At this point, I think we can all agree that Fallout 76 is a deeply cursed product. Despite the dedicated group of players who somehow manage to make the game fun for themselves, the game itself has never seemed particularly interested in aiding in that endeavor, and neither has the various physical products in the game’s periphery.
You’ll recall, of course, the whole canvas bag thing, as well as the mass doxxing that resulted from Bethesda’s customer service initiative to solve the canvas bag thing. There are also multiple examples of the game itself screwing players over, sometimes literally, and despite Bethesda’s repeated efforts, the game continues to cast a wide shadow.
Now, a replica Fallout 76 Power Armor helmet sold through Gamestop has been recalled over a mold infestation in the helmet’s cloth lining. “Mold can be present on the fabric insert inside the helmet, posing a risk of respiratory or other infections in individuals with compromised immune systems, damaged lungs or an allergy to mold,” according to a post on the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website.
Gamestop is providing a full refund to those affected, and folk who purchased the helmet can contact Gamestop through the information provided in the USCPSC post linked above. “About 20,000” helmets might contain the mold contaminant, and at $150 a pop, that works out to a potential $3 million loss for Gamestop, assuming that all of the affected helmets were sold, and that everyone who purchased one seeks a refund.
It’s worth noting that this recall only applies to the red, Nuka Cola-branded Power Armor helmet that was sold individually, and not the vanilla version contained within the now-infamous collector’s edition. It’s also worth noting that a mold contamination is a really weird thing to recall a video game toy over, but I guess anytime fabric is involved in something, mold poses a risk. And while potentially very serious to those with the medical conditions listed above, at least it’s not the absolute worst thing you can recall a helmet over, which would be decapitation.
God bless Fallout 76 players though, y’all really do love that damn thing. The internet is full of stories about players coming together to make the Fallout 76 experience meaningful, be it through the creation of their own Happy Home Academy, or through other, more nefarious mechanisms. Some players are even dedicated enough to try and implement whole features that they wish existed, bless their hopeful little hearts.
I hope that Bethesda is able to turn the game into what its most die-hard devotees want it to be someday, either through continued incremental updates, or as a ground-up overhaul ala Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. It’s certainly tried Some Things™ since the game launched, like when it did the repair kit thing, or when it added in that raid, but none of Bethesda’s attempts at reconciling with the community have been particularly successful. It may take something as drastic as a Realm Reborn-type solution to really iron out the kinks, but I don’t even think the people pretending to be a gang of bunny rabbits would hold their breath for that.