There is no question that, at launch, Fallout 76 was a godawful bug-riddled hot mess of a title. It was bad enough that a significant number of people were insisting on returning the game for a refund. And it was a situation not exclusive to the US. European and Australian customers suffered through the same level of suck and rightly insisted on getting a refund. However, they weren’t getting those refunds. Gamers in Australia, however, are getting the opportunity to get their money back.
The saga properly began last November, roughly a year after Fallout 76 launched. Australian gamers had been talking to ZeniMax Media (which owns Bethesda) to try and get refunds for the game due to the inferior degree of functionality, stability, and content in the game. ZeniMax proved unreceptive to these requests. Disgruntled gamers then took their case to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ACCC reached out to ZeniMax’s Australian subsidiary and informed them that they were violating Australian consumer protection laws. While there’s no record of a lawsuit being filed, ZeniMax seems to have realized one could have been filed and agreed to a “court-enforceable action,” allowing players who bought the game between November 24, 2018, and June 1, 2019, to obtain a refund. In submitting to the action, ZeniMax effectively admitted their guilt in potential violations of Australian consumer protection laws.
However, it seems that management at EB Games didn’t get the memo or didn’t read the industry sites closely enough. Gamers who went to EB Games for a refund were rebuffed. Once again, the ACCC was called in, and a corporate giant claimed a mea culpa before submitting to a court-enforcible action. As ACCC commissioner Sarah Court pointed out, “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.”
So, if you live in Australia, bought a copy of Fallout 76 from EB Games between November 2018 and October 2019, and were denied a refund from EB Games, good news: you can now apply for a full refund. The deadline is August 1, 2020.