Last week, Bethesda released Fallout 76 on PC and consoles. The game was a grand vision for the series, introducing online multiplayer gameplay to a franchise that is known for its single-player campaign. Bethesda knew that it was taking a risk by releasing the game but it seems that the gamble may not have paid off.
The speculation about Fallout 76's (potentially) poor sales stems from the fact that the game has already gone on sale. On the United States version of the PlayStation Store, the game has already been discounted from its launch price of $59.99. For Black Friday 2018, PS4 users can get a 33% discount, picking up the game for just $40.19. The Microsoft Store lists the same deal, offering up the Xbox One version for $40.19. The Microsoft product page confirms that the deal will end on November 27, 2018.
Other regions of the PlayStation Store and the Microsoft Store do not have these deals listed. However, the UK version of the Bethesda store does offer a 33% discount on the PC version of the game (download code). The standard version is available for £33.49 (down from £49.99), while the Tricentennial Edition, which includes cosmetics and gear customizations, is available for £52.49 (down from £69.99).
News of the Black Friday discounts has led to a lot of discussion in the Fallout community. On the one hand, fans who did buy the game at launch are upset that they had to pay full price for the game at launch. They put up with the game's technical issues despite having paid full whack, and so they are understandably unhappy that the game has been so heavily discounted just a week later.
On the other hand, though, some say that they saw this coming. Fallout 76 has been hit with overwhelmingly negative reviews from those who are playing it. Players have slammed the new game for its close resemblance to Fallout 4 and for the many issues (which include framerate problems and lag). Many have said that the new game pales in comparison to Bethesda's other games. With this in mind, some are unsurprised that the game has sold poorly enough to warrant a discount so soon after launch.
If Fallout 76 has sold as poorly as this Black Friday deal would suggest, it's unclear how Bethesda will be able to get things back on track. Fixing bugs is one thing but players seem to be having issues with the core features of the game and its designs and those sorts of problems are a lot harder to fix.
Fallout 76 is available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.