People who tried unsuccessfully to refund Fallout 76 are getting an early Christmas present.

Customers who contacted ZeniMax – parent company of Fallout developer Bethesda Softworks – about a refund between 24 November 2018 and 1 June 2019 will be offered their money back.

The ACCC has confirmed that ZeniMax was “likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law” when it denied customers refunds for the buggy game.

“ZeniMax has acknowledged that they are likely to have misled certain Australian consumers about their rights to a refund when they experienced faults with their Fallout 76 game,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“When a consumer buys a product it comes with automatic consumer guarantees, and retailers must ensure their refunds and returns policies do not misrepresent what the Australian Consumer Law provides.”

The ACCC has been busy tackling gaming companies who make it difficult for gamers to get refunds.

In June, the watchdog took Sony to court for misleading consumers about buying digital products.

At the time, ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, said consumers should expect better protection from online retailers.

“Consumers who buy digital products online have exactly the same rights as they would at a physical store,” Sims said.

Buyer's remorse

Fallout 76 was met with disdain from the gaming community when it released in November last year.

Relentless bugs, boring combat, an empty world, and lackluster story caused fans of Bethesda’s extremely successful post-apocalyptic RPG series to rebel.

In his review for Rock Paper Shotgun, Nate Crowley said Fallout 76 was disappointing.

“That’s the saddest thing about Fallout 76: there’s no shortage of talent on display, but it’s all been wrapped around design choices so ugly as to make it meaningless,” Crowley said.

“You can set ten thousand master sculptors to carve a mountain, but if you ask them to make a big sculpture of a chimp’s bollocks, that’s what you’re going to get.”

On top of the initial cost of purchase – plus in-game microtransactions – Bethesda announced in October that it would begin offering a premium service for $180 a year.

Called ‘Fallout 1st’, the subscription service immediately caused grief for premium players who are easily identifiable in the online world and have been ganged up on by other angry players.

One gamer said he was followed by “people in teddy bear costumes” who kept punching him while he tried to complete a quest.