In order to keep all major post-launch content DLCs free, Fallout 76 launched with the Atomic Shop, a store of microtransactions that Bethesda Vice President Pete Hines promised was simply “cosmetic stuff.” However, when the developer revealed that it was adding Repair Kits (a utility item) to the Atomic Shop, many felt as if Bethesda broke its cosmetic-only microtransaction promise. With the recent v8.5 update, these Repair Kits were added in-game, with a note from Bethesda regarding these criticisms.
This note opens with thanks given to the Fallout 76 community for making their voices heard and then doubles-down on the Atomic Shop promise, stating that “it will not provide anything that offers a competitive advantage.” Repair Kits will still be available in the microtransactions store, though, because Bethesda does not feel these utility items constitute a breach of that promise.
Bethesda states that these Repair Kits are a “convenient option” that offers no competitive edge since they simply fix items in the field, and if they were to find that these utility items did over some advantages, Bethesda would act and make any necessary changes. Furthermore, Bethesda explains these do not have to be purchased with real-world cash, as Atoms can be unlocked via challenges, and the better Improved Repair Kits are not available in the Fallout 76 Atomic Shop whatsoever (instead earned by completing tasks like killing the Scorchbeast Queen).
It remains to be seen how the community responds to this explanation, but it doesn’t seem likely that this will sit with everyone well. While it is true that these Repair Kits are not pay-to-win in the traditional sense, it still walks back Hines’ promise of just “cosmetic stuff,” given that Fallout 76 itself is referring to these Repair Kits as utility items.
Beyond the addition of these Repair Kits, this Wild Appalachia Patch 8.5 also introduces the promised Fallout 76 ProSnap Deluxe Camera, so while the title isn’t controversy-free, many would argue that it is taking steps in the right direction by adding more and more content.
Fallout 76 is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.