Speaking in a recent interview, Bethesda's Todd Howard said that Fallout 76 was always going to be a difficult title to launch, and that a lot of the criticism was well deserved. However, he remains proud of what the team did so far.
Howard said that Bethesda anticipated many of these issues, as many of them were evident already in the pre-launch period. Moreover, Fallout 76 was never planned to be a Metacritic hit, he added.
"We were ready for a lot of those difficulties that ended up on the screen. We knew, hey look, this is not the type of game that people are used to from us and we're going to get some criticism on it", he said, stressing that much of it was "well-deserved criticism".
In fact, Howard said that even the meanest comments they've received often contained valuable information because, as the man himself says, the bottom line is - they love these games.
Asked what Bethesda's development team learned from Fallout 76, Howard said that the main takeaway would be the necessity of longer testing at a larger scale. Judging by his response, this is one mistake the dev will not repeat.
"You've got to let it bake with a large live audience for longer than we did. There are certain things you never see until it's running 24/7 for a number of months", he said.
Howard is also aware that the franchise and the studio took a slight reputation hit but he thinks that people who return to the game now will find that things are much better.
Of course, Howard and Bethesda remain optimistic about Fallout 76's future and their plan is still a long term one. Live service games live and die by the quality of support so we guess that time will tell how Fallout 76 worked for Bethesda.
Howard also reminded that The Elder Scrolls Online was "not a well-received game" when it launch, but that things are much different now, so hopefully - Fallout 76 manages to do the same.