We’ve seen plenty of comeback stories in the games industry over the years, where games that launched in terrible states for some reason or other and were widely criticized upon release have gone on to improve significantly and enjoyed quite a bit of success in subsequent years. Fallout 76 is definitely a game that joined that list a couple of years after its disastrous launch in 2018– though things may have turned out differently for it.
The recent leak of unredacted court documents from Microsoft’s case against the FTC spilled the beans on a lot of previously unknown details over the last week, and something else that has emerged is the fact that, back in 2021, Xbox boss Phil Spencer was considering the option to cancel Fallout 76.
In a leaked internal email from 2021 (via TheGamer), Spencer is seen about having a discussion about possibly greenlighting Fallout 76 for PlayStation Now, suggesting that he’s open to it in spite of competition from the service for Game Pass because Fallout 76 is in a place where it needs to attract more players. Spencer also wrote that if Fallout 76 was unable to get to 10 million monthly active users across all platforms, it would probably be best to shelve the game and “move on from it”.
“In my view F76 is in this interesting place,” Spencer wrote. “Obviously started rough. Team stays focused on improving and finding larger audience. Feels like we either need to see this thing getting to 10M MAU across all platforms or decide to move on from it and if you believe PSNow can support it gaining relevance then I’m supportive.”
Fallout 76 has obviously continued to receive a consistent stream of new content since its launch, and while its unknown whether it’s attracting the amount of monthly active users Spencer was hoping for a couple of years ago, it certainly has a healthy player base.
Earlier this year, Bethesda revealed that the game had attracted over 15 million players since its release.
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