Fallout 76 is not going free to play, in case you were wondering

It's fair to say that Fallout 76 did not get off to the smoothest start in the history of videogames. Even so, a recent rumor that it's about to go free to play, fueled by reports that physical copies of the game are in short supply in Australia (although the website indicates that there's still plenty of stock available, so make of it what you will) and wild speculation, seemed pretty clearly to be without basis. But it was persistent enough that Bethesda nipped over to Twitter to officially shoot it down. 

Bethesda hasn't commented further, and there's really not much more to say. It could happen someday, sure—multiple MMOs have made the switch over the years, some successfully and others not—but two months after release? Bethesda may have biffed the Fallout 76 launch pretty badly and in some mind-boggling ways, but it has to be aware that whatever goodwill remains between it and the fanbase would evaporate almost immediately if it transitioned from premium purchase to free-to-play that quickly.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.