Bethesda has permanently banned a group of Fallout 76 players after they made homophobic comments and attacks against other players in the game. The ban comes after one player posted a video of the offensive gameplay to social media, complaining about how the game lacks easy in-game player reporting.
Fallout 76 has already earned its share of controversy for Bethesda. When first announced earlier in the year, players were skeptical about an online title based on the popular Fallout franchise. After its release, though, players discovered that the game was worse than they expected. There were a series of game-breaking bugs, as well as entire portions of the game that were completely unplayable. The game also came with a strict no refunds policy that continues to anger gamers. There was so much backlash that there is the potential of a class action lawsuit against the developer.
According to EuroGamer, the latest Fallout 76 controversy involves some appalling conduct on the part of a specific group of players, led by Fallout 76 user NathanTheHicc. This player proceeded to harass another group of players, by not only using homophobic language in chat but by also attacking the group for homophobic reasons. AJ, a player from Chicago, recorded video of some of the disturbing conversation and behavior and posted it to Twitter. Please note that the following contains language that some might deem offensive.
Called themselves the "gay eliminators" "cleansing the wasteland of the queers" "know what we did to your people back then, we killed them" THIS is the stuff said to us tonight when playing Fallout. @bethesda @BethesdaStudios @Fallout #Fallout #Fallout76 pic.twitter.com/zwPuz7AbsG— AJpls (@twitch_ajpls) November 16, 2018
Multiplayer games such as Fallout 76 open themselves up to allowing players to harass others, but most titles offer a way to report players immediately through the game. However, Fallout 76 does not have such a function. After AJ's tweet, though, Bethesda responded with a link to a website where players could report others. However, AJ found out that the link did not work correctly, leaving him with no recourse. Bethesda did eventually respond by banning NathanTheHicc and others for three days while their team looked further into the matter. After their investigation, Bethesda extended the ban to a lifetime one.
NathanTheHicc still does not admit to any wrongdoing and refuses to apologize, calling the incident "a late night of having fun" and "playful immaturity." However, he knowingly used hate speech to target other Fallout 76 players and Bethesda recognized that by banning him from the game permanently. It's just a pity that he did not learn a valuable lesson in the process. In the meantime, here's hoping that Bethesda adds an in-game reporting feature that will make reporting this kind of harassment easier.