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Fallout 76’s Wastelanders Expansion Broke The Budget

Pete Hines opens up on the development of the upcoming Wastelanders expansion for Fallout 76. Overzealous dialogue writing and voice actors put the game's budget well over what the developer expected. Wastelanders is a free update, and releases on April 7th, 2020.

Fallout 76's Wastelanders expansion went over budget

Bethesda broke its budget for Fallout 76‘s upcoming Wastelanders expansion.

Bethesda’s Fallout 76 has gone through many trials and tribulations in its short life. After the abysmal reception by critics and fans alike, the developer has been seeking to reconcile its relationship with fans. That reconciliation comes in the form of Wastelanders, an expansion that returns NPCs to their rightful place, populating the barren landscape, giving the player someone to talk to (you know, like an RPG!). This process hasn’t been kind on the budget, though. In an interview with USgamer, Bethesda Vice President Pete Hines revealed that the team “went much beyond what they were budgeted to do because designers can’t help themselves”. The costs of misjudging fan anticipation and tolerance are often fatal to budgetary concerns.

There’s just no reasonable cadence that you can put out large volumes of quest content, that will keep up with the extent to which players burn through it because it’s gonna take you six months, nine months, a year to make content that they’re gonna burn through in two weeks – Pete Hines

Wastelanders Will Hopefully Deliver What Fans Want

The addition of NPCs is way overdue

The addition of NPCs is way overdue.

What Hines points out is entirely true. Gamers tend to mow through new content in half the time it takes to develop. Still, I would point to The Elder Scrolls: Online as a perfect counterweight. TESO had a litany of issues upon release but has turned into a decent MMORPG. It has now spawned several expansions, including this year’s Greymoore, further exploring the Elder Scrolls universe. Well written story content with interesting NPCs works; always has and always will.

Fallout 76‘s Wastelanders expansion appears to be a last-ditch effort to save face with fans. Despite my critical outlook, I hope that the expansion delivers on the Fallout experience we all remember. After all, that’s all fans ever wanted.  

Fallout 76 is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC

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