EB Games Australia are now reportedly offering refunds for Fallout 76, after the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s ruling in October 2019.
For those unfamiliar, Fallout 76 has been plagued with issues both in-game and in real life. While Bethesda Director and Executive Producer Todd Howard stated he “knew we were gonna have a lot of bumps,” the issues have been numerous and serious.
When the game was launched it was discovered to be heavily buggy, as documented by YouTubers Internet Historian and Joseph Anderson (Editor’s Note: Niche Gamer is not affiliated with either of these individuals, nor support any allegations made in these videos).
This resulted in extremely low reviewer and user scores. Some of these issues also included exploits that would allow players to obtain nigh-infinite money, nuke codes, items, and access the developer room (an in-game area containing every item in the game).
Hackers then began to find yet more ways to abuse the game. They began to spawn Fallout 4 assets, and NPCs (a feature of the upcoming Wastelanders update).
More worryingly, they also began stealing from other players, being able to take the entire inventory of any player in sight. Unkillable NPCs then began to loot dead players of their powerful weapons.
The Wastelanders update was then delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with the cancellation of Quakecon 2020, and Bethesda announcing they would not host a showcase in June as a supplement to the cancelled E3 2020.
Once details of how to get a refund even after playing the game for 24-hours became wide-spread, Bethesda allegedly stopped issuing refunds. This lead to a lawsuit investigation from Migliaccio & Rathod LLP, over Bethesda “releasing a heavily-glitched game, Fallout 76, and refusing to issue refunds for PC purchasers of the game who found it to be unplayable because of its technical problems.”
While the case in the US is still underway, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) concluded their own case. They found Bethesda parent company ZeniMax at fault, and demanded they issue refunds in Australia. Now, GamesIndustry.biz reports that EB Games Australia (a subsidiary of GameStop), will be granting those refunds.
GamesIndustry.biz also reports that EB Games acknowledged they were “likely to have misled consumers” about their consumer rights and told them they were not entitled to refunds.
Anyone who had previously contacted them between November 14th 2018, and October 31st 2019 will now be offered a refund. Eligible customers will be able to receive refunds until August 1st, 2020.
“The Australian Consumer Law provides consumers with the right to ask for their choice of a repair, replacement or refund when they have purchased a product that has a fault which amounts to a major failure,” the ACCC commissioner Sarah Court stated.
“Retailers must ensure that they train their staff so they do not misrepresent to consumers their consumer guarantee rights under the Australian Consumer Law, including the right to obtain a refund in certain circumstances.”