The upcoming Fallout 76 update Wastelanders has had its release date pushed back a week. This is not the first time Wastelanders has been delayed, this is the second delay. Wastelanders was initially slotted for a fall of 2019, the beginning of 2020. This update is supposed to be the final addition to complete the roadmap for Fallout 76.
Wastelanders is poised to rework most of Fallout 76’s experience. The update is bringing human NPCs, with fully voiced dialogue. It also will be drastically changing the main quest, shifting it from a scavenger hunt for audio logs and computer terminals to being most focused around player to NPC interactions. Wastelanders did progress far enough to have a private beta server, and later Bethesda did release gameplay footage of the update.
The update did appear to be underway, although Bethesda admitted to going over their budget for voice actors, deciding that they needed to focus on replay-ability with the update. News of the delay for Wastelanders comes from Bethesda’s Twitter account.
Wastelanders Release Update pic.twitter.com/h5Rxn359r4
— Bethesda Game Studios (@BethesdaStudios) March 26, 2020
The delay results from the spread of COVID-19. Bethesda like most companies switched to remote work earlier as a preventive measure, but the switch has taken a toll on their productivity. The delay only pushed Wastelander’s back a week from April 7th, 2020, to April 14th, 2020 as most of the work has been finished, and the update was undergoing final stress testing and polishing.
COVID-19 has sent ripples throughout the gaming industry. Most companies were forced to switch to working remotely. Popular events, such as the GDC was postponed while the largest U.S. event, E3 was canceled outright. Sony slowed download speeds for the PlayStation network across European and American users. Reports suggest the next-generation consoles will be delayed, and marketed at a higher than usual price, but Sony as reassured people that PlayStation 5 will not be affected by the virus.