Report says Fallout 76 development was plagued by crunch and poor leadership


Fallout 76 (opens in new tab) was not in a great state when it launched in 2018—in fact, it earned a spot in our list of worst launches in PC gaming history (opens in new tab)—and a new Kotaku (opens in new tab) report on the game’s development may shed some light on why. Interviews with current and former employees of Bethesda Softworks and parent company ZeniMax reveal a development process that was light on leadership, heavy on crunch, and hindered by inter-studio rivalries.

The report says Fallout 76’s development was particularly rough on testers, who worked 10-hour days, six days a week, in the months leading up to release. The situation unfortunately did not improve when the game went live, as it was wracked with bugs (opens in new tab) and missing a number of basic features. That brought grotesque but predictable gamer rage into the equation: One tester  told the site about a bug report that said, “I am going to take a gun and go to the QA department and shoot all of them.”

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