More than a year on from the game’s original release, Australian players will be able to have their purchases of Fallout 76 refunded. In a press release this morning, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that developer Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax “are likely to have misled” customers.
In a press release this morning, the ACCC said that it had “accepted a court-enforceable undertaking” from ZeniMax and its European and Australian branches “after they acknowledged they were likely to have misled consumers about their consumer guarantee rights” in relation to Fallout 76.
The ACCC said that it had received complaints after ZeniMax told customers they were not entitled to a refund for their purchase of Fallout 76, despite the game’s laggy and bug-ridden state at launch. While the game’s terms might not have allowed for reimbursement, Australian consumer law, which is relatively strict when compared to European and American counterparts, provides a right to refund or replacement in the case of major failure. In telling consumers that they did not have this right, ZeniMax admits it misled consumers in regards to the law.
This isn’t the first time the ACCC has acted in this way. Last year, the commission fined Valve AU$3 million over its lack of refund options. ZeniMax will now offer refunds to customers who contacted them between November 24, 2018, and June 1, 2019, but those who accept will no longer be entitled to access the game.
While the ACCC’s findings aren’t likely to resonate particularly strongly in other countries, this is a notable admission from ZeniMax (and by extension Bethesda) as it confirms that, at least at launch, Fallout 76’s issues amounted to “major failure.” With the community already having a tricky time since the arrival of Fallout First, Bethesda probably won’t relish this new hurdle.