Todd Howard stated one of his biggest regrets about Fallout 76 is not having a beta event open for longer and to more people. This brings up some questions, like how many people would actually buy it if they saw the debacle for what it is?
Fallout 76 beta events were scattered and lasted for only a few hours on end. To top it off, only those who pre-ordered the game would gain access to the supposed test events. The tester pool was later expanded with friend invitations that pre-orderers could extend.
In short, the tests were few, very close to release, short-lived and only for those who already bid their money farewell. It was a red flag for anyone who had their eyes open since it seemed like Bethesda were trying their hardest not to let players too far into the game and limit the preview to fans who were willing to pledge their money before even seeing a glimpse of gameplay.
Anyway, Todd Howard recently told GameSpot that his main regret about Fallout 76 was that Bethesda didn't let more players in for extended periods of time.
Given that Fallout 76 was an extremely buggy and at times unplayable mess at launch, it is hard to imagine anyone at Bethesda ever wanted to present beta builds in full light to potential customers not already blinded by the honeymoon phase that comes with a new Fallout instalment. Instead, it was available only to the most entrenched of Fallout fans that defend Fallout 76 to this day.
Moreover, it's highly unlikely Todd Howard would want the poorly optimised bug fest to become widely available before the game could seal the deal and grab some sales through pre-order beta access bait.
Had the beta impressions not been confined to pre-ordering fans and influencers whose stay at Greenbrier was paid by Bethesda, we would have had many more negative impressions warning potential players of the impending train wreck.
There is no doubt such coverage would cause a drop in sales and potential pre-order cancellations, causing sales to be even worse than what we previously thought was rock bottom when German stores started offering free copies of Fallout 76 when buying used controllers.
It's hard to imagine Todd Howard would be unaware of these projections back before launch so much that he would ever wish to extend beta access to more players.
Therefore, forgive me if I sound too cynical but it's hard to believe Howard truly wishes that he extended beta access in late 2018.