Fallout 76 was released way back in 2018 and promptly suffered from one of the most negative launch periods in gaming history. It was basically a shell of a game that was plagued by issues from the moment it hit the market, and for a long while, it became a subject of utter disappointment for post-apocalyptic gaming fans the world over.
It turns out that Fallout 76 almost bit the bullet when Phil Spencer started questioning the game’s future midway through 2021. It was revealed recently through an uncovered email that it was a push to put the game on PlayStation Now that actually saved Fallout 76 from being shut down forever.
In an email that was uncovered from the FTC vs. Microsoft trial, Phil Spencer spoke about Fallout 76 and the premise of putting it on PlayStation Now – Sony’s subscription service that works like Xbox Game Pass. This discussion took place in September 2021, and by October 2021, Fallout 76 was front and centre on PlayStation Now.
You can see Spencer’s email below. In it, he references the need for Fallout 76 to hit 10 million ‘MAU’, otherwise they’d ‘decide to move on from it’. It was then said that if PlayStation Now was the way to hit that user count, then Spencer was all for it.
So, Phil Spencer didn’t want more powerful games on PlayStation Now as he didn’t want the service to have any advantages over Xbox Game Pass, which is fair – but his steer on Fallout 76’s position could have saved Bethesda Game Studio’s five-year-old MMORPG.
Coincidentally, Fallout 76 hit PlayStation Now in October 2021 and it promptly became one of the best months ever for the game. It had a free-to-play week, the Fallout ecosystem celebrated ‘Bombs Drop Week’, and a Halloween event kicked in. On Steam, the peak player count reached a high for that month that it hasn’t seen since.
These days, Fallout 76 is still a misunderstood title. It’s a brilliant game in its own right, even if many die-hard Fallout fans don’t class it as ‘being a Fallout game’.