Washington DC law firm looking into Bethesda's refund policy following Fallout 76 launch

Washington DC law firm looking into Bethesda's refund policy following Fallout 76 launch

Games publishing giant Bethesda could be in hot water in the near future.

Washington DC-based law firm Migliaccio & Rathod LLP has announced that it is looking into a deceptive trade practices case against the games company over Fallout 76's launch and the publisher's digital refund policy.

"Migliaccio & Rathod LLP is currently investigating Bethesda Game Studios for releasing a heavily-glitched game, Fallout 76, and refusing to issue refunds for PC purchasers of the game who found it to be unplayable because of its technical problems," the company announced, also requesting that consumers affected get in touch.

"While minor bugs and glitches are expected with the release of most new games, Fallout 76 launched with a 56GB patch that has proven to be but a starting point for the game’s problems. Gamers who have tried to receive a refund because of the game’s myriad glitches have been unable to do so since they downloaded the game, leaving them to deal with an unplayable experience until patches bring it back to a playable state."

It turns out that Bethesda's refund policy is pretty weird.

As spotted by PCGamesN, Reddit user ZPKane attempted to refund their copy of the newly-released - and already heavily discounted - Fallout 76 and initially was told refunds weren't being processed yet. A follow-up email apologised to ZPKane, saying that consumers that, um, those who download the game are not eligible for a refund.

So, we've taken a look at Bethesda's refund policy and - yes - consumers can refund a game within 30 days of purchase, but only before they download it. It seems like this policy is designed to allow refunds on accidental purchases or instances where customers have changed their minds. But the moment the game is downloaded, users waive their right to a refund.

Bethesda offered no comment when contacted.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.