Fallout 76’s launch was a disaster.
From unforgivable bugs and data breaches to collector’s edition items that were the very definition of the words “false advertising”, the once-acclaimed series went from controversy to controversy following the launch of its first MMO. Fallout 76, according to most, was dead when it arrived.
But four years later, to everyone’s surprise, the inhabitants of the Vault continue to emerge. And not only do they still play actively and obsessively, but they do extremely strange things, from black markets, Shakespeare troupes and full-time courier services, to cannibals and serial killers of trap camps . I wanted to understand why hardcore Fallout fans not only still play the once-derided game, but why their 76 obsession pushes the MMO further than expected. It’s the inside story of the weird and wonderful fans who still play Fallout 76.
Normally, an IGN Inside Story is available as both a video documentary and a written article. But, on this occasion, I have the very strong feeling that the video documentary format is the best way to live this story. And that’s exactly what we did: this Inside Story is just a video.
I’d like you to watch the full video, hear the voices of the Fallout community, and follow my journey through the wilderness. I met some fascinating people, and our adventures together simply cannot be done justice with written words alone. That being said, if you’re still unsure, here’s some info on the weird and wonderful Fallout 76 fans I’ve met who were kind enough to show me a whole new side to the nuclear apocalypse. I hope these details will inspire you to check it out.
The Legacy Weapons Hunter
Matt Wills is a former hunter and arms dealer. Not sure which one of them is? In the video, Matt shows me some of his awesome (and very deadly) collection of prized possessions, explains what legacy weapons are, how they came to be, and how Fallout 76 fans started a volunteer-controlled black market gun trade. It was an underworld that introduced me to our next character…
The Wasteland Courier
Prissela plays Fallout 76 exclusively to act as a courier for other players, ensuring risky, high-stakes trades go smoothly. She is qualified, trained and even has a Trustpilot style rating. Behind Prissela’s duties is a touching story of how she got into this “career” because of unfortunate events in the real world, all of which you can learn about in the video documentary.
The theater director
Northern Harvest is the director of a Shakespeare production group called The Wasteland Theater Company. He shares his stories about the troupe’s history and design and kindly invites me to audition for their upcoming production of Shakespeare’s classic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The Cannibal Cultist
Dark Nick is a founding member of Fallout 76’s infamous cannibal clan, EATT (Establishment of Appalachian Taste Testers). Dark Nick introduces me to the world of cannibals playing a role in Fallout 76, shows me around their hidden lairs, and invites me to participate in their incredibly bizarre initiation process.
The Trap Camp Builder
Jeepin Jeeper is Dark Nick’s cannibalistic brother-in-arms, but he has a taste for more than virtual flesh. His specialty is designing and building elaborate trap camps, houses of horror-like buildings designed to attract unsuspecting players/victims for a one-way visit. I get an invite in one of his favorites and it doesn’t go well for me…
The Fallout Podcaster
Kenneth Vigue is the founder of CHAD: A Fallout 76 podcast, a long-running audio drama that chronicles the miserable (and funny) life of a wasteland survivor. But Kenneth isn’t just a podcaster; he is also the creator of Fallout For Hope, a fan-made charity campaign that not only helps other defectors in need, but also a children’s cancer research charity, throughout the vehicle of Fallout 76 .
This is just a small taste of my adventures in Appalachia. I hope that was enough to persuade you to watch the full documentary. But if you’re still not sure, why not check out the trailer?
Dale Driver is IGN’s UK Video Manager and he would like to thank Matt Purslow, Katie Laurence, Will Batchelor, Danielle Jones and all the amazing Fallout 76 players who have helped and contributed along the way. Follow Dale on Twitter.
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