I think one of the things that hasn’t been talked about, and was certainly a factor for me, was the hubris and general smarminess of Todd Howard. I cut Bethesda a lot of slack. I’ve played a lot of their games and enjoyed them, and before 76 had a lot of good will toward them, Todd Howard changed all that for me.
When I looked at the stated design ideas behind 76 before it was released, I saw obvious and glaring problems with a lot of the basic ideas and systems. Ok, it may not be a game for me, that’s ok, but some of this stuff was beyond personal taste, and came down to just a lack of experience dealing with the parameters of what you were trying to bite off. Even that would be not so much of a big deal for me, if it wasn’t for the amount of hubris that Todd Howard exemplified throughout not only the development, but post release. Howard managed to take a game I would be largely indifferent to, and turned it into something I actually was rooting for to fail. That’s probably contrary to what Bethesda has in mind for PR.
On numerous occasions, I’ve tried to put my personal distaste for his approach aside, but I just can’t separate the two. I can’t be the only person that feels this way.
It’s one thing to release an unfinished buggy game, but it’s another thing to do it with someone at the helm who is so full of their own vision that they are completely removed from reality. He seems to have gotten away with it largely unscathed, as he still has a job. That would have been the very first change I implemented to deal with the debacle of a launch.