A terrible Metacritic rating on its own isn’t an awful scandal; it’s perfectly possible to love a game that others hate, and many cult classics came out with poor critical receptions. However, it’s definitely an indication that even before anything else went wrong for Fallout 76, the game was never that great to begin with.
It wasn’t a title that anyone really seemed to want. However, if it had hit it out of the park on arrival, it might have found a home in the overcrowded marketplace. Unfortunately, it was a dud right from the start.
With the rest of the stuff still to come on this list, there weren’t many players willing to take a risk on the game anyway; the fact most people found it terrible hardly helped matters.
There were even reports of some stores giving both physical and digital copies of Fallout 76 away with new consoles, just to try and shift some more units. The PR was a disaster, but it’s important not to forget that the base game was pretty bad in any case.