The upcoming Fallout 76 has been officially confirmed as a multiplayer survival shooter, a radical departure from the formula set in Fallout 3 when Bethesda first took over the series. To pretty much no one’s surprise, some gamers have taken issue with that, and 6,000 of them have signed a petition demanding a single-player campaign.
“Keep the Lone Wanderer Wandering Alone” on Charge.org was launched on June 11 and received over 6,000 signatures in just one day. However, concern over the game’s direction began a week before when rumors about the game being a multiplayer title first leaked.
Soon after, fans unhappy about the prospect of an online Fallout began spreading the hashtag #SavePlayer1 starting on social media. The hashtag itself was a reference to a Bethesda blog post from last year that reaffirmed the company’s commitment to single-player titles. Even the official trailer for Fallout 76 has been flooded with comments supporting #SavePlayer1.
Beyond the online element, concerns about Fallout 76 are wide-ranging. Many players have viewed it as a deviation from the trope of the lone wolf, which they view as a core theme of the Fallout experience. While it’s true that main titles in the Fallout series have always featured a single protagonist reshaping the power and future of the wasteland, there have also been numerous spin-offs that haven’t followed that formula so strictly. Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel was a tactical game that had players controlling squads of characters in the post-apocalyptic Midwest. Bethesda has also confirmed that Fallout 76 is a spin-off, not a main title.
Other fans have more personal issues with multiplayer in Fallout 76. One petitioner said that her autism makes it difficult for her to interact with other people, which is why she enjoys single-player titles such as the previous Fallout games. Other female fans said that online gaming is fraught with harassment against women. Player-vs-player combat has also been confirmed, so griefing is another big concern.
At Bethesda’s E3 2018 conference, Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard confirmed that the game will have solo play. However, solo play will still require you to be online and Howard also confirmed that there will be no computer-controlled human characters. The only other interactive characters you can encounter in the wasteland will be other players.
In a way, the petitioners are getting what they want, but they’ll probably be lonelier than they expected if they opt for a solo experience in Fallout 7.