The recent acquisition of Bethesda into Microsoft Game Studios has brought about a few interesting insights, the most recent of which comes from Todd Howard himself. Speaking during an official livestream, Howard admitted that there was "very little we didn't screw up" when it came to the launch of Fallout 74.
Speaking honestly, Howard admitted that "When that game launched, the litany of issues we had, and we let a lot of people down, and, well, there was very little we didn't screw up honestly." The game was met with significant backlash at launch, and although a number of updates since have addressed a lot of issues, overall, the game has struggled to win back Fallout fans. The lack of NPC characters and various bugs and stability issues were some of the cited reasons for the disastrous launch.
Howard believes that living under the Xbox umbrella will address these kinds of issues in the future though, stating that games will be better-tested under Microsoft before launch, and that being able to easily access Xbox Games Pass will give them the chance to launch public beta testing easily.
Indeed, Howard also suggested that if Fallout 76 had launched on Game Pass, it would have been smoother, regretting that the game didn't have a free beta before it launched. He also talked about how Games Pass can make the business model of a game like Fallout 76 more viable for both studios and players, and may lead to more games that Bethesda may have hesitated to develop traditionally.