Bethesda, the developer behind the new Fallout 76 game made it abundantly clear that it would not stand for homophobic remarks made in its online world.
Bethesda banned multiple players for life after they said, “We’ve come to eliminate all gays. Eliminate the queers. We’ve got to decontaminate the AIDS.”
The homophobic remarks were made as an attack on other players. Fallout 76 is the first game in the Fallout franchise that operates in an online world where other players interact with each other. While it isn’t anywhere close to the first time a player was banned for inappropriate activity in a game, and likely won’t be the last, the story, which was first reported by Eurogamer, is interesting because of how players got Bethesda’s attention.
There isn’t an in-game way to report other players in Fallout 76 if they act inappropriately or attack another player in a similar way to this situation. Instead, AJ, one of the victims of the homophobic attack took to Twitter to get some help with the problem. He posted a video (which includes strong and offensive language) and tagged Bethesda asking about a reporting solution.
A Bethesda community manager provided AJ with a link to their website-based player report function, but AJ found the website did not work, according to Eurogamer.
However, that did not stop Bethesda from looking into the matter further. The identified ringleader of the attacking group, who goes by NathanTheHicc online, posted a video of the incident to his YouTube channel. He was reportedly given a three-day suspension by Bethesda initially, but after the company looked further into what happened, the attacking group was given a lifetime ban from the game.
“We will not tolerate this kind of behavior by any of our players, nor towards any of our players. We will continue to investigate claims of misconduct or abuse—along with Microsoft and Sony—and take action when necessary,” a Bethesda spokesperson told Eurogamer.
Despite the lifetime ban for the players who made the homophobic attack, this situation reveals possible issues with the ability to report players in Fallout 76. It’s unclear if Bethesda has any plans to add an in-game reporting feature to the game or if it is looking into it’s web-based reporting feature following AJ’s trouble with the system.
Fortune reached out to Bethesda for comment, but did not receive an immediate reply.