9:38am PT by Patrick Shanley
Bethesda Tries to Contain Fallout From $200 Special Edition Controversy
Maryland-based video game publisher Bethesda has had a rough few weeks surrounding the launch of its latest game, Fallout 76.
The online game, the latest release in the popular apocalyptic role-playing Fallout series, debuted to mediocre reviews and has already been severely discounted from its original $59.99 price point only two weeks after it hit shelves. Now a growing controversy has pushed Bethesda even deeper into the radiation zone, as customers are calling for refunds on a special edition of the game that falsely advertised one of its items.
The Fallout 76 Power Armor Edition is advertised on Bethesda's official site to include a "Full-Scale Wearable T-51 Power Armor Helmet" from the game as well as a West Tek canvas carrying bag and other various collectibles. However, when many fans received their special edition of the game, they found that the canvas bag in question was actually nylon.
Angry customers quickly took to Twitter to complain. Bethesda issued an initial response on Wednesday night, tweeting, "Unfortunately, due to unavailability of materials, we had to switch to a nylon carrying case in the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition. We hope this doesn’t prevent anyone from enjoying what we feel is one of our best collector's editions."
The response garnered further pushback from fans who demanded a refund for their purchase. On Thursday, Bethesda offered to give purchasers of the Power Armor Edition 500 atoms, an in-game currency only usable in Fallout 76 (the real-world value of 500 atoms is roughly $5).
"We understand and respect that there is disappointment with the bag in the Power Armor Edition," Fallout's official account tweeted on Thursday morning. "We are sorry. Please contact Bethesda support to provide proof of your CE purchase. They will assist in granting your account 500 atoms."
Once more, fans responded with criticism, claiming it wasn't really a refund, because real-world currency is not being reimbursed.
The Hollywood Reporter contacted Bethesda for further comment on the issue, but the request was not immediately returned.
On Dec. 3, Bethesda issued a statement promising to issue replacement canvas bags to those who ordered the Power Armor Edition of the game and received a nylon bag. "We are finalizing manufacturing plans for replacement canvas bags for the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition," the company tweeted. "If you purchased the CE, please visit https://beth.games/2QDropM and submit a ticket by Jan. 31, 2019. We’ll arrange to send you a replacement as soon as the bags are ready."
Dec. 3 3:35 p.m. PT Updated with Bethesda's statement.