Bethesda is banning cheaters in Fallout 76, but letting them back in if they write an essay on how cheating is bad, mmkay.
We may have just reached peak Bethesda. Rather than banning cheaters for life, as any sensible game developer would do for an online, PvP game, Bethesda is allowing cheaters back on Fallout 76’s servers so long as they write an essay on why “the use of third-party cheat software is detrimental to an online game community.”
This might just be the strangest thing to come out of Fallout 76, a game widely panned for being empty of content but filled with players who do strange things like light off three nukes at once or roleplay as a beloved character from Fallout 4.
Recently, Bethesda has banned a swath of player accounts for violating the game’s terms of service. Specifically, the part that prohibits the use of any third-party software used to alter the game. Since Fallout 76 has a heavy PvP element, aimbots, map hacks, and other cheats are something that the developer cannot allow, so the accounts get banned.
But in an unusual twist, Bethesda is apparently letting banned accounts back online so long as they prove their remorse with a heartfelt essay on why cheating is bad.
The news comes from YouTuber JuiceHead who posted a video on the controversy surrounding the ban wave. Almost as an afterthought, JuiceHead also posted a section of an email from Bethesda support that tells players to do their homework if they want back in the game.
“This account has violated the code of conduct and terms of service by cheating,” the support email began. “The account was detected to be running a third-party application, which provides an unfair in-game advantage, while logged into ‘Fallout 76.’
“If you would like to appeal this account closure, we would be willing to accept an essay on ‘Why the use of third-party cheat software is detrimental to an online game community’ for our management team to review.”
It sounds insane, but Bethesda support personnel showed up in a ResetEra thread to confirm that yes, you need to write an essay and no, it can’t be just a few sentences with spelling mistakes.
While the ticket to get back on Fallout 76’s servers seems pretty steep, it also seems like Bethesda must be desperate to retain as many players as possible to even offer a chance back on at all.