Well, That Was Quick

Welp, Bethesda will be sending out canvas bags eventually:

We are finalizing manufacturing plans for replacement canvas bags for the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition. 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.

There is an interesting paragraph in the VentureBeat article of the same news:

In multiple messages to consumers, Bethesda explained that it made the change due to cost and a shortage of canvas material. Cotton, which makes up most canvas, is the subject of import taxes in the trade war between the United States and China. It’s possible those tariffs, which went into effect in July, pushed up the per-unit cost of the canvas bags.

As VentureBeat notes in the very next paragraph, and everyone in /r/fallout notes half a dozen times each thread, this doesn’t mean Bethesda didn’t fuck up. As with most things, it’s not so much about the crime, but about the cover-up. Canvas too expensive? Fine. Alert the buyers, give them the opportunity for a refund, continue on with life. Not enough canvas can be sourced before the release date? Sounds fishy, but keep in mind that the Power Armor edition was shipped late even with the nylon replacement, which indicates that this probably wasn’t the nefarious plan from the start. In any case, alert the buyers that they will get nylon now, and that canvas bags will be coming later.

What you shouldn’t do is what Bethesda did. Which was this:


Because, absent any further communication, what it appears to be is that some suits at Bethesda chose nylon because it was cheaper, didn’t tell anyone because they didn’t care/thought no one would notice, thought $5 in cash shop currency would suffice to shut people up, and then got real scared when they realized that although my Big Mac might not look like the picture, McDonalds can actually get sued if the beef patties were replaced with chicken.

If I were them, I’d ask Todd Howard to put out a short mea culpa regarding the communication failure, and then move on with life. Otherwise, we’re on to the next two panels:


Or maybe Bethesda does nothing more. The meme will last longer, but again, everyone will be buying Elder Scrolls 6 regardless of whatever happens with Fallout 76. I was browsing some of the reaction to the canvas bag replacements, and someone leveled this “threat“:

Oh man, it did cost them a shit ton. I sure as hell won’t support them monetarily anytime soon, and I hope many people won’t as well.

Do what you want cause a pirate is free

You are a pirate!

That moment when people desperately want to boycott your games but they just can’t stop themselves from playing them. Viva la revolución! Or something.

Posted on December 4, 2018, in Commentary, Fallout and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’m sure once their legal department saw what was happening they advised just taking the minor loss for what ever the bags cost. Certainly cheaper than being hauled into court for deceptive advertising and paying damages plus having to supply the bags.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Will they boycott ES6 or even Fallout 5? No.
    Will they ever buy anything but the basic game, preferably after the first sale? I don’t think so.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You can’t say it was a mastake, and at the same time state “it doesn’t matter”. If it doesn’t matter, then there is no fire to put out, and the potential for a class-action lawsuit wasn’t the only driving factor here.

    It will matter. Not enough to make ES6 unsuccessful (again baring ES6 is F76-quality), but this certainly didn’t help ES6, and that will ultimately reflect in the bottom line. Doubly so if between now and the ES6 release Bethesda does something stupid again. If this is the start of a trend, that has a massive impact on consumer confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure I can. Bethesda spent a lot of money on ads for Fallout 76, to say nothing about development time, etc. All of that money is getting negated by the reviews and CanvasGate coverage. That’s the fire, and it absolutely impacts sales… for Fallout 76.

      Bethesda still has a bottom line and technically one game performing poorly does affect them in a general sense. But it’s not as though the budget for ES6 will be any less than it was going to be all along. Now if they turn around and say ES6 will be always-online with random servers? Yeah, panic a bit. Otherwise, no, a Skyrim re-skin with a just a new map would probably sell another 30 million copies.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It probably won’t affect ES6, because by the time ES6 rolls around in the late 2020s everyone will have long since forgotten.


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