Bethesda has finally begun to send out replacements for the low-quality Fallout 76 nylon bags given to players a full seven months after launch. While the launch of the game was already plagued by countless bugs that drove users mad, and ultimately, away from the game, the controversy over the Collector’s Edition Bag was on an entirely different level.
When Fallout 76 launched in November of 2018, eager fans of the series shelled out a whopping $200 for the “Power Armor Edition." This is described on Bethesda’s website as including:
- Base Game with Tricentennial Steelbook: Exclusive to the Power Armor Edition, this decorated metal case is the ultimate collectible celebrating America's 300 years of freedom.
- Full-Scale Wearable T-51 Power Armor Helmet with a Nylon Carrying Bag: This wearable helmet faithfully replicates the in-game model and comes complete with voice modulator speaker, functioning LED head lamp, and custom V.A.T.S. sound feature.
- Glow-in-the Dark World Terrain Map:
- 24 Collectible Fallout Figurines
- Fallout 76 Tricentennial Edition Bonus In-Game Items: Celebrate 300 years of freedom with the all-new Fallout 76 Tricentennial Edition, commemorating the opening of Vault 76.
However, when users finally received their packages, they noticed a significantly lower quality bag than the one shown in the promotional material. Bethesda first attempted to justify the product, stating that the bags seen in other images were mainly for content creators, which was unacceptable to virtually everyone.
Bethesda then attempted to offer a total of 500 Atoms to affected players, which amounts to $5 of in-game premium currency. This too was met with disdain, and eventually the company relented and agreed to send replacements of better quality. Seven months later, Bethesda is starting to ship the bags to those who filed a claim.
We are expecting to ship the Fallout 76 CE canvas bags starting next week. Once the final date is confirmed, our team will be following up on those submitted tickets. We appreciate everyone’s patience.— Bethesda Support (@BethesdaSupport) June 6, 2019
Is the effort put forth by Bethesda satisfactory for players? Not by a longshot. While Todd Howard recently spoke about the release of Fallout 76 and how the team was ready for some of the backlash associated with innovation in the series, the bag controversy is something different.
This issue was not about a game that was released before it was ready, or under the guise of being “innovative,” this was a moment to reward the most dedicated fans of the Fallout series who spent far more than the average consumer with something worthwhile in the Power Armor Edition. By sacrificing quality, initially refusing to accept responsibility, and then offering a paltry amount in the game’s premium currency before relenting to give players what they paid for from the beginning, Bethesda has burned its relationship with those die-hard fans.
Will they buy another collector’s edition in the future from Bethesda? Perhaps, though it seems unlikely. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, give me my darn bag, please.