Right out of the gate, Fallout 76's reception was not what developer Bethesda was hoping for. Couple the gameplay problems with a few PR guffaws, and many felt stiffed by the beloved developer. This has improved since, and with more and more content coming to the game, the public reception of it may have slightly improved. Yet, it is worth mentioning that many devoted fans felt betrayed when Fallout 76 broke its promise about cosmetic-only microtransactions.
Nevertheless, it appears that the game is continuing to grow, with the Wild Appalachia expansion releasing recently and the Nuclear Winter and Wastelanders DLC coming later this year (all for free). This growth was seemingly confirmed by Todd Howard during a recent Bethesda Game Days presentation, where he states that Fallout 76 has millions of players. There have been some detractors of the title who believe the lack of media attention casts doubt over this statement, but without any actual reports, there's no real way to verify this information.
It is worth mentioning that Howard has been very frank about Fallout 76, recently discussing how rocky the start was and how challenging the online-only title was for his typically single-player studios, so there appears to be no reason to doubt Howard now. In his words, he states, "We have a huge, millions of players, and a large player base in this game; we are receiving tons of feedback. We aim to build a kind of Fallout platform. We have tons of ideas, it’s been a crazy journey so far, and we are excited, there’s a ton of cool content on the way. It’s been an incredible experience. We will do anything we can to reward that, this year, next year and in the coming years we have big things planned."
Beyond the future of Fallout 76, Howard also reaffirmed the statement that Bethesda Game Studios would "continue to do more traditional things, or what I would call them, Bethesda games." This idea has been stated before, as Howard made it clear that Fallout 5, Elder Scrolls 6, and Starfield will be single-player games. Howard's statement can be seen around the 31:00 mark below:
Where Fallout 76 will be when Wastelanders launches this fall or when content hits next year remains to be seen, but many are likely looking forward to hearing more about other Bethesda titles at some point in the future. Unfortunately, that point will not be E3 2019, as Bethesda has confirmed that Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield will be skipping E3 2019.
Fallout 76 is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.