Australia’s top consumer law regulator has announced that some people who bought Fallout 76 will be able to request a refund after ZeniMax acknowledged missteps related to the game.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (ACCC) said in a news release that ZeniMax, which owns Bethesda, “acknowledged they were likely to have misled consumers about their consumer guarantee rights in relation to the online action game Fallout 76.”
ZeniMax’s European and Australian divisions “accepted that their actions were likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law.” Some people complained to the ACCC that ZeniMax staff denied them refunds after they experienced bugs and other network issues with the controversial always-online Fallout game. This runs against Australian Consumer Law.
“ZeniMax has acknowledged that they are likely to have misled certain Australian consumers about their rights to a refund when they experienced faults with their Fallout 76 game,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said in a statement.
ZeniMax will offer refunds to Fallout 76 purchasers in Australia who requested refunds between November 24, 2018 and June 1, 2019. Players will lose access to Fallout 76 once they accept the refund.
“When a consumer has purchased a product that has a fault which amounts to a major failure, the Australian Consumer Law provides them with the right to ask for their choice of either a repair, replacement, or refund,” Court said.
In addition to paying out refunds, the ACCC said ZeniMax is updating its customer service documents to better reflect Australian consumer protections.
Fallout 76 was released in November 2018 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and the reviews were generally unkind to the role-playing game. Unlike previous entries in the series, Fallout 76 adopted an always-online, multiplayer-focused approach, which did not resonate with everyone.
Bethesda continues to update and support the game with new content and features, including a battle royale mode. Most recently, Bethesda spurred more controversy when it launched a $100-per-year subscription service for private servers.
At E3 this year, Bethesda boss Todd Howard spoke candidly about Fallout 76’s struggles, saying the game “missed the mark.”
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