, it would have been nice to drop Wastelander's with some positive reception this October maybe even No Man's Sky-like but, success would be short lived to the critical acclaim of The Outer World's. Best strategy then? Cash in on those subs with an Unlimited Scrapbox and Atoms, open your eyes shut your ears and grind to 2020 come what may.
Best case scenario Q1 2020: Wastelander's is a hit and 'Fallout 1st' – for the joke that it is/was in 2019 – will be planted firmly with both wobbly feet on the ground and in position to be stacked with VALUE and possibly prove the naysayers wrong. It's a reach yes, but consider how much does that $12.99 monthly fee hurt when it includes all sorts of top-end Fallout goodies including access to Bethesda's existing game catalog including upcoming Fallout 5 and 50% off purchase of any future games including Doom Eternal, Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield? How about $8.99mo? Who knows? The sky's the limit. With all the heat Bethesda is taking plus all the existing game subs (such as Game Pass, Stadia, EA Access, Apple Arcade, Uplay) dropping the price and raising the value of Fallout 1st to meet or exceed the competition is the smartest play in the book. Whether they call that play or not has yet to be seen. I'd put my money on that they do. You start off with the absurdity of a high-priced proposition fueled by free albeit bad publicity in the face of your competition (now everyone knows about it) then lower the price and increase the value over time. Next thing you know, players are debating the finer points of a service they swore shouldn't have existed in the first place. Point is, Bethesda can do a lot with Fallout 1st to answer the competition and pull in both loyal AND fickle players especially those that are bored out of their minds.
So as the community shouts aloud about the exploitation of a game subscription (while ironically leaving for another game that requires 2 game subscriptions for the lowest buy-in) Bethesda is scheming. Don't underestimate them. I think they're in complete control of their environment. You can get away with a lot when you're considered incompetent and secretly making smart moves in the background. They know the name of the game is about VALUE and they appear to be driving that strategy with the whole "Better to ask for forgiveness than for permission" thing. Double-down, drop a deuce in the pool, apologize and walk away with more subs than Jenna on her 16th birthday. If this theory is indeed within the ballpark of being more true than not true then that's some Keyser Soze sh*t coming from Bethesda. In the end, they may be one's limping out of the police station but laughing all the way to the bank.
It's so crazy it might be genius.
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