Bethesda Under Investigation Over Fallout 76 Refund Policy On PC
The law firm investigating Bethesda has already received more than 200 phone calls and emails.
A law firm has launched an investigation into Bethesda Game Studios over Fallout 76, and specifically its refund policy. The Washington D.C.-area law firm, Migliaccio & Rathod, said in a blog post that it's launched an investigation into the developer for supposedly "refusing to issue refunds for PC purchasers of the game who found it to be unplayable because of its technical problems." The law firm's blog post calls Fallout 76 a "heavily glitched game."
"While minor bugs and glitches are expected with the release of most new games, Fallout 76 launched with a 56GB patch that has proven to be but a starting point for the game's problems," the firm said. "Gamers who have tried to receive a refund because of the game's myriad glitches have been unable to do so since they downloaded the game, leaving them to deal with an unplayable experience until patches bring it back to a playable state."
If you're attempted to get a refund for Fallout 76, the law firm wants you to reach out. You can find contact details and more information here on Migliaccio & Rathod's website.
It's important to note that Migliaccio & Rathod have not taken any legal action against Bethesda, and based on their public appeal for cases from the community, it sounds like very early days for whatever this amounts to. A search through the United States court systems shows no results for any legal action being taken against Bethesda over Fallout 76.
Nicholas Migliaccio, a partner at the firm, told Motherboard that they expect to draft a class-action lawsuit against Bethesda. "We've been inundated and we're still investigating the claims, but we do intend to put together a class action lawsuit."
The law firm said it had already received more than 200 phone calls and emails about Fallout 76. Another partner at the firm, Jason Rathod, added, "The vast majority of them are--'I sought a refund and they're not issuing one to me.' The game is unplayable. We are inundated with those types of communications from people. I think people are just seeking to get their money back."
In the same interview, Rathod pointed to Aliens: Colonial Marines as an example of a successful class-action lawsuit. As you may recall, players launched a class-action suit against publisher Sega and developer Gearbox, and in the end, Sega settled for $1.25 million, according to Polygon.
Another element at play for Fallout 76 is that the digital PC edition was released exclusively through Bethesda.net, and not Steam, a platform that has a generous refund policy. Bethesda's own return policy states the following:
- "Unopened CDs and DVDs can be returned under the guidelines of our General Returns Policy."
- "Digital Codes and opened CDs and DVDs cannot be returned under any circumstance. No exceptions to this policy unless where prohibited by law."
- "Please be very careful when purchasing video games at the Bethesda Store."
We've contacted Bethesda in an attempt to get more details from their side.
GameSpot's Fallout 76 review scored the game a 4/10. Reviewer Edmond Tran specifically called out the game's numerous technical issues in his review. In other less-than-great news for Fallout 76 was the recent discovery that the promised canvas bag in the $200 Collector's Edition was replaced with a nylon bag.
According to Bethesda, "millions" of people have played Fallout 76, so it appears to be successful by some measures. The developer plans to release new features, fixes, and changes for the game on a regular basis, beginning with the first major patch next week.
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