If it’s not one thing, it’s another with the games industry. Every week, something goes wrong in the world of video games, and this week it’s another screwup from a rather controversial brand and company on the hook, in this case it’s Fallout 76. The limited-edition T-51b Power Armor Helmet manufactured by Chronicle and then sold at GameStop has been recalled due to a mold exposure issue. This does not apply to the Power Armour Edition of Fallout 76, instead it applies to a Nuka-Cola styled helmet. It appears that the fabric on the inside of the one-size-fits-all wearable helmet tested positive for toxic mold spores in several samples, prompting a recall of multiple manufacturing runs. Though recall isn’t at all the fault of Bethesda themselves, the manufacturing issues certainly casts even more poor light on Fallout as a brand, as well as GameStop and manufacturer Chronicle.
QA failures aren’t uncommon, and recalls happen everyday, but it’s fairly rare for the video game segment of the global economy to be affected in such a way. The recall appears to affect about 20,000 units that have been distributed through the retailer’s online store. So far, no incidents of illness or hospitalization have been reported related to this incident, so that’s great. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on this issues, mold exposure can lead to “risk of respiratory or other infections in individuals with compromised immune systems, damaged lungs, or an allergy to mold.”
Now what can you do if you’re affected?
GameStop is offering a $150 refund for owners who return their T-51b collector’s helmet. There are multiple avenues to report a defective helmet and claim your refund, either via phone at 800-883-8895 or their email [email protected], using “Product Recall” as the subject line).
This whole mess couldn’t have come at a worse time for GameStop, as the retailer is struggling to stave of bankruptcy after accruing billions in debt. The company has tried to innovate in various ways, most of which failed to pay off or have yet to see long-term gains for the retailer, like a rental program. And as stock price plummets and hundreds of stores close, this latest snafu won’t be helpful for their outlook.
And things are looking only a little better over at Bethesda as it concerns Fallout 76. Although the game got a huge marketing push pre-launch, and has continued to get new content and expansions post-launch, it has certainly been a long road A $200 Power Armour Edition, which included another version of the aforementioned helmets (thankfully not contaminated by mold)was billed as including a high-quality canvas bag, but Bethesda cheapened out and went for a much worse nylon bag instead, angering fans immensely. A terrible microtransaction scheme was made all the more worse when Bethesda offered a pittance to make up for this slight as well. Overall, the game has been regarded by many fans of the franchise as an abject failure riddled with bugs and a lack of refinement.