I'll start by saying I would rather keep the discussion away from Fallout 76 itself, but rather talk about its effect on the franchise's reputation and future.
Regardless of how each individual person feels about it, Fallout 76 seems to have gone over like a lead balloon: lackluster sales, refunds, bad/insufficient patches, the other customer relations snafus… and then we have the announcement of The Outer Worlds, which at least from my point of view seems to have completely stolen Fallout's thunder, as the announcement couldn't possibly have been timed better to take advantage of the changing tone people have when they talk about Fallout.
It seems disillusionment with the franchise is at an all-time high: higher than when Fallout 3 came out (largely well-received, but a minority of people didn't like that it was such a big shift from the older games), higher than when Fallout 4 came out (and its season pass content, which was generally poorly received, but not as poorly received as FO76 plus it wasn't the main game).
So to me, that begs the question: what is the future of Fallout? Fallout 76 has been out a month now and it doesn't seem to be getting much better with patching. I personally doubt many people are going to change their minds about it at this point – I think people a) picked it up and are enjoying it/did enjoy it and finished with it, b) picked it up and were really disappointed, or c) skipped it completely and probably won't pick it up in the future. So what comes next, then?
Do you think Bethesda will continue to build on Fallout 76 and make a really hard push behind it? Do you think it will go free-to-play or something? And whether they do or not, what happens with Fallout beyond FO76? From my perspective, I honestly don't know how Fallout recovers for this, and I wonder if it'll be a very long time before we see another Fallout game. Even if FO76 did well, Bethesda already has Starfield and TES VI to work on. Starfield doesn't look like it will be here before 2020, and then TES VI will follow that… so they could be busy with those games through 2022 or later. Will they work on a Fallout project in the meantime? Will they return to it after that with a new Fallout game in the mid-2020s? Do you think they will put the Fallout series on the shelf entirely? How much will the success or failure of The Outer Worlds weigh on this?
I'm interested to see what people think, because it honestly seems to me like it will be a very long time before we see more Fallout.
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