Video game studio Bethesda has caused a major stir by launching a $13 a month subscription service, simply offering improved access to a single game they must already own.
The new Fallout 1st premium membership service for Fallout 76 – the open sandbox first-person RPG online multiplayer game – primarily adds the ability for gamers to play in Private Worlds with their friends (seven, plus you, in total). Ok, cool. That’ll stop potential game-wreckers invading your world.
So what else do gamers get for their $100 a year? Well, not a lot to be honest. You’ll get a Scrapbook with unlimited storage for crafting components and a Survival Tent, which is a placeable fast travel point with a stash, sleeping bag and more.
There’s 1,650 Atoms (in-game currency) to spent per month, and an exclusive Ranger Armour Outfit. Other than that, there’s some unique icons and emotes. Damn, that’s hardly a bounty worthy of a subscription service that costs more than PlayStation Now or Xbox Games Pass, which each offer access to hundreds of games.
Effectively, you’re paying $13 a month for renting a private server to play with your friends, only you can only use it to play one game. At least only one person needs to be a ‘Fallout 1st’ member in order to start a Private World, but still…
You still have to buy the game separately and, for a title that cost £70 at launch and had plenty in the way of micro-transactions already, this feels like somewhat of a slap in the face to players. Naturally, many of them aren’t happy about it.
The launch comes after Bethesda delayed the forthcoming Wastlanders DLC – a free update – until 2020, which had already rubbed Fallout 76 gamers the wrong way. Today’s news is adding salt to the wound for some.
In our review, we afforded the game 3.5/5 stars, calling it a “good, but not great” entry into Fallout folklore. Our reviewer added: “Playing with buddies looting collapsed shopping centres and derelict towns is a blast and the robust crafting and character development mechanics are excellent.”