Fallout 76 made Bethesda better at knowing when its games are ready, Todd Howard says

A screenshot of three characters in Fallout 76.
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks.)

Bethesda exec Todd Howard has claimed that Fallout 76’s troubled launch ultimately helped the studio’s developers become better judges of when their games are actually ready to be released.

When Fallout 76 first launched in 2018, it was heavily criticized by Fallout fans and reviewers alike, with bugs and glitches completely dominating the game. With that said, five years on, the multiplayer action RPG is now in a much better place. Thanks to its post-launch support, Fallout 76 is now the game it was supposed to be and has accumulated a dedicated fanbase. 

In an interview with Esquire, Howard and Bethesda's managing director, Ashley Cheng, spoke about Fallout 76’s beginnings. Cheng cited that the developers were less experienced in making multiplayer games as the root of a number of the title’s issues, noting that: "Every game we ship is tough."

Howard added to this and revealed that the studio’s developers ended up learning a valuable lesson, as since Fallout 76’s release, they’re now better at knowing when games are fully finished and ready to ship. 

However, he acknowledged that no matter how much a game is tested, it’s inevitable that players will find some issues at launch that went unnoticed. "Even though we do so much testing, then you put it out, and ten million people play it," he said. "They’re obviously going to find a few things you missed."

This has been proven with the release of Starfield - despite the promises that the space exploration RPG would be the least buggy game Bethesda has ever shipped, players have still been finding some issues, including a bug that allows players to easily grab one of the best spacesuits in the game pretty much from the get-go. I don’t imagine many people complaining about that, though.

If you’re looking for another game to get lost in, you can find plenty of options in our list of the best open world games on PC. Be sure to keep up with the games coming to PC and console for the rest of the year and beyond with our roundup of upcoming games, too.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.